Municipal Offices located at 320 Boulevard
Building Permits -- 201-288-2143

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The construction permit process
Arranging inspection visits
When no building permits are required
When building permits are required
When to consult with construction official
Certificate of Occupancy
Certificate of Continuing Occupancy 


This department provides construction permits for renovations, additions, decks, garages, sheds, and other work requiring building, electrical, plumbing and fire permits.

The Building Department issues building permits and certificates of occupancy in accordance with the State Uniform Construction Code Act,  all local ordinances and State regulations. This department administers the Borough zoning ordinances and supervises all inspections required.

The Building Department is operated by a Construction Official, Building Sub-Code Official/Inspector, Technical Assistant to Construction Official, Part-time staff members are the electrical, plumbing and fire Sub-Code Official/Inspectors.

The Construction Official is responsible the administration of the NJ Uniform Construction Code. The Sub-Code Officials/Inspectors answer technical questions, review plans and permit applications and make field inspections. They are all state licensed and are required to take continuing education courses.

When the work is completed and final inspections are made, the Building Department issues a completion certificate, which becomes part of the permanent record of each individual structure. Inspectors are also needed when emergencies affect buildings and services.

Information concerning regulations, procedures, construction permit applications and related information is available at the Borough Hall office.

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The construction permit process:

The Building Department determines if zoning approval is needed and explains what kind of documentation is needed with an application.

A copy of the survey is needed when applying for permits for sheds, fences, decks or addition. Zoning approval is required to widen a driveway.

During the permit process a Construction Permit Application must state what work will be done and by whom, the location of the work and how it will be done. Sketches, drawings, plans and other documentation must be submitted with the applications. Plans will not be reviewed without an applications.

During the review process, the applicant must wait and can not proceed with the work. Provided all the required information has been submitted, permit applications approvals typically take:  4 to 5 days for small projects and 8  to 10 days and longer for larger projects. The applicant is then advised if the permit has been approved or denied -- with explaination.

Upon approval the applicant pays the appropriate fees. The construction permit is a legal document permitting the start construction. Building permits must be posted in a window or other prominent place at the construction site. Copies of the approved building plans m
ust be available on site for the Borough Inspectors during inspections. 

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Arranging inspection visits:

The person responsible for the construction project must request  for inspections in advance.  Please call the Construction Department Monday - Friday 8:30 to 4:30 at 201-288-2143 at least 48 hours prior to the desired inspection. Inspections usually are performed within three business days of the requested time. Work must not proceed in a manner which will preclude the inspection.

Applicants should arrange for inspections when:

  1. The bottom of footing trenches before placement of footing (except for pile foundations). Inspections are made in accordance with building subcode requirements;
  2. Foundations and walls up to grade level prior to back filling;
  3. All structural framing and connections prior to covering with finish or infill material;
    Plumbing underground services, rough piping, water service, sewer, septic services and storm drains; electrical rough wiring, panels and service installations; insulation installations;
  4. Installations of all finished materials, sealings of exterior joints; plumbing piping, trim and fixtures; electrical wiring, devices and fixtures; mechanical systems equipment;.

Work may not proceed until the inspection is conducted and approved.  If some work does not conform to the approved plans, the inspector will advise that "the situation" must be remedied. If the violation is serious, a Stop Work Order may be posted until the problem is resolved, with an additional inspection required.

A Certificate of Approval is issued when the project is completed and all inspections were conducted and approved.  This formal document gives official permission to occupy or use the space.

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When no building permits are required

There is no assessment increase by completing maintenance and repairs as needed.  No permit is needed for ordinary repairs on a one or two-family dwelling.  According to the NJ Uniform Construction Code Section 5:23-9.3, the following types of work are considered "Ordinary repairs and Do Not require permits or inspections". Interpretation: ordinary repairs.

Ordinary building repairs include:

  • Exterior and interior painting:
  • The repair of any non-structural member such as a partition railing or kitchen cabinet.
  • The repair or replacement of any interior or exterior trim, decoration or moldings.
  • The replacement or installation of any flooring material, except carpeting, with a new material. However, installation of carpeting in one and two family dwellings will be permitted under ordinary repairs.
  • Installation, repair or replacement of any interior finishes of less than 25 percent of the wall area in any given room, in a one or two family dwelling. This shall include plastering and drywall installation:
    • Vinyl wall covering of any amount is an ordinary repair:
    • Paneling shall not be considered an ordinary repair:
    • Wall papering at any location.
  • The replacement of glass in any window or door. However, the replacement glass shall be of a type and quality that complies with the minimum requirements of the code;
    • Window shutter installations
    • Window glazing and putting
    • Window boxes
  • The repair of existing siding with like material not exceeding 25 percent of the total building exterior wall are within any 12 month period.
  • The repair or replacement of any part of a porch or stoop which does not structurally support a roof above.
  • The replacement or installation of screens and storm doors
  • The installation of any roll or batt insulation when installed adjacent to or not more than one and a half inches from an interior finish;
  • The repair of existing roofing material not exceeding 25 percent of the total roof area within any 12 month period.
  • Replacement of exterior rain water gutters and leaders.
  • Landscape work
  • Changing locks - single cylinder, deadbolt only.
  • Applying driveway sealer or making minor repairs

Ordinary plumbing repairs include:

  • Replacement of hose bib valves in single family dwellings. Replacement hose bib valves shall be provided with an approved atmospheric vacuum breaker.
  • Refinishing of existing fixtures. Relining of fixtures shall not be considered to be an ordinary repair.
  • Replacement of ball cocks. Replacement ball cocks must be an approved anti-siphon type;
  • Repair of leaks involving the replacement of piping between two adjacent joints only.
  • Clearance of stoppages.
  • Replacements of faucets or working parts of faucets.
  • Replacement of valves (other than shower or combination bath/.shower valves).
  • Replacements of working parts of valves, including, but not limited to, shower or combination bath/shower valves.
  • Replacement of traps except for traps on culinary sinks in food handling establishments.
  • Replacement of a water closet or lavatory or kitchen sink in a single family dwelling with an approved similar fixture provided that no change in the piping arrangement is made. Replacement water closets bearing a date stamp of July 1, 1991, or later must use an average of 1.6 gallons or less of water per flushing cycle;
  • Replacement of domestic clothes washers and dishwashers.

Ordinary electrical repairs include:

  • The replacement of any receptacle, switch, or lighting fixture rated at 20 amps or less and operating at less than 150 volts to ground with a like or similar item. Replacement of receptacles in locations where ground-fault circuit interrupter protection is required in the electrical subcode, shall not be considered ordinary electrical repairs.
  • Repairs to any installed electrically operated equipment such as doorbells, communication systems, and any motor operated device. Provided, however, that if fire protection systems are interrupted for repairs the fire official shall be notified in accordance with the building subcode.
  • Installation of communications wiring as covered by article 800 of the electrical subcode in one and two family dwellings, or the alteration/rearrangement of existing communications wiring in other occupancies provided however that the rearrangement does not involve penetration of a fire rated assembly and is not in a hazardous location as defined in chapter 5 of the electrical subcode; and
  • Replacement of domestic dishwashers
  • Replacement of kitchen range hoods in single family dwellings.

Ordinary fire protection repairs include:

  • The replacement of any sprinkler or smoke detector or heat detector head with a like device.
  • The repair or replacement of any component of a fire alarm or smoke and heat detection equipment (other than the replacement of a fire alarm control panel.)

Ordinary heating, ventilation and air conditioning repairs shall include:

  • Replacement of motors, pumps and fans of the same capacity.
  • Repair and replacement of heating, supply and return piping and radiation elements, which does not require rearrangements of the piping system.
  • Repair and replacement of duct work.
  • Repair of air conditioning equipment and systems.
  • Repair or replacement of control devices for heating and air conditioning equipment.
  • Replacement of kitchen range hoods in single family dwellings.
  • Replacement of stoves and ovens in dwelling units, provided no change in fuel type or location or electrical characteristics is required.

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When building permits are required

Call the Construction Department to see if a permit is required.  Here are the most frequently issued permits:

Building Construction

  • Demolition to include sheds or buildings
  • New buildings
  • Adding an addition
  • Interior alterations
  • Adding a bedroom or bathroom
  • Finishing a basement
  • Finishing an attic
  • Renovating a bathroom or kitchen
  • Installing a dishwasher
  • Replacing an electric stove with a gas stove
  • New furnace, boiler, hot water heater or water softeners
  • New plumbing systems, alterations, modernization and tiling
  • Central air conditioning
  • Installing ductwork and ventilation systems
  • New wiring and electrical systems to include adding new wall outlets
  • Install driveway post lights
  • Increase power service to home
  • Constructing a deck
  • Install exterior entry into basement
  • Enclosing a porch
  • Installing a fireplace
  • Replacing a roof
  • Installing new siding
  • Installing a new fence.
  • Construction of a new hard surface driveway or resurfacing driveway
  • Aprons
  • Public sidewalks
  • Concrete patios
  • Build new retaining wall
  • Construction or installing a utility shed (wood or aluminum)
  • Construction of a garage(s)
  • In-ground and above ground pools

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When to consult with construction official:

  • Chimney repairs
  • Fence replacement
  • Porch and stair repairs
  • Create additional off-street parking
  • Pipe leaders to existing storm drains
  • Repair existing patios
  • Repair garages/accessory buildings

Other improvements and alterations not listed may need a permit; therefore please call the construction official. If building permits are not obtained for improvements, penalties are imposed

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Certificate of Occupancy:

In 1984 the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights enacted an ordinance requiring that a certificate of occupancy be obtained prior to the use or occupancy:

  1. Upon construction or alteration.
  2. Upon a change of use.
  3. Upon a change of ownership.
  4. Upon a change in occupancy in other than residential districts.

The Certificate of Occupancy Inspection should be conducted when the sale contract is signed. To arrange for an inspection call at 201-288-2143 or fill out an application at the Building Department. Inspections can be scheduled between 9:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Allow two (2) weeks for a written report. Commercial Certificate of Occupancies and Condominium/Co-op are also subject to an inspection by the Bureau of Fire Safety.

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Certificate of Continuing Occupancy 
The Resale and Reoccupancy Ordinance is a zoning ordinance the Borough adopted in 1986 and successfully revised in 1998 and applies to both residential and commercial properties.

The Borough adopted this ordinance to maintain housing and building standards that ensure that residential and commercial buildings meet minimum safety requirements and conform to zoning guidelines; especially in established towns with older buildings and infrastructure.

This ordinance requires that the owner of the property (or agent) apply and obtain a Certificate of Continued Occupancy wherever there is a change of ownership (as when the building is being sold) or when there is a change of occupancy (as when a change of tenancy takes place) in a rental unit. The certificate is to be obtained before the new occupancy takes place.

This application should be submitted to the Code Enforcement Bureau at least 30 days before the change in ownership or occupancy, so inspections can be scheduled and completed without undue inconvenience.

A member of the Code Enforcement Bureau staff is always available during office hours to help with questions and to provide information concerning construction, construction permits, zoning, planning, land use and property maintenance subjects. If they cannot provide the specific information requested, the inquiry will be directed to the correct staff member of the Department for a timely response.

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