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Getting Started

How do I get started with my building project in New Jersey?

Generally, you start the process with one of a few basic ideas:

  • I want to build something new.
  • I want to renovate an existing building.
  • I want to change the use of an existing building or property.

You probably also have an idea of how much money you have to spend and an approximate idea of where you want to perform the work. Maybe you already own the property on which you wish to build. Maybe you need to find one.

One other essential question that must be answered right away is “What will this project be used for?”

Is it a residence? (generally, in building codes, a residence is where someone might sleep), If so:

  • Is it a single family detached dwelling?
  • Is it a two family dwelling?
  • Is it a townhouse?
  • Is it an apartment building?
  • Is it a hotel/motel?
  • Is it another type of building where people will sleep?

The answer to this question starts to define the process.

Is it another use? If so:

  • Is it an office?
  • Is it a restaurant?
  • Is it a warehouse?
  • Is it a factory?
  • Is it a shopping center?

Surprisingly, although the specific requirements for each of these types of uses are different, the process to be followed to get an approval is very similar.

Whatever the use, once you have an idea of where you wish to build your project, you must find out what the local zoning regulations permit at that site.

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