Construction Official/Building Subcode Official
Plumbing Subcode Official/Inspector
Electrical Subcode Official/Inspector
Fire Subcode Official/Inspector
Property Maintenance Code Enforcement Official
Building and Electric: Monday through Friday, 9 am to 3 pm
Plumbing: Monday through Friday, 9 am to 1 pm
Fire: Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday, 9 am to 1 pm
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why do I need a permit?A: Permits are a requirement of the State of New Jersey to ensure safety. The Department of Consumer Affairs, Division of Codes and Standards oversees the Uniform Construction Code. Please feel free to stop by and see the bulletin board located outside of our office for photos that exemplify why permits are required.
Q: How do I know if I need a permit?A: Please call or visit the Cranford Building Department prior to starting any construction to check if a permit is required. You should also read through our “Need to Know,” tab which lists the most common types of work that require permits.
Q: How can I pay for my permit?A: The Cranford Building Department accepts cash, checks, credit cards and debit cards as forms of payment. All checks should be made payable to the “Township of Cranford”, regardless if the work is for Cranford or Garwood. If you are paying by mail, please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your payment. Then paying with cash, please provide exact change, as this office is not permitted to hold cash in the office. If you would like to pay online, please make sure to include your email address so an invoice can be sent to you. You then have the option of paying by credit, debit or check online. Your permit and released plan will then be mailed to you, and you can commence work immediately upon payment.Currently, the credit card/debit card option is only available for Cranford permits. We are hoping to include Garwood in the future.If paying by credit card or debit card, please be advised that our credit card company, MuniciPay, charges a 2.45% convenience charge that will be added onto your permit fee. If you are paying by check online, the convenience fee is a flat $1.50.
Q: Can the Township recommend a contractor for me?A: No, The State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Code of Ethics prohibits the all members of the Building department from making contractor recommendations. However, you can ask the Building Department employees if a contractor works often in the township. Additionally, the Building Department will always encourage property and business owners to hire local contractors solely due to the word-of-mouth nature of the construction business.
Q: How can I check if my contractor is licensed?A: Please visit the following website. General contractors and builders are required to have a Home Improvement Contractor’s License, while electricians and plumbers must have their own licenses.
Q: I have a code question and I am having trouble getting in touch with an inspector. What should I do?A: The best time to reach all of the inspectors is between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., before they leave the office for inspections. The majority of an inspector’s work day is spent out of the office on job sites. If you need to schedule an inspection, please contact the office staff, not the inspector directly.
Q: When am I/are contractors allowed to do work?A: The enforced allowed hours of construction are as follows:Monday through Friday: 8:00 am to 8:00 pmSaturday and Sunday: 9:00 am to 6:00 pmThe hours construction is allowed are determined by Township ordinance and enforced by the Cranford Police Department. Should you have a complaint about construction occurring outside of these allowed hours, please speak with a member of the Cranford Police Department.
Q: Can I do my own work?A: Homeowners are allowed to do all of their own construction if the work site is a single-family, owner-occupied, detached residence. Homeowners are held to the same standard of work as licensed contractors. The same permits are required regardless of who is doing the work. If the residence is a multiple-family dwelling or owned with the intent to sell, all work must be conducted by licensed contractors. Under no circumstances are unlicensed contractors allowed to do any residential construction. All commercial construction must be done by licensed electricians and plumbers.
Q: Can I prepare my own drawings? Do I need an architect?A: Homeowners are allowed to prepare their own drawings if the work site is single-family, owner-occupied. Owners often do their own drawings for smaller interior renovations (kitchens, bathrooms) and decks. Sample drawings for these projects are available in the Building Department office. Since owners are held to the same code standard as an architect, most hire an architect to prepare plans for larger projects (additions, new homes). All architects must be licensed by the State of New Jersey.Only the following drawings may be prepared by contractors: riser diagram by a licensed plumber, electrical service plan by a licensed electrician and HVAC ductwork diagram by a Home Improvement Contractor. Any other drawings prepared by contractors, Home Depot, Lowes, cabinet companies, or any third party other than a licensed architect are NOT acceptable.*All drawings for commercial or multiple-dwelling construction must be prepared by an architect.
Q: How much will my permit cost?A: The fees have changed for the state surcharge.
The fee schedule is an ordinance adopted by the Township Committee, based on recommendations made by the Construction Official. The current fee schedule is Ordinance 2011-08 ( go to:http://www.ecode360.com/CR1142#CR1142 and search “2011-08”). It was adopted on April 12, 2011 and went into effect on May 2, 2011.
Also, all permits are subject to the DCA State Permit Fee set at the rate of $1.90 per $1000 construction cost of alteration/rehabilitation work or $0.00371 per cubic foot of new construction/addition.
Permit fees are the sole source of funding for the Building Department, as determined by state statute.
Q: I have an underground oil tank on my property. What are my options to decommision the tank?A: Currently, a property owner has two options to legally decommision an underground oil tank: to abandon the tank in place by having it filled with sand or foam and to remove the oil tank from the property. Both options require a building permit and the work must be done by a contractor certified with the State of NJ to work on unregulated heating oil tanks. HOWEVER, property owners should be informed that when they sell their property, they will most likely be forced to remove any underground oil tanks on the premises- whether they have been properly filled or not. Homeowners’ insurance companies regularly refuse to issue new policies to home buyers if there is an underground oil tank on the property. As well, our staff has heard stories of owners not being allowed to change or upgrade homeowners insurance policies with an underground tank on site. Removing previously-filled tanks has therefore become increasingly common. Additionally, a tank being previously-filled does not guarantee that the tank does not have a hole in it.
Q: My work site is in Garwood. How do I obtain a permit?A: All construction applications for Garwood must be submitted to the Cranford Building Department. If the application requires Zoning and Engineering prior-approvals, the Cranford Building Department will forward the paperwork accordingly. Applicants are responsible for submitting their own applications to the Westfield Regional Health Department, when this prior-approval is required. Garwood Zoning and Engineering, and the Westfield Regional Health Department not overseen by the Township of Cranford and the Township of Cranford is not responsible for the timelines or employees of these departments.