Building Department Permit Questions and Answers

Q.  What is a Permit?

A.  A permit is an official document or certificate issued by the City which authorizes performance of a specified activity.

Permits help to ensure that minimum codes, regulations, local ordinances and safety requirements are properly followed in residential and commercial structures.

There are several different types of permits, based on the type of construction:

  • Building Permits
  • Electrical Permits
  • Plumbing Permits
  • Mechanical Permits
  • Fire Permits

Applications for a permit may be made at the Building Department.  You may also need to submit construction drawings for plan review that detail your proposed improvements.  Our staff can provide expert guidance if you need assistance.

Q.  What type of work requires a building permit?

N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.01

Whenever you construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or if you repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, mechanical or plumbing system, a building permit is required.

Below is list of examples of when a permit is required if any of the following work is to be done:

♦New Home   ♦ Home Addition / Remodel (including window installation or replacement)   ♦ Garage/Shed (regardless of size)  ♦ Crawlspace Finish   ♦Patio Covers / Enclosures / Screened Porches / Pergola   ♦ Swimming Pool   ♦ Electrical / Plumbing Upgrade (including irrigation)   ♦ Signs    ♦ Fence    ♦ Any roofed structures   ♦ Decks     ♦ Any type of demolition work   ♦ Retaining Walls (over 4 feet tall & plan requires a structural engineer’s seal).

Q.  Who can obtain a permit?

  • Many types of permits may be issued to the owner of the property or authorized agent, or to a licensed contractor.  
  • The appropriately licensed contractor must provide proof of licensing, available for verification through the State of New Jersey Consumer Affairs.

Q. Who requests Inspections?

It shall be the duty of the holder of the building permit or their duly authorized agent to notify the building department when work is ready for inspection.  It shall be the duty of the permit holder to provide access to and means for inspections of such work that a required by this code.

Q. When Are Inspections Required?

Inspections are required at various times during the course of construction, depending on the scope of work.  Please click here to see a list of inspections with more information on what work must be completed at each point in the inspections process.

Larger projects may require plans to be prepared and signed by an architect or engineer licensed by the State of New Jersey.

Q. Can energy efficient windows and doors be added without obtaining a building permit?

Yes, if the existing window and door opening width and corresponding window/door header does not change.

If the window and/or door width opening needs to be increased in width to accommodate the new replacement window/door, a building permit is required. 

Q. What electrical work does not require a permit?

You can do minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.

Q. What plumbing work does not require a permit?

Clearing of stoppages and/or repair of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement and/or the rearrangement of the valves, pipes or fixtures.

Q. What other regulations may affect a building project?

 The following regulations and reviews may also affect the design and construction of your building project:
The City of Margate Land Use Ordinace: Zoning Code regulations that include building setbacks, building lot coverage, building height, and number of stories and floor area of the second story.

Q. How much does a building permit cost?

Some permits are a flat fee, usually to cover the cost for the inspection. More complex projects are based on the valuation of the work being done. Our staff will provide you with an estimated permit fee upon request. See our Permit Fee Table.

Q. Do Building Permits expire?

Building permits expire 1 year from date of issue or 6 months after issued if work is suspended or abandoned.

Q. What codes are enforced?

 Still have questions?  Call us at (609) 822-1974 or email us at and let us help you!