Q: What type of work on my house requires
a Construction Permit?
A: Some home maintenance does not require a Construction Permit; however,
there are maintenance projects that do. Listed below is a general listing
of items requiring a permit. If your project is not listed, please call
the Building Department to confirm whether you need one or not.
A/C, New & Replacement
Fence (6ft or
over, around a pool or industrial)
Furnace, Fireplace & Boilers, New & Replacement
Gas or Water Service (new)
Lawn Irrigation Systems
Oil Tank Installations
Sheds (over 100
replacement (total exterior replacement)**
Water Heater Replacement
Window & Door Replacement,(Only if
size or function of window or door is changing)
NOTE: Replacing or installing a new FENCE
requires a “FENCE PERMIT”
** Also requires a zoning permit and copy of property
Q: Why should I get a permit?
A: Getting a permit brings you the services of the Building Department's
inspectors for building, plumbing, electric and fire. The inspector
approves each phase of the construction process while checking to see the work
is done safely and properly.
Q: I like to do my own home improvements
around the house and I'm not going to use a contractor, so why do I need a
A: Work without a permit is illegal and can pose serious complications
for you when you sell your house. Penalties for failure to obtain a
permit prior to construction are up to $2,000 for each offense [N.J.A.C.
5:23-2.31 (e)]. Work done by the
homeowner requiring a permit must be inspected to ensure the
work has been done according to code. There are also legal and financial
liabilities if you don't obtain a permit. Any fire and homeowner's insurance you
have will be invalidated if you do work without a permit. If there is a
fire in your house, the insurance company may use the illegal work as an excuse
not to pay on your claim.
Q: How long
will it take to get my permit?
A: The size and scope of your project will determine the length of time
for the review process--i.e.. a roofing permit will take a couple of days, an
addition/alteration could take several weeks, a new home could take several
months. The completeness of the information submitted with your permit
can greatly assist with the review and approval
much will by permit cost?
A: The cost of permit is determined by the size and scope of your
project. Two fees are determined for the permit. The first fee is
determined by local ordinances and the second fee is determined by the New
Jersey State Department of Community Affairs based on either the dollar amount
of the work to be done and, if applicable, the total cubic volume of the new
space to be built.
Q: I will be
using a contractor for my project; however, he said I didn't need a permit
for the work?
A: A reputable contractor should determine whether a permit is
needed before the
work is performed. Different municipalities have different requirements;
therefore, check with the Building Department to confirm what is required in
the Township of Mendham.
Q: Who calls
for the inspections?
A: Either the homeowner or the contractor can schedule inspections.
However, if you are using a contractor, be sure to establish who will be
calling in for inspections before the
contractor said that the work was finished and I paid him, why do I need a
inspections should be completed before the final payment.
A contractor who hasn't received final payment is more likely to come back
and correct a failed inspection versus a paid one. The New Jersey
Division of Consumer Affairs Rule: N.J.A.C. 13:45A-16.2(a)10.ii
states: "FOR INSPECTION ON CONSTRUCTION PERMITS
FOR: BUILDING, ELECTRIC, PLUMBING, FIRE PROTECTION OR ELEVATOR,
FINAL PAYMENT TO THE CONTRACTOR IS NOT REQUIRED TO BE MADE BEFORE A FINAL
INSPECTION IS PERFORMED."
Q: I am
selling my home and I had some work done without a permit, now what do I do?
A: Please call the Building Department so this can be corrected. A
"retro" permit can be generated requiring the same fees and
inspections as a regular permit. Please note, since this is a
time-sensitive situation and the permit may take several weeks to process,
please call the
Building Department as soon as possible to get the
Q: I obtained
permits for all the work done on my home, do I get a certificate?
A: Yes, when the final inspections required are completed and passed, you
may by request, receive the appropriate certificate stating the permit has been
closed out and all inspections completed, otherwise the certificate will be
placed in your construction file.
Q: I have had
work done on my home with a permit and am unsure as to whether or not the permit
has been closed out?
A: Please call the Building Department to check the inspection status of
the permit. If needed, we will schedule the necessary inspections to
close out the permit and issue the required certificate.
(973) 402-9410 x 630