Mon 29, 2021 |

Do I need a permit for that?

Do I need a permit for that?  An often-asked question by building owners and contractors alike.  The reason permits may be required for your project is, first and foremost, to protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public.  Projects that require permits will be reviewed by properly qualified personnel, to review plans and perform field inspections.  This post addresses permits for residential and non-residential construction only.  The requirements for other types of permits (environmental, zoning, etc.) are not discussed in this post.

In October of 1975, The Governor of New Jersey signed into law the State Uniform Construction Code Act, to regulate the construction of all building and structures in the state.  Prior to the act, there were a number of different codes in use throughout the 565 municipalities.  The main objectives of the Uniform Construction Code or ‘UCC’, as it is known colloquially, are to provide a consistent set of construction standards and regulations to be used throughout all localities and to set minimum requirements for education and licensing of code enforcement officials.

In order to evaluate the need for a permit, additional information is required.  Specifically, is the type of work considered Ordinary Maintenance.  The UCC does not define ordinary maintenance, but rather, provides a list of building projects broken down by trade (building, mechanical, electrical, etc.), that are considered less hazardous than other types of work that would require a minor or full permit. 

The project list can be found online HERE.   (NOTE: Refer to pages 1, 2 and the top of page 3 as highlighted in yellow. Their remainder of the document reviews requirements for Minor Work, which we will discuss at another time). 

If the work is not specifically listed but you have a question as to the work being considered, you should always err on the side of safety and call the local building department.  The personnel will be able to provide guidance to ensure your project is completed in accordance with the regulations.

Regardless of whether a permit is required or not, it is still expected the work will meet the minimum requirements of the UCC and the building owner will use a properly licensed contractor to execute the work.

About the Author:  Mr. Millemann is Principal of Tokarski Millemann Architects of Wall, NJ. He is a past code committee chair of the AIA-Jersey Shore Section and can be reached at [email protected]