How to Figure the Cost of Building Permits in New Jersey

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Building or construction permits of all types are issued by local municipalities in New Jersey. Local authorities set the standards, accept applications for permits, establish fees and perform all required inspections. In the past, anyone building a structure or making a substantive change to an existing building requiring a construction permit had to contact the local city hall to get the appropriate application forms, complete them and then return them. To make the permitting process easier for both contractors and the general public, the state of New Jersey set up a website called NJPermits.com to centralize downloading of municipal building permit applications. The state of New Jersey places an additional surcharge of $.00265 per cubic foot on all new new residential or commercial buildings and additions, and a surcharge of $1.35 per $1,000 spent for all other projects, as of July 2011.

  • Collect all necessary documents like blueprints, contracts and invoices to fill out an application for a building permit. Most municipalities in New Jersey have comprehensive building permit applications that require a lot of information including the name and license of the contractor doing the construction and detailed specs for the project itself.

  • Go to NJPermits.com and take the introductory tutorial. It only takes abut two minutes and leads you through the process of locating the correct municipal building authority and downloading applications for building permits. NJPermits.com also provides complete mailing and telephone contact information for each local building permit authority.

  • Use the contact information provided by NJPermits.com to contact the local building permit authority in the city or town where the construction project is located. The building authorities in some cities in New Jersey have websites that detail the costs of various types of building permits; in other cities, you will have to contact the building authorities by mail, telephone or in person to get this information.

  • Calculate the amount for the building permit(s) as necessary. The building permits for many basic construction projects -- such as tank removal or installation, roofing/siding installation or adding landscaping or plumbing fixtures -- are flat fees. However, the fees for building permits for larger projects like decks or new home or commercial construction are typically based on a set amount per square foot or dollar spent on the project. Building permits for new construction can be very expensive, as in many cases you have to pay both for the square footage being built and for each electrical outlet and plumbing fixture being installed.

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