Mayor’s Message: Planning for home projects

The township’s construction office has a variety of information available to residents on permits and renting out properties.

This week we hear from Sue Champion, of the Construction Department, about the permitting process.

Tired of winter already? It’s not too soon to start thinking about your spring and summer projects. The construction office is here to help you with your projects — finished basements, decks, covered outdoor kitchens, swimming pools and garages to name a few.

Plan accordingly for your spring and summer projects.

It is our job to ensure that your project, be it a shed, home, pool, commercial building or whatever it may be, is built to the highest standard the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code allows. We will assist you along the way so you may complete your project in a timely manner and strive to ensure the end product is sound and safe.

When is a permit needed?

A construction permit, which may include a building, electrical, fire or plumbing sub-code technical section, is required to do any of the following: All construction, but not limited to, construction permit applications for projects that change the footprint of the building, lot coverage, use of the space, etc., may also require a zoning permit approval (permit). An application is enclosed with the construction permit application when obtained at the Harrison Township Code Enforcement Office.

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.

Our inspectors are here to help you make sure your project is constructed by New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs guidelines. The inspectors often spend time with homeowners going over their projects and answering questions.

Renting your home or business?

For renting your house, inspections are needed to help protect the homeowner as well as the tenants. This is also done through our office.

If you have questions please call (856)478–6522. The Construction Office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.