Code Enforcement

Making structural changes to your house can be quite a daunting task. Whether it’s adding a new deck or even doubling the size of your home with a new addition, the process can get quite overwhelming, especially because a variety of permits are required to do the work.

While certified contractors should be able to advise you on the construction and zoning codes for both South Amboy and the State of New Jersey, The South Amboy News would like to help explain the process.


Q: What does the South Amboy Construction Department do?

A: The city’s Construction Department is responsible for administrating the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code in the city. It inspects and reviews all residential and commercial construction projects for code compliance and life safety.


Q: Why do I need a construction permit?

A: The purpose of a construction permit is to assure compliance with New Jersey’s building codes as well as South Amboy’s zoning laws. A permit also protects the homeowner, ensuring that all work being done is in compliance with the codes and laws.

A permit can protect the homeowner and give the city legal avenues against a contractor. It is very important to have the contractor obtain the permits and sign the permit documents when he is doing the work. If a homeowner signs the permits, then our department has limited recourse against a contractor, thus making the homeowner the responsible party. As of December 31, 2005, all contractors are required to be certified by the State of New Jersey.


Q: What could happen if I don't apply for a permit?

A: If you do not apply for permits, you have no legal recourse under the Construction Code to get code violations corrected. If the work done without permits does not comply with the codes or zoning laws, it may have to be removed. You have the possibility of being penalized or possibly not having your homeowner’s insurance cover a loss at your property if a permit was not obtained. It may also affect the selling of your property as well.


Q: How much does it cost to apply for a permit?

A: The cost of your permit depends on the extent of the work you do. Copies of our Fee Schedule are available at City Hall.


Q: How long in advance should I apply for a permit?

A: Pre-planning is very important, it is better to apply ahead of time before you want construction to start because the permit process includes building, electrical, plumbing and fire reviews of your plans. That could take a few weeks, based on current workloads of the office staff.


Q: After I am approved for a permit, what do I need to do?

A: After approval, the permit must be paid in full. During the course of construction, the required inspections provided to you in your approval package must be called in to the construction office. It is advisable to call for your inspections 3 to 5 days ahead of time to ensure you receive the right dates for the inspections you request.


Q: If you are selling your house do you need a Certificate of Occupancy?

A: Yes. A Certificate of Occupancy is required for the resale of a single family home. Smoke/carbon monoxide detector is included in the Certificate of Occupancy inspection. 


For more information, you can reach the Tom Kelly in the Construction Department at (732)525-5927.