1.  What type of work on my property requires a Zoning Compliance Permit and/or Construction Permit?
*Additions Yes Yes
Air Conditioner (Central): Install or Replace Yes Yes
Asbestos Abatement No Yes
Basement: Refinishing or Remodeling Yes Yes
Bathroom Fixtures Direct Replacement No No
Piping Changes No Yes
Boiler Replace or Install No Yes
Burglar Alarm Install No Yes
Carpeting No No
Chimney Repairs No Yes
*Commercial Signs (Exterior) Yes Yes
*Deck Add or Replace Yes Yes
*Demolition No Yes
Dishwasher Install No Yes
Door Exterior Replace Existing with Same Size and Type No No
Door Exterior Adding, Enlarging or Eliminating No Yes
Driveway Repair or Repave No No
Duct Work InstallNew No Yes
Duct Work Repair or Replace No No
Electrical Any Modifications or Improvements No Yes
*Fence Add or Replace Yes Yes
If Pool or Spa Fence or Over 6ft Height
Fence Repair 50% or Less of Existing Fence No No
Fireplace Add No Yes
Furnace Replace No Yes
Generator Stand-Alone Yes Yes
Gutters Replace or Repair No No
Landscaping Work No No
Lawn Sprinkler System No Yes
Lead Paint Abatement No No
Ordinary Repairs No No
*Outdoor Kitchen Yes Yes
*Painting Exterior or Interior No No
*Patio, Brick or Pavers Yes No
Plumbing Any Modifications or Improvements No Yes
Remodeling or Alterations Interior No Yes
*Retaining Walls over 4 Feet in Height Yes Yes
Roof Repairs Involving Less Than 25% of Existing Roof No No
*Roof Replace Commercial No Yes
Roof Top Unit No Yes
Satellite Dish Commercial No Yes
Satellite Dish Residential No No
Septic System Construct or Abandon No No
Requires BOH Issued Permit
Sewer System Service Connection No Yes
Permit issued by Engineer Dept
*Sheds or utility buildings under 200 sq. ft. Yes No
*Shed or Utility Building over 200 Sq. Ft Construction Yes Yes
Siding Add , Repair or Replace Existing No Yes
Smoke Detectors Add No Yes
*Solar Panels Ground or Roof Mounted Yes Yes
Spa/Hot Tub Yes Yes
Storm Windows/Doors No No
Stove Replace Electric with Gas No Yes
Swimming Pool Add or Replace Yes Yes
Tennis Court Installation Yes Yes
Underground Fuel or Septic Tank Removal No Yes
Water Heater Replace No Yes
Wall Repairs Remove & Replace Drywall or Plaster less than 25% of wall area of dwelling. No Yes
Windows Replace Existing with Same Size and Type No No
*Windows Adding, Enlarging, or Eliminating No Yes
*If the project is within the Historic District or the Main Street Corridor, the Borough
Historic Preservation Commission approval is required prior to Zoning Approval
and issuance of a Construction Permit.
2.  What type of work is classified as "Ordinary Maintenance" and does not require a construction permit for 1 & 2 Family Dwellings, Multi-Family Units & Commerical?
  • Remember all ordinary maintenance work must meet the Uniform Construction Code requirements.
  • No permit is required and there are no inspections for Ordinary Maintenance work.
  • Building Finishes
    • 1 & 2 Family Dwellings ONLY.
      • Installation, repair or replacement of interior finishes of less than 25 percent of the wall area of the dwelling.
        • Includes plastering and drywall installation.
        • Vinyl wall covering of any amount.
      • Paneling is not ordinary maintenance.
    • 1 & 2 Family Dwellings, Commerical & Multi-Family
      • Painting (interior/exterior)
      • Wall papering
      • Trim/molding (interior/exterior)
      • Flooring material repair
  • Non‐Structural Components
    • 1 & 2 Family Dwellings ONLY
      • The repair or replacement of any non‐structural component, such as a partition.
  • Siding Existing
    • 1 & 2 Family Dwellings ONLY
      • The repair or replacement of any amount of existing siding.
    •  Commerical & Multi-Familly Residential require a permit. 
      • May be repaired or replacement with like material. 
      • May not exceed 25 percent of the total building exterior wall.
    • All Polypropylene Siding requires a permit.
      • Installation of any amount requires a permit.
      • The repair or replacement of polypropylene siding is not ordinary maintenance.
  • Windows/Doors/Garage Door Replacement
    • Glass replacement in any window or door.
      • Replacement glass must be of a type and quality that complies with the code.
    • May be replaced in the same rough opening without altering the dimensions or framing.
    • Includes means of egress elements (such as emergency escape openings) when dimensions and framing are not altered, and the height, width or net clear opening is maintained.
    • Screens may be repaired, replaced or installed.
  • Cabinets
    • Non‐structural elements such as a cabinet may be repaired, replaced or installed.
  • Deck/Porch/Stoop
    • Any part may be replaced or repaired that does not provide structural support for any roof or portion of a building.
  • Insulation
    • Non-Foam Plastic
      • When installed adjacent to or not more than one and a half inches from an interior finish
      • Previously, ordinary maintenance was limited to roll or batt insulation, now any insulation other than foam plastic is allowed as ordinary maintenance.
    • Foam Plastic
      • All installation of foam plastic insulation requires a permit.
  • Gutters
    • Exterior gutters and leaders may be repaired, replaced or installed.
  • Landscape Irrigation Systems
    • Plug‐in landscape irrigation unit under 30 volts may be installed.
  • Spas/Hot Tubs
    • Storable spas and hot tubs may be installed when provided with a lockable safety cover that complies with ASTM F1346.
  • Plumbing
    • Fixtures and Fixture Parts
      • Fixtures may be replaced with a similar fixture only if there is no change in the piping arrangement.
        • Note: the replacement of fixtures was previously limited to single family dwellings, now fixtures may be replaced in all uses as ordinary maintenance.
      • Faucets and working parts of faucets may be replaced; existing fixtures may be refinished.
        • Relining fixtures is not ordinary maintenance.
    • Valves & Hose Bibs
      • May be replaced provided that an approved atmospheric vacuum breaker is provided.
        • Note: hose bibs replacement used to be limited to single family dwellings and now may be replaced in all buildings as ordinary maintenance.
      • Valves and work parts of valves may be replaced including shower or combination bath/shower valves.
        • Note: shower valves replacement used to be limited to single family dwellings and now may be replaced in all buildings as ordinary maintenance.
    • Ball Cocks
      • May be replaced provided that an approved anti‐siphon type is used.
    • Piping Repair/Replacement
      • Piping may be replaced to repair a leak.
        • Note: the repair of leaks was preciously limited to replacement of piping between any two adjacent joints, this is no longer the case.
    • Trap Replacement
      • Including culinary sink traps.
    • Drain Cleaning
      • Stoppages may be removed.
  • Appliance Replacement Domestic Use Only
    • Washing Machines
    • Dishwashers.
    • Kitchen Range Hoods
      • May be replaced provided that the replacement hood exhaust rate does not exceed the exhaust rate of the existing hood
      • or the exhaust rate of the replacement hood does not exceed 400 cfm.
    • Clothes Dryers
      • May be replaced provided that no change in fuel type, pipe size, or location or electrical characteristics is required.
    • Stoves & Ovens
      • May be replaced provided no change in fuel type, pipe size, or location or electrical characteristics is required.
    • Bathroom Exhaust Fans
      • May be replaced.
  • Electrical
    • Receptacles, Switches, Lighting Fixtures & Outlets
      • Receptacles, Switches, or Lighting Fixtures that do not contain emergency battery packs, may be replaced with a similar item.
      • Receptacles in locations with ground‐fault circuit interrupter, damp/wet, or tamper‐resistant protection must comply with Section 406.4(D) of the Electrical Subcode
        • Note: The limitation on 20 amps or less has been removed.
  • Electrical Operated Equipment
    • May be installed, repaired or replaced.
      • Doorbell
      • Communication Systems
      • Burglar Alarm or Security Systems.
      • Any other exisitng electrical equipment or motor‐operated device.
  • Communications Wiring
    • Communications wiring may be installed (i.e. Ch. 8 and data circuits between computers/information technology equipment from Article 725 of the electrical subcode) in a Class 3 structure (see N.J.A.C. 5:23‐4.3A), provided that the rearrangement does not involve penetration of a fire‐rated assembly and is not in a hazardous location (see Ch. 5 of the electrical subcode).
  • Fire Safety
    • Sprinkler, Smoke Detector, Smoke Alarm, & Heat Detector Heads
      • Repair of components and/or replacement with a like device.
      • Excludes the replacement of a Fire Alarm Control Panel.
    • Battery Powered Smoke Alarms & Battery Powered or Plug in Carbon Monoxide Alarms.
      • Installation
    • Fire Protection System
      • If interrupted for repairs, the fire official must be notified in accordance with Building Subcode regulations.
  • Mechanical
    • Motors, Pumps & Fans
      • Motors pumps and fans of the same capacity may be replaced.
    • Heating Supply & Return Piping & Radiation Elements
      • The repair or replacement of heating supply and return piping and radiation elements where there is no rearrangement of the piping system.
    • HVAC
      • Repair of air conditioning equipment and systems
      • Repair or replacement of control devices for heating and air conditioning equipment.
      • Duct Work may be repaired or replaced.
  • Chimney Lining Liquid Applied
    • The application of liquid applied lining material inside an existing chimney.
  • Roofing
    • 1 & 2 Family Dwellings ONLY
      • The repair or replacement, including total replacement, of any amount of existing roof covering on detached one‐or two‐family dwellings.
    • All Commerical Roofs & Multi-Familly Residential (excludes 1 & 2 family dwellings) require a permit.

 3.  Why should I get a permit?

  • Work that requires a permit and is done without the proper permit is illegal.
  • Penalities for failure to obtain a permit prior to construction are up to $2,00 per each offense [N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.31 (e)].
  • Illegal work completed without a permit can cause serious complicaitons when you want to sell your house.
  • Through the permitting process the Construction Department's inspectors approves each phase of the construction process while checking to see the work is done safely and properly.
 4.  I like to do my own home improvements around the house and I'm not going to use a contractor, so why do I need a Construction Permit?
  • Work without a permit is illegal and can pose serious complications for you when you sell your house. Penalties for failure to obtain a permit prior to construction are up to $2,000 for each offense [N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.31 (e)].
  • Work done by the homeowner requiring a permit must be inspected to ensure the work has been done according to code.
  • There are also legal and financial liabilities if you don't obtain a permit.
  • Any fire and homeowner's insurance you have will be invalidated if you do work without a permit.
  • If there is a fire in your house, the insurance company may use the illegal work as an excuse not to pay on your claim.
 5.  How long will it take to get my permit?
  • The size and scope of your project will determine the length of time for the review process. ie roof vs new home.
  • Permitting can take several weeks or a couple of months.
  • The completeness of the information submitted with your permit can greatly assist with the review and approval process.

 6.  How much will by permit cost?

  • The cost of permit is determined by the size and scope of your project.
  • Two fees are determined for the permit.
    • The first fee is determined by local ordinances.
    • The second fee is determined by the New Jersey State Department of Community Affairs
  • Permit fees are based on either the dollar amount of the work to be done and, if applicable, the total cubic volume of the new space to be built.
 7.  I will be using a contractor for my project; however, he said I didn't need a permit for the work?
  • A reputable contractor should detemine whether a permit is needed before the work is performed and inform the homeowner.
  • Your contractactor should always check with the Borough of Mendham Construction Department to determine permit requirements.
    • Different munciipalities have differnt requirements.
 8.  Who calls for the inspections?
  • Either the homeowner or the contractor can schedule inspections.
  • If you are using a contractor, be sure to establish who will be calling in for inspections before the work begins.

 9.  My contractor said that the work was finished and I paid him, why do I need a final inspection?

  • Final inspections should be completed before the final payment.
  • A contractor who has not received final payment is more likely to come back and correct a failed inspection versus one who has received full payment.
  • The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Rule: N.J.A.C. 13:45A-16.2(a)10.ii states:


10.  I am selling my home and I had some work done without a permit, now what do I do?
  • Please contact the Construction Department as soon as possible so this can be remedied and the permiting processes started.
  • A "Retroactive" Permit can be generated.
    • It requires the same fees and inspections as a regular permit.
  • Please note the permit may take several weeks to process.
11.  I obtained permits for all the work done on my home, do I get a certificate?
  • When all final inspections required are completed and passed, you will receive the appropriate certificate.
  • If you have had work done on your home with a permit but did not receive a Certificate of Approval or Certificate of Occupancy, please call the Construction Department to check the inspection status of the permit.
  • If needed, the necessary inspections to close the permit will be scheduled and the required certificate issued.
  • Remember not all open pemits are closed at the same time.

12.  Do I need a CCO on the resale or refinancing of an existing single-family dwelling?

  • The Borough of Mendham does not require the issuance of a Certificate of Continued Occupancy on the resale or refinancing of an existing single-family dwelling or commercially zoned building.
  • There is a required inspection from the Fire Prevention Bureau on the resale of any residential dwelling or change of occupancy of any residential rental unit.
  • If you are in the sewer area you must also obtain a sewer connection inspection.