The Construction Department ensures that construction projects in Harrison Township, whether it be a shed in a resident’s yard, a new home, or a commercial building is built to the highest standard per the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code. Our team will assist you in ensuring your project is timely, sound, and safe.
Hours of Operation:
Staff & Officials
Staff & Officials
Assistant Control Person
Housing and Code Enforcement Officer
C.O. & Rental Inspector/Property Maintenance
Fire Subcode & Inspector
When is a Permit Needed?
A construction permit, which may include a building, electrical, fire and/or plumbing sub-code technical section, is required to do any of the following:
Construction permit applications for projects which change the footprint of the building, lot coverage, use of the space, etc. May also require a zoning approval (permit). An application is enclosed with the construction permit application when obtained at the Harrison Township code enforcement office.
The following are common construction projects and the permit(s) required. This is a general guide, based on the specifics of each individual job there may be additional or different permit requirements.
Construction Office Procedures
The regulations and procedures you need to follow for acquiring a permit are detailed in the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code (NJUCC). The following are excerpts in condensed form and should not be construed as the complete text. This is provided as an aid to understanding some of the more common procedures and how they are handled.
Applications and Permits for Construction
The construction permit process starts with a zoning application to the Zoning Officer if your project is an extension to your home (addition, deck or porch, etc.) or a additional structure on your property. Your zoning application is reviewed for compliance with our Zoning and Land Use regulations. If your application is deemed to be complete and in compliance, you will be given approval and may proceed with building permit applications. If not, you may be directed to the appropriate review board for their review and approval. The Zoning Officer will direct you as to these application procedures.
With zoning approval, you will be given the appropriate NJUCC application forms for a construction permit. Completed forms submitted to the construction office will be reviewed by all relevant subcode officials who may request additional information if necessary to approve your project.
Permit applications may require the submission of drawings that define the work proposed. Among the work that requires plans are decks, pools, renovations, additions, and new structures. Requirements for drawing may be waived by the construction official if the work is deemed to be of a minor nature. Drawings may be required to be sealed by an Architect or Engineer in some cases. A homeowner may produce their own drawings for a project, but the building official may require engineer’s or architect’s calculations for advanced projects. There are state regulations governing when drawings are required and how plans may be prepared. Be sure to ask the Construction Official what will be required for your project.
You must submit one original form and three copies of each permit you are applying for to the Construction Office. The original form, under state law, must have an original signature on it. The Construction Office will accept hand delivered or mail delivery only of applications using these downloadable forms.
Certification in Lieu of Oath
Before signing a Certification in Lieu of Oath, indicating that you are performing the work yourself, homeowners should consider the following:
- The laws requiring new home builders to be registered and contractors in the various trades, such as plumbing and electrical work, to be licensed were adopted to protect homeowners and homebuyers. If you are signing this Certification to provide cover to an unlicensed homebuilder or contractor, you are forfeiting the protection afforded to you under the law. The contractor that you have hired may or may not be qualified. And if you encounter problems with this contractor, the government will not be able to help you because you signed the Certification indicating that you are performing the work yourself.In the case of the construction of a new home, you are forfeiting your right to a new home warranty. Every new home builder in New Jersey is required to be registered with the State and to give a warranty to each purchaser. The warranty covers almost all defects in workmanship or materials, including appliances, for the first year; plumbing, mechanical (heating and air conditioning), and electrical systems for the first two years; and major structural defects for ten years. Further, the warranty will actually pay for the correction of defects if the builder fails or refuses to do so. By signing the Certification, you are giving up that protection.
- You are violating the criminal laws of this State if you sign the Certification indicating that you are doing the work yourself when, in fact, you are paying someone else to do it.
Certification in Lieu of Oath Form
Approved Construction Permit Applications
After review and approval, the applicant, owner, or contractor will be notified of the fee required and that the permit is ready to be picked up. You may not start any work until the fees have been paid and you have received the permit. There are penalties for commencing work without a permit. An application is only valid for six months from the date it’s approved. The work site may be inspected, and penalty fees may be incurred if the work proceeds without a valid permit. The construction office should be notified of an abandonment of a permit. The construction office will continue to act as if the work was being undertaken until notified otherwise.
Once a permit has been issued, it is the responsibility of the applicant or owner to call for inspections, including the final inspection when all work covered by the permit is complete. Among the many types of work for which inspections are required are footings, foundations, framing, insulation, electrical and plumbing rough, or where work will be covered over during the process of construction.
If an application is denied, the applicant will be notified and the reasons for denial will be given. The application may be revised and resubmitted, or the NJUCC provides for an appeal process.
Certificate of Occupancy
Upon completion of the work, you will need a final inspection and a Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Approval issued. This may be needed by your bank, mortgage company or insurance supplier.
A reminder it is the law that a final inspection is done prior to making a final payment to a contractor for work covered under a permit.
Residential Construction and Renovation: A Legal Guide for New Jersey Homeowners
Common Residential Codes
Residential Deck Code Information
Residential Pool Code Information
Regulations for New and Existing Above Ground Pools
Regulations On Above Ground Pools
Regulations On Fencing For Pools
Other Common Residential Codes
General Basement Code and Plan Requirements
New House and Addition Information
Stand By Generator Requirements
N.J. Downloadable Construction Permit and Related Forms
The State of New Jersey has made available downloadable permit forms which may be used to apply for construction permits. As a reminder the Construction Departments requires, one original form and three copies of each permit you are applying for. The original form, under state law, must have an original signature on it. The Construction Office will accept hand delivered or mail delivery only of applications using the downloadable forms.
NJ Construction Permit & Related Forms
Application for Certificate of Occupancy (CO)
Chimney Verification for Replacement of Fuel Fired Equipment Certification
Harrison Township Construction Related Forms
Certification of Transfer or Ownership/Occupancy
Tree Removal Permit Application
Soil & Fill Importation and Placement Application
About New Home Construction Code
Purchasing a new home can be an exciting event. Whether you are a first-time buyer or an old hand, there are some things you may need to know about your home and the responsibilities of the Harrison Township Construction Department under the Uniform Construction Code.
Your home is constructed under the State of New Jersey Uniform Construction Code (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119, et seq.). This Code establishes the minimum standards for materials and products used in your home, as well as the construction process itself. With the exception of custom-built homes, builders typically build to the minimum standard permitted, although some builders do more than the minimum. However, do not expect all the extras you may have seen in a model home, such as top of the line appliances or plush carpeting.
During the construction process the Township’s Construction Code staff makes certain inspections of every structure to be sure it conforms at least to the minimum standards in the Code. Some of those inspections are:
- Footings and foundations, before and after concrete pours and before backfilling.
- Basement floor slab prior to concrete pour.
- Radon – Slab
- Water and sewer line excavations and backfilling.
- Rough plumbing, including air and water testing of pipes, attachment and spacing of pipe supports.
- Poos, hydro test, gas pressure test
- Rough electric, including attachment of rough wires and staple spacing.
- Heating and cooling duct installations.
- Rough framing, including conformity between approved plan and actual construction.
- Insulation, including verification of type and completeness around living areas.
- Nailing of exterior sheathing, including verification of expansion gaps and spacing.
Prior to issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy, which allows you to live in the home, final inspections are conducted:
- The Township Engineer examines the site to verify that the grading is in reasonable conformity with the approved site plan. This usually means that the soil is sloped away from the foundation. Note: It is a common occurrence for the soil around the foundation to settle after a period. If this happens, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to see that the proper grade is restored so that water will drain away from the foundation.
- The Fire Inspector checks the furnace flues and fireplaces, as well as the operation of the furnace and smoke detectors.
- The Plumbing Inspector examines pipe supports and connections, as well as all furnace safety devices for proper operation. He also determines that the components of the approved system have been installed properly. He determines that all plumbing fixtures have been sealed at their connections to floors and walls and that sump pumps, roof gutters and leaders drain to the outside along the foundation to a splash block.
- The Electrical Inspector randomly checks wall switches and regular outlets and tests each GFI circuit for proper function. The inspector also examines the main electric panel to verify that wires have been installed and connected properly and examines all wiring to builder-installed appliances for proper connections.
- The Building Inspector examines the interior and exterior to see that all construction is complete and floor finishes are in place and conform to the approved plan. Minor differences between the plan and actual construction are reviewed to determine structural significance, if any.
If the construction complies with at least the minimum standards required by the Uniform Construction Code, the Certificate of Occupancy is issued. It is important for a purchaser to understand that the Township has no authority or control over the quality of the workmanship, which goes into any new home other than to determine that those items covered by the Code have been completed in accordance with the Code. Quality of workmanship items over which the Township has no authority include such things as:
- Uneven paint applications or spackle work.
- Nail “pops” and “dings” or dents in drywall, cracks in interior or exterior walls due to settling or shrinkage of materials.
- Finish carpentry, such as moldings that don’t meet properly, doors that stick, drawers that don’t slide smoothly.
- Carpet and Vinyl flooring installation or tile work.
- Damp basements (caused by anything other than improper grading), roof flashing that comes loose, leading to leaks.
- The finish of concrete floors in the basement, garage and sidewalks.
Because the Township has no control over these quality of workmanship items so long as minimum Construction Code standards has been met, it is important for the purchaser to make a careful inspection prior to closing and create a detailed punch list of items which appear unsatisfactory. It is also appropriate to discuss any questions regarding the quality of work with your attorney prior to closing.
The builder is registered under the New Home Warranty and Builders Registration Act (N.J.S.A. 46:3B-1, et seq.). At closing the builder provides the purchaser with a warranty, which provides limited protection regarding the construction of the home. The warranty addresses the structural integrity of the house for a specific period and describes the items covered and the limits on each. Your builder is the primary contractor in the construction of your home, even if he used subcontractors for some of the work. Concerns about quality of workmanship should be resolved directly between you and the builder.
If you have any questions about the information provided herein or otherwise related to the construction of your new home, the Construction Official and his staff are available to discuss them with you. Office hours are weekdays from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Our telephone number is (856) 478-6522.
The purchase of a new home is the largest purchase most people will ever make. The Harrison Township Construction Department is committed to the protection of your health, safety, and welfare through a program of inspections to ensure that the standards of the Uniform Construction Code are met in each new residence in the Township.