Menu Close

When Do I Need a Construction Permit

When Do I Need a Construction Permit

About Construction Permits  

A Construction Permit is more than a piece of paper and a fee. It is a document that sets in place a series of events that actually protect your rights as a homeowner and consumer. Permits ensure the safety of the people that occupy our homes and businesses. And by law, they are required. But not all work requires a construction permit. “Ordinary Maintenance”, for example, as defined by the NJ Uniform Construction Code, does not require a permit. 

Regardless of whether a Construction Permit is required, almost all work requires a Zoning Permit and approval. If any doubt exists, email the Zoning Officer, or call 732-872-1224, Ext. 224.


About Construction Permit Fees  

Fees for Construction Permits can be found in Chapter 10 of the Borough of Highlands Ordinance

Work That Requires a Construction Permit  

Some common types of work requiring a Construction Permit include:

  • Additions to an existing structure
  • Deck
  • Finishing a basement
  • Enclosing a porch
  • In-ground or above ground pool, spa or hot tub
  • Pool heater
  • Interior alteration or renovation
  • New or replaced central air, furnace, boiler or water heater
  • New or replaced fireplace or insert
  • Generator
  • Chimney liner
  • New ductwork
  • Shed larger than 200 square feet
  • New wiring or electrical lighting or receptacle outlets
  • Underground sprinkler system
  • Removing or installing an oil tank
  • Upgrading the electric service
  • Installing driveway post lights
  • Demolition of a shed or building
  • Installing a concrete patio with stairs
  • Retaining walls
  • Installing a fence greater than 6-feet in height (ALL FENCES REQUIRE ZONING)
  • Installing any size fence surrounding a pool
  • Replacing or installing septic system (Permits with the Monmouth County County Board of Health also required)
  • Renovating a garage or other accessory building
  • Install a Photovoltaic (solar) system
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Work That Does NOT Require a Construction Permit  

Some Common types of work not requiring a Construction Permit include:

  • Exterior and interior painting
  • Installation, repair, or replacement of interior finishes of less than 25 percent of the wall area in a one or two family dwelling
  • Replacement of glass in any window or door
  • Replacement of any window, door, or garage door in the same opening
  • Replacement of any non-structural component, such as a partition railing in one or two family dwelling
  • Replacement or installation of any non-structural elements, such as cabinets, trim, or flooring material, provided it is not part of an alteration project
  • Repair or replacement of existing roof covering on detached one or two family dwellings
  • Repair or replacement of existing siding (except polypropylene siding) on one or two family dwellings
  • Repair or replacement of any part of a deck, porch, or stoop that does not provide structural support for any roof or portion of a building
  • Installation of exterior gutters and leaders
  • Replacement of hose bib valves, ball cocks, faucets, valves, traps, or fixtures with a similar fixture provided that no change in the piping arrangement is made
  • Replacement of any receptacle, switch, or lighting fixture not containing emergency batteries
  • Replacement of domestic dishwashers or kitchen range hoods in dwelling units
  • Installation of a burglar alarm, security system, doorbell or plug-in landscape irrigation unit under 30 volts at one or two family dwellings
  • Replacement of duct work
  • Repair of air conditioning or furnace equipment and systems