Need to Know

Construction Applications

If you are planning a construction project, please keep the following in mind:

  • IT NEVER HURTS TO SUBMIT APPLICATIONS EARLY.
  • Once a permit has been obtained, work must begin within six months.
  • Permits must be released and fees paid PRIOR to the start of any construction or demolition.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: The State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Code of Ethics prohibits all licensed officials and staff members from making contractor recommendations or otherwise showing partiality towards any contractors, products, suppliers, residents or property owners. As such, the Cranford Building Department does not have and shall not produce a list of “Preferred Contractors.” 


PRIOR APPROVALS:

Permits for extensive construction projects and accessory structures must go through the prior approval process.

Ex: raising homes, additions, new homes/buildings, commercial renovations, pools, garages, decks, sheds, etc.

The Building Department will forward the complete application to the necessary departments.

Zoning, Engineering and Health departments review applications BEFORE the Building Department can BEGIN Uniform Construction Code review.

The Cranford Building Department ALWAYS tries to expedite the review of every permit application and stays within state guidelines of review time, however, prior approvals are a requirement that can not be avoided or bypassed. To avoid unnecessary delays in your construction schedule, please submit permit applications early.


ZONING PRIOR APPROVAL REVIEW:

The Zoning Permit application, fee and all other Zoning requirements should be included with the Construction Permit Application.

The Zoning Officer has 10 days in which to review an application, as per state statute.


ENGINEERING PRIOR APPROVAL:

The Engineering office reviews all projects in the flood zone, all new homes and projects which require the review due to the storm water management ordinance.

Engineering review is NOT bound by a statutory timeline for review.


HEALTH DEPARTMENT PRIOR APPROVAL REVIEW:

If your application contains a commercial kitchen, please submit one extra signed & sealed copy of plans for the Cranford Health Department.

The Health Department has 30 business days in which to review an application.


GARWOOD APPLICANTS:

Submit to the Cranford Building Department. Cranford will forward your file to the required Garwood departments, with the exception of the Westfield Regional Health Department. The Township of Cranford is not responsible for the employees of the Borough of Garwood or any other municipality and will make no speculation on a review timeline for these applications.


PERMITS ARE REQUIRED FOR REPAIR WORK INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO:

  • New Construction (residential & commercial)
  • Additions (residential & commercial)
  • Complete Interior Renovations (residential & commercial)
  • Replacement/Renovation of:
  • sheetrock
  • insulation
  • finished basements
  • kitchens
  • bathrooms
  • Structural and Foundation repairs
  • Electrical Service panels and Subpanels
  • Rewiring
  • Water Heaters
  • Air Conditioners
  • Roofs
  • Furnaces/Boilers
  • Oil Tank Removals
  • Interior demolition of finished basements, should they not be re-finished
  • Decks
  • Pools
  • Sheds over 100sf
  • House raising
  • Garages (demolition and construction)
  • Demolition
  • Water and Sewer Services (new, replacement & disconnection)
  • Alarm Systems

INSPECTIONS:

Rough inspections ARE required for interior renovation.

Permits must be obtained prior to requesting rough inspections.

Gas pressure tests are required on all oil-to-gas conversions.

Inspections are scheduled by day and time-window.

Appointment times are NOT given. Requests are attempted, but NOT guaranteed.

INSPECTORS WILL RING DOORBELL UPON ARRIVAL AT YOUR RESIDENCE. IF YOUR DOORBELL IS BROKEN, IT IS THE HOMEOWNER’S FULL RESPONSIBILITY TO LEAVE A NOTE ON THE DOOR ALERTING THE INSPECTOR. IF INSPECTION IS MISSED OR FAILED, INSPECTION MUST BE SCHEDULED FOR ANOTHER BUSINESS DAY BY CALLING THE BUILDING DEPARTMENT.


DECKS:

Drawings MUST be prepared by the homeowner (for single-family residences) or by a NJ licensed architect ONLY. Homeowners must sign certification in lieu of oath certifying preparation of drawings. Drawings prepared by a contractor or any other third party (Home Depot, Lowe’s, Pro-Deck, etc.) are NOT acceptable by code.

Informational packets on decks including sample drawings are available in-office.


STANDBY GENERATORS:

The installation of natural gas standby generators requires the following included in a complete permit package:

  • Construction Permit Application jacket
  • Electrical Subcode (for generator, transfer switch, subpanel, CSST bonding)
  • Electrical Diagram
  • Specifications and Installation Guide for generator to be installed
  • Plumbing Subcode (for gas piping)
  • Gas Pipe Diagram
  • Fire Subcode (for venting)
  • Building Subcode (IF pouring a slab or building a deck/platform for generator)
  • Zoning Permit Application
  • Property Survey

INFORMATIONAL PACKETS:

Handouts addressing the following topics are available in-office:

  • Inspection Schedules
  • Required Inspections
  • Permit Fee Schedules
  • Zoning Requirements
  • Zoning Permit Applications
  • Residential Prior Approval Process
  • Commercial Prior Approval Process
  • Commercial Permit Application Checklist
  • Residential Permit Application Checklist
  • Home Elevation Guide
  • Business Guide
  • Interior Alterations/Renovations
  • Electrical Drawing Requirements
  • Additions
  • Framing Checklists
  • Decks
  • Pools
  • Garwood Pools
  • Generators
  • Homeowner Legal Guide
  • Ordinary Repairs
  • Call Before You Dig
  • Variations
  • Fiberglass Shower Pans

STRUCTURAL DAMAGE DUE TO WIND/TREES PERMIT REQUIREMENTS:

Please report unsafe structures and damage to buildings, homes & garages by calling (908) 709-7213 and request an emergency inspection. The Building Department will determine if your home/structure must be deemed unsafe. The Building Department DOES NOT provide tree removal services.

Permits must be ontained for all repair, rebuild and replacement work, as required by the Uniform Construction Code, regardless of State of Emergency. Failure to obtain required permits will result in violations, fines and penalties.

The Construction Official REQUIRES you notify the Building Department of all emergency work by calling (908) 709-7213 or by fax (908) 276-4872. Contractors and homeowners must abide by the Uniform Construction Code: report emergency work prior to its start and obtain permit within 72 hours of reporting start of work.


PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR STRUCTURAL REPAIRS:

The following permit forms must be completed:

  • Construction Permit Application (folder)
  • Building Subcode Technical Section
  • Electrical/Fire Subcode Technical Sections (if needed)
  • Roofing Certification
  • Zoning Permit Application (if rebuilding exterior walls/rooms)
  • Application for Certificate (if rebuilding whole rooms/levels of homes)
  • TWO sets of signed & sealed drawing prepared by a NJ certified design professional
  • Contract/Detailed Scope of Work

FEMA FUNDING & RAISING HOMES:

The Cranford Building Department is not involved in the selection of homes and qualification process for FEMA funding.

Should you have any questions regarding FEMA applications and grants, please contact FEMA and the office of the Township Administrator directly. The ONLY involvement the Cranford Building Department will have in the process of raising a home will be through the required permit review and inspection process.

Raising a home requires a Building permit, a Zoning permit, a copy of the construction contract and two sets of plans prepared by a licensed professional, all of which should be submitted to the Building Department.

Permits for the raising of homes are not exempt from Building and Zoning permit fees. The $25 Zoning permit fee is due upon submission of the permit application, as is the standard procedure.


HEATING SYSTEMS:

Furnaces and boilers may be installed on an emergency basis in the case of no heat, however the standard state rules of emergency work apply. The building department must be notified prior to the start of emergency work and the contractor/ homeowner is required to submit the required permit application within 72 hours of the start of emergency work. Failure to submit required permits within the required timeframe is punishable through fines and penalties.


STRUCTURAL/INTERIOR REPAIRS:

Permit applications for work involving structural repair will require the services of a New Jerseylicensed design professional. Renovation and repair of a residential structure will require the submission of permits including a detailed outline of the scope of work.