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Please be advised that pursuant to the adoption in the March 5, 2018 New Jersey Register, the requirements for minor work and ordinary maintenance have changed under the Uniform Construction Code. Did you know that a construction permit is no longer required for the repair or replacement of existing roof coverings and siding on detached one and two family dwellings? Although the list is extensive on the items that no longer require a permit within the various technical disciplines, the rule changes that were adopted re-designated some work that was formerly categorized as minor work as ordinary maintenance, and some work that formerly required a full permit as minor work.

 

For your use and information, below is a segment from the Construction Code Communicator published quarterly by the Department of Community Affairs in reference to Building Projects of Ordinary Maintenance and Minor work:

 

Building Projects of Ordinary Maintenance and Minor Work

Ordinary building maintenance projects, at N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.7(c)1, do not require a permit application to be filed with the local enforcing agency and therefore, no inspection is required. Even though there is no permit issued, it is expected that the following projects will still meet minimum requirements of the Uniform Construction Code. Building projects not listed below would require, at a minimum, a minor work permit or full permit:

  • Painting (interior and exterior) ANY building;
  • Interior finishes (installation, repair, or replacement) of less than 25 percent of the total wall area or ceiling of ONE- or TWO-FAMILY DWELLINGS. This includes plastering and drywall installation. It also includes vinyl wall or ceiling covering of any amount. This does NOT include paneling;
  • Wall papering at ANY location;
  • Glass (replacement) in ANY window or door, being of a type and quality that complies with code;
  • ANY window or door (replacement), including storm windows, storm windows and garage doors, in the same opening without altering the dimensions or framing of the original opening. More specifically, means of egress doors and emergency escape openings may be made in the same opening without altering the dimensions or framing of the original opening, as long as there is no reduction in the required height, width, or net clear opening of the previous window or door assembly;
  • ANY non-structural component (repair or replacement), such as a partition railing in one- and two-family dwellings;
  • ANY non-structural elements, such as cabinets;
  • ANY interior or exterior trim, decoration, or moldings;
  • ANY flooring material with a new material;
  • Roof covering (repair or replacement) on DETACHED ONE- and TWO-FAMILY DWELLINGS; Siding (repair or replacement) of like material on ONE- and TWO-FAMILY DWELLINGS. Siding (repair or replacement) of like material on all OTHER buildings is limited to 25% of the total building area. In ALL cases, the repair or replacement of polypropylene siding shall not be ordinary maintenance;
  • ANY PART of a deck, porch, or stoop (repair or replacement) that does not provide structural support for any roof or portion of a building (see minor work, below, for TOTAL replacement);
  • Screens on ANY building;
  • ANY insulation, except foam plastic insulation, when installed adjacent to or not more than one and a half inches from an interior finish;
  • ANY exterior gutters and leaders; and
  • ANY storable spa or hot tub that is provided with a lockable safety cover that complies with ASTM F1346.

Building projects that fall between ordinary maintenance and full-blown projects would be described as “minor work” at N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.17A(c). These types of projects include:

  • ANY porch or stoop (construction or TOTAL replacement) that does not provide structural support for any roof or portion of a building;
  • Renovation or alteration work in an existing ONE- or TWO-FAMILY DWELLING, provided that no primary structural members are altered in any way, and further provided that the work does not constitute reconstruction; and
  • Non-structural components (repair or replacement with no reconfiguration of space) such as a partition in structures OTHER THAN ONE- and TWO-FAMILY DWELLINGS;
  • Installation of a radon mitigation system provided no new electrical work is required; and
  • Repair and/or renovation work in a Group B, Group F, Group M, or Group S occupancy.

 

Plumbing Projects of Ordinary Maintenance and Minor Work

Ordinary plumbing maintenance projects, at N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.7(c)2, do not require a permit application to be filed with the local enforcing agency and therefore, no inspection is required. Even though there is no permit issued, it is expected that the following projects will still meet minimum requirements of the Uniform Construction Code. Plumbing projects not listed below would require, at a minimum, a minor work permit or full permit (in other words, projects listed below are permissible to construct):

  • ANY hose bib valve replacement as long as they are provided with an approved atmospheric vacuum breaker;
  • ANY existing fixture refinishing. This does not include relining of fixtures (which would not be considered to be ordinary maintenance);
  • ANY ball cock replacement as long as they are an approved anti-siphon type;
  • ANY repair of leaks involving the replacement of piping;
  • ANY clearance of stoppages;
  • ANY faucet replacement or working parts of faucets;
  • ANY valve replacement, including shower or combination bath/shower valves;
  • ANY replacement of working parts of valves, including, but not limited to, shower or combination bath/shower valves;
  • ANY trap replacement;
  • Any fixture replacement as long as it is similar fixture and there is no change in the piping arrangement; and
  • ANY domestic clothes washer and domestic dishwasher replacement.

Plumbing projects that fall between ordinary maintenance and full-blown projects would be described as “minor work” at N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.17A(c). These types of projects include:

  • Replacement of ANY existing plumbing piping work with new and approved material of like capacity
  • The installation of ANY drinking fountain and condensate drain in existing structures;
  • Replacement of ANY existing water heaters with new ones of like capacity;
  • Replacement of ANY existing boilers, warm air furnaces, air conditioning units, and air conditioning condensing units with new appliances of like capacity;
  • New electrical work incidental to the installation of air conditioning, equipment, clothes dryers, and ranges or ovens in ONE- and TWO-FAMILY DWELLINGS; and
  • Installation of fixtures in existing space of DWELLINGS where the new installation of additional fixtures can be accommodated with no increase in the size of the water distribution system, water service, or house drain; and
  • Repair and/or renovation work in a Group B, Group F, Group M, or Group S occupancy.

 

Electrical Projects of Ordinary Maintenance and Minor Work

Ordinary electrical maintenance projects at N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.7(c)3 do not require a permit application to be filed with the local enforcing agency and therefore, no inspection is required. Even though there is no permit issued, it is expected that the following projects will still meet minimum requirements of the Uniform Construction Code. Electrical projects not listed below would require, at a minimum, a minor work permit or full permit (in other words, projects listed below are permissible to construct):

  • Replacement of ANY receptacle, switch, or lighting fixture, or part thereof, not containing emergency battery packs with a like or similar item. Receptacles in locations where ground-fault circuit interrupter protection, damp/wet, or tamper-resistant are required shall comply with Section 406.4(D) of the electrical subcode;
  • 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 (wiring methods of Chapter 8 and data circuits between IT equipment per Article 725 of the electrical subcode) in ANY Class 3 structure, provided 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;
  • Replacement of ANY domestic dishwasher;
  • Replacement of kitchen range hoods in DWELLING UNITS, provided that the replacement hood exhaust rate does not exceed the exhaust rate of the existing hood or the exhaust rate of the replacement hood does not exceed 400 cubic feet per minute (cfm);
  • Installation of a burglar alarm, security system, or doorbell in ONE- and TWO-FAMILY DWELLINGS; and
  • Installation of a plug-in landscape irrigation unit under 30 volts at ONE- and TWO-FAMILY DWELLINGS.

Electrical projects that fall between ordinary maintenance and full-blown projects would be described as “minor work” at N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.17A(c). These types of projects include:

  • New electrical work incidental to the installation of air conditioning, equipment, clothes dryers, and ranges or ovens in ONE- and TWO-FAMILY DWELLINGS;
  • Installation of five or fewer outlets where existing circuits and/or available space for circuits and service are adequate to support the load in ONE- and TWO-FAMILY DWELLINGS (fishing is considered minor work regardless of the number of fixtures/receptacles);
  • Replacement of existing wiring with new wiring of the same capacity in ONE- and TWO-FAMILY DWELLINGS provided that the new wiring shall be of a type approved for the use by the code.
  • Installation of a burglar alarm, security system, or doorbell in structures OTHER THAN one- and two-family dwellings. The exception to this (full permit) is controlled, delayed, or sensor released egress doors;
  • ANY change of an existing transmission means from a digital alarm communicator transmitter to a fire alarm supervising station. (“Transmission” means the existing phone line(s) that transmit fire alarm signals from a digital alarm communicator transmitter to the supervising station.) Note that a certified fire alarm service company, licensed fire alarm company or licensed electrical contractor is required to submit Form F-391 signed by the contractor to provide a verification statement in writing to the fire subcode official within 24 hours that all required signals remain operational after the new transmission means is installed; and
  • Repair and/or renovation work in a Group B, Group F, Group M, or Group S occupancy.

 

Fire Protection Projects of Ordinary Maintenance and Minor Work

Ordinary fire protection maintenance projects at N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.7(c)4 do not require a permit application to be filed with the local enforcing agency and therefore, no inspection is required. Even though there is no permit issued, it is expected that the following projects will still meet minimum requirements of the Uniform Construction Code. Fire protection projects not listed below would require, at a minimum, a minor work permit or full permit (in other words, projects listed below are permissible to construct):

  • Replacement of ANY sprinkler or smoke alarm, smoke detector, or heat detector head with a like device;
  • 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);
  • Installation of ANY battery-powered smoke alarm; and
  • Installation of ANY battery-powered or plug-in type carbon monoxide alarm.

Fire protection projects that fall between ordinary maintenance and full-blown projects would be described as “minor work” at N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.17A(c). These types of projects include:

  • Installation of any fire detection or suppression device in any ONE- or TWO-FAMILY DWELLING;
  • Installation of a burglar alarm, security system, or doorbell in structures OTHER THAN one- and two-family dwellings. The exception to this (full permit) is controlled, delayed, or sensor released egress doors;
  • ANY change of an existing transmission means from a digital alarm communicator transmitter to a fire alarm supervising station. (“Transmission” means the existing phone line(s) that transmit fire alarm signals from a digital alarm communicator transmitter to the supervising station.) Note that a certified fire alarm service company, licensed fire alarm company or licensed electrical contractor is required to submit Form F-391 signed by the contractor to provide a verification statement in writing to the fire subcode official within 24 hours that all required signals remain operational after the new transmission means is installed; and
  • Repair and/or renovation work in a Group B, Group F, Group M, or Group S occupancy.

 

HVAC Projects of Ordinary Maintenance and Minor Work

Ordinary heating, ventilation and air conditioning maintenance projects at N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.7(c)5 do not require a permit application to be filed with the local enforcing agency and therefore, no inspection is required. Even though there is no permit issued, it is expected that the following projects will still meet minimum requirements of the Uniform Construction Code. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning maintenance projects not listed below would require, at a minimum, a minor work permit or full permit (in other words, projects listed below are permissible to perform):

  • Replacement of ANY motor, pump and fan of the same capacity;
  • Repair and replacement of ANY heating, supply and return piping and radiation elements, which does not require rearrangement of the piping system;
  • Repair and replacement of ANY duct work;
  • Repair of ANY air conditioning equipment and system;
  • Repair or replacement of ANY control device for heating and air conditioning equipment;
  • Replacement of kitchen range hoods in DWELLING UNITS, provided that the replacement hood exhaust rate does not exceed the exhaust rate of the existing hood or the exhaust rate of the replacement hood does not exceed 400 cfm;
  • Replacement of domestic clothes dryers serving, and located within, DWELLING UNITS, provided that no change in fuel type, pipe size, or location or electrical characteristics is required; · Replacement of domestic stoves and domestic ovens in DWELING UNITS, provided no change in fuel type, pipe size, or location or electrical characteristics is required;
  • Replacement of bathroom exhaust fans in DWELLING UNITS; and
  • Applying liquid lining material inside ANY existing chimney. In addition to the above, mechanical inspectors should familiarize themselves with plumbing maintenance projects at N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.7(c)2.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning maintenance projects that fall between ordinary maintenance and full-blown projects would be described as “minor work” at N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.17A(c). These types of projects include:

  • Replacement of ANY existing boiler, warm air furnace, air conditioning unit, and air conditioning condensing unit with new appliances of like capacity.
  • New electrical work incidental to the installation of air conditioning, equipment, clothes dryers, and ranges or ovens in ONE- and TWO-FAMILY DWELLINGS; and
  • Repair and/or renovation work in a Group B, Group F, Group M, or Group S occupancy.

 

Source: Code Assistance Unit and Code Development Unit (609) 984-7609

 

Should you have any questions or require further information on the above information or any other code related issue, please do not hesitate to call our Department at (732) 657-8121 x 3900.