From the Record:
Rules that took effect on Monday should have contractors in New Jersey raising the roof, since it’s no longer necessary to purchase a construction permit for roofing or siding jobs on one- and two-family dwellings.
Just in time for spring, the state Department of Community Affairs has reclassified those big-ticket repairs as minor work and ordinary maintenance, and now includes them on its list of home improvement jobs that no longer are subject to inspection.
The change will save contractors the time it takes to go to Borough Hall and apply for the permit. It should save homeowners the cost, which, depending on the size of the siding or roof job, would could be between $200 and $500.
“I believe this is a good thing,” said Jane Eliya, who operates Xpress Construction in Ridgewood. “This way we can concentrate on doing our jobs, instead of having to go to town hall to buy a permit. It’s not so much the cost of the permits, because we bill the homeowner, but the time. And then you have to wait for an inspection.”
Other tasks that no longer require a permit are installing alarm systems, outdoor irrigation, chimney lining, indoor Sheetrock and drywall and the replacement of indoor plumbing fixtures.
While potential loss to municipalities does not appear to be huge, many towns opposed the move at a public hearing that the Community Affairs Department held last November. Opponents argued that eliminating inspections removes a layer of consumer protection.
The changes seemed to catch many towns by surprise. The DCA informed municipalities only last week that the new rules were about to take effect.