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The Construction Permitting Process in New Jersey Explained

The NJ construction permitting process can feel overwhelming when you have never used it. Seth A. Leeb is familiar with the State of New Jersey Uniform Construction Code (UCC) after more than 25 years as a registered architect. This code regulates the structural design, maintenance, construction, and use of buildings and structures already erected or to be erected. Building permits are regulated by the NJ Uniform Construction Code and issued by Building or Construction Departments of municipalities. In this article, we explain the fundamentals of the construction permitting process so you know what to expect during your next residential construction project.

What Requires a Construction Permit?  

Construction permits, also called building permits in some municipalities, are required for building, structural, electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) projects. To name a few, a building permit is necessary when you intend to do any of the following:

  • Construct a new residential or commercial building
  • Add large home additions or raise the roof
  • Remodel the interior of your home or office building, including changes to the floor plan
  • Change the parking layout of a commercial building
  • Erect retaining walls and fences.

Dealing with building codes, plan approvals, town engineers, builders, and inspectors is easier when you appoint an architectural firm such as Seth Leeb Architecture to manage your project’s construction bidding and administration. Part of this service includes assistance with the permitting process, a shop drawing and submittal review, and answering building department questions. 

Requirements to Obtain a Construction Permit?  

The requirements for a construction permit might seem excessive, but besides ensuring all construction conforms with the relevant building code and zoning requirements, its ultimate purpose is to ensure everyone’s safety. Municipalities might have a slightly different construction permit application process, but the permit forms are standard. What do you need to do to obtain a construction permit?

Code Official. Speak to the appropriate Building Department Code Official, who will discuss the codes and ordinances applicable to your project. 

Permit application submission. Submit the relevant permit application(s), which includes sketches, drawings, and plans on the work you intend to perform.

Review process. The Code Official reviews your documentation to determine if it complies with relevant construction codes and/or land use.

Results of review process. If your application is compliant, it will receive approval and a permit is issued to start construction. 

UCC construction inspections. Every major construction phase requires a construction permit inspection performed by the appropriate Code Official.

Certificate. When your project passes all inspections and the UCC code compliance is certified, you will receive the relevant certificate, whether compliance or a certificate of occupancy, NJ.   

Sign of Approval From NJ Architects  

There are several instances where the NJ Uniform Construction Code requires registered architects to sign and seal plans and documentation. Examples include engineering plans and computations the architect designed. N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.21 specifically states that a registered architect or licensed engineer must prepare, sign, and seal all plans, computations and specifications required for a construction permit application. The preparation can be done under the direct supervision of an engineer or architect. 

If you’d like to know more about how we can help make the construction permitting process in New Jersey easier, or about the other services our architectural firm offers, please visit us at: https://leeb-architecture.com/

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