Changes to the Uniform Construction Code
Effective March 5, 2018, the NJ Department of Community Affairs has made changes to the Uniform Construction Code that may impact your construction project. These changes eliminate the need for permits for certain types of projects and have classified other types of projects as “minor” work which will still require a permit but the process will be streamlined.
Residential roofing and most residential siding permits will no longer require building permits.
The changes are detailed here.
Please check with us to be sure whether or not a permit is required.
Permits Can Help Expedite the Sale of Homes
If you are planning to sell your home, have your home improvement permits ready at hand. It saves time and money in the long run for both the buyer and seller. Prospective buyers may request a permit history for the home they are buying. If permits are not produced, the sale could be delayed leading to unwanted expenses for all.
More often than not, renovations are done without permits in an attempt to save time and money. Here’s a closer look at several examples where you could be unpleasantly surprised.
Finished basements are the most common example where permits are often not filed. If the permit is not on record, it will have to be filed and the required inspections prior to the closing. If the inspector finds anything that does not meet code, the issues will have to be satisfied prior to closing.
Here is a case where a homeowner didn’t check the permit history prior to purchasing a home and was unpleasantly surprised. The homeowner, after closing, began to initiate some home improvements. When the contractor went to apply for the proper permits, the local building department informed the contractor that open permits existed for the property and new permits couldn’t be issued until the old were closed. When the inspector checked the work, he refused to pass it because the work was not done properly. The new homeowner had to make corrections to the work of the previous homeowner. This was an expense that the new homeowner hadn’t anticipated and it delayed the remodeling.
Lastly, another homeowner converted a detached garage to a bedroom and bathroom. The work was done without the appropriate permits. When the house was listed for sale, a neighbor reported the alteration to the local construction office. The potential buyer also requested proof that the alteration was in compliance with building codes. It turned out that the bedroom/bathroom renovation was too close to the property line and was in violation.
Remember, properly filing construction permits can help expedite the sale of your home. As the saying goes, “you pay now or pay later.” Before buying or selling a home, be sure to check that permits for remodeling are on file. Otherwise, you may be stuck fixing a problem at a great additional expense.
Signing and Sealing of Construction Documents
N.J.A.C. 5:23 – 2.15 (e) 1. Vii. States that the licensed/registered professional of record must sign and seal each sheet of each copied plans, the title page of these specifications, and any additional support information submitted. The acceptable manner of signing and sealing is established by each professional license board. Where the documents include the work of more than one professional, each professional SHALL sign and seal the work that they prepared.
There are some instances when the signature and seal of plans are not required by a license professional some examples are:
- An alteration, repair of or addition to a single family dwelling, including accessory structures for the exclusive occupancy of the owner who also prepared the construction documents and will construct the dwelling by him or herself.
- When the construction official waives the requirements for plans because the work is of a minor nature.
- Plumbing, Electrical and mechanical plans for class III structures may be prepared by Licensed Plumbing, electrical and mechanical contractors.