Uniform Construction Code

When the UCC Requires Permits and Inspection

A Zoning Permit may be required even though the project does not require a UCC Building Permit.

As a general rule, the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) requires that a property owner or the owner's authorized agent obtain a UCC construction or building permit before commencing any work and that the work be inspected in the following cases:
  • Construction, enlargement, alteration, repair, movement, demolition or change in occupancy of a commercial building, structure or facility;
  • Construction, enlargement, alteration, repair, movement, demolition or change in occupancy of a residential building;
  • Erection, installation, enlargement, alteration, repair, removal, replacement or conversion of any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system regulated by the UCC;
  • Construction or installation of a swimming pool, hot tub or spa;
  • Site preparation, foundation, construction, utility connections, alterations, additions, repairs and changes of occupancy of manufactured and industrialized housing.

Under the UCC, a building, structure or facility cannot be used or occupied without a UCC certificate of occupancy first being issued.

Emergency repairs or replacement of equipment may be made without first applying for a permit so long as a permit application is submitted to the building code official within 3 business days after the repair or replacement.

Professional Review of Applications - Any permit application, plan review, zoning application, appeal or similar application submitted to the Borough who requests to confer with professionals including but not limited to engineers, attorneys and accountants, regarding such application prior to the submission or after the rejection shall be charged a fee equal to the cost of the professional fees charged to the Borough for such conference(s) including all other incidental expenses.

Certain work is excluded and exempt from the UCC's requirements of permits and inspections. A property owner should not assume that work is exempt without first making appropriate inquiry, as performance of work for which a UCC permit is required without first obtaining a permit will subject the owner to enforcement proceedings and possibly additional costs.

Exemptions from construction permit requirements include:
  • Fences that are less than 6' high (zoning permit is required)
  • Retaining walls not over 4' high measured from the bottom of footing, unless the walls supports a surcharge (zoning permit is required)
  • Sidewalks and driveways that are 30 inches or less above adjacent grade, not placed over a basement or story below them, and not located in pedestrian passageways
  • Water tanks (2,500 gallon or less capacity) supported directly on grade and have less than a 2 to 1 height to diameter or width ratio
  • Exterior or interior painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, flooring and similar finish work
  • Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 24" deep
  • Exterior decks that are 30" or less above grade and not attached to any structure
  • Swings and playground equipment accessory to a 1 or 2 family dwelling
  • Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54" from the exterior wall and not require additional support
  • Replacing glass in a window or door (replacement glass must comply with minimum code requirements)
  • Installing or replacing a window, storm window, door, storm door and garage door in the same opening if the dimensions of framing of the original openings are not enlarged. The installation of means of egress and emergency escape windows must be made in the same opening without altering the dimensions of framing of the original opening to be exempt
  • Installing additional roll, batt, or blown-in insulation
  • Repair or replacement of any part of a porch or stoop, which is not a structural element
  • Replacement of exterior rainwater gutters and leaders
  • Installation or replacement of aluminum or vinyl soffit, fascia or other exterior trim
Exemptions from minor electrical permit requirements include:
  • Replacing lamps
  • Connecting approved portable equipment to approved permanent receptacle
  • Minor replacement of a receptacle, switch or lighting fixture rated at 20 amps or less and operating at less than 150 volts to ground with a like or similar item. This does not include replacement of receptacles in locations where ground-fault interrupter protection is required
  • Replacing installed equipment such as doorbells, communication systems, security systems and any motor-operated device
  • Installing, altering or rearranging communications or security wiring
  • Replacing dishwashers or kitchen range hoods
  • Installing battery powered smoke detectors
Exemptions from minor gas permit requirements include:
  • Portable heating, cooking or clothes drying appliances
  • Replacing a minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make this equipment unsafe
  • Portable fuel cell appliance not hooked to fixed piping system/power grid
Exemptions from mechanical permit requirements include:
  • Portable heating or ventilation appliances
  • A portable cooling unit or a portable evaporative cooler
  • Steam, hot or chilled water piping within equipment governed by the UCC
  • Replacing any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make the equipment unsafe
  • Self-contained refrigeration systems containing 10 pounds or less of refrigerant or that are put into action by motors of one horsepower
  • A portable fuel cell appliance that is not connected to a fixed piping system and is not interconnected to a power grid
Exemptions from plumbing permit requirements include:
  • Replacement of bib valves if replacement hose bib valves are provided with an approved atmospheric breaker
  • Refinishing of existing fixtures
  • Replacing ball cocks
  • Clearing of stoppages or repairing leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixture
  • Replacing faucets or working parts of faucets
  • Replacing valves other than shower or combination shower/bath valves
  • Replacement of traps, if not buried
  • Replacing a lavatory or kitchen sink
  • Replacing a domestic clothes washer or dishwasher
Exemptions from heating, ventilation and air conditioning permit requirements include:
  • Replacement of motors, pumps and fans of the same capacity
  • Repair and replacement of heating, supply and return piping and radiation elements which do not require rearrangement of the piping system
  • Repair of duct work
  • Repair of air conditioning equipment and systems
  • Repair and replacement of control devices for heating and air conditioning equipment
  • Replacement of kitchen range hoods
  • Replacement of clothes dryers if there is no change in fuel type, location or electrical requirements
  • Replacement of stoves and ovens if there is no change in fuel type, location or electrical characteristics
An ordinary repair does not require a permit. The following are not ordinary repairs:
  • Cutting away a wall, partition or portion of a wall
  • The removal or cutting of any structural beam or load-bearing support
  • The removal or change to any required means of egress or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the means of egress
  • The addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standpipe, water supply, sewer drainage, drain leader, gas, soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electric or mechanical.
A permit is not required for the installation, alteration or repair of generation, transmission, distribution, metering or other related equipment under the ownership or control of public service agencies.