Thanks to a recent change made by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, homeowners all over the state are now saving cash when they hire New Jersey roofing contractors to replace their roofs. While the update to state regulations was made more than a year ago (back in March of 2018), many people still aren’t aware that, in New Jersey, permits are no longer required for roof replacements, so we decided to share the news with our readers. Even though we love that this update saves our customers some money, there are some significant pros and cons to the change in regulations, so we feel it’s important to explore this topic in a bit more detail.

Roofing Permit Pros and Cons

Historically, big projects such as roof replacements, additions, basement finishing, and major repair work have all counted on major home-improvement jobs. In most instances, the state requires that homeowners obtain permits to do the work. “Why are permits required for home-improvement projects?” you might ask. Requiring homeowners to obtain permits has several major benefits:

  1. It helps to protect both homeowners and potential home buyers from living in or purchasing homes that are unsafe in some way, whether that’s due to a deck that’s built without railings of the proper height or a basement bedroom that’s finished without an egress window. When a homeowner (or contractor, if he/she is doing the work) requests a permit, the municipality’s code inspector will review the plans and the work itself to ensure it’s being done according to local and state building codes.

  2. The permitting process is a source of revenue for municipalities. Replacing a roof on a home used to cost $200 to $500 in NJ (depending on the size and scope of the project). Permit fees are put into the town’s coffers and used to address a variety of township-wide needs.

  3. When a contractor is the one performing a home-improvement job, he or she should be the one obtaining a permit, not the homeowner. One way that homeowners can identify scam-artists and “fly-by-nighters” is to ensure the contractors do, in fact, pull the permits. If a contractor asks you to pull the permit, that’s a red flag.

    According to, “Typically, a town won’t issue a permit to a contractor unless he shows proof that he is registered with Consumer Affairs, which is required by law. Construction code officials tend to know who the legitimate contractors are.” 

Relief for Homeowners

Of course, the big benefit of the recent change in regulations is that you and other homeowners are able to save some money. Contractors, too, benefit from being able to streamline their workloads without needing to spend time or energy on the permitting process. What’s more, not only are permits no longer required for re-roofing a home in New Jersey, but they’re also not required for replacing siding or indoor plumbing or installing alarm systems, outdoor irrigation, chimney lining, or indoor drywall. All of this work has been reclassified as “minor work and ordinary maintenance.”

Do Your Homework

However, now that New Jersey roofing contractors are no longer required to pull permits for re-roofing jobs, you must be more vigilant about who you are hiring. The permitting process added in an important layer of security and protection for homeowners and home buyers that no longer exists. As a homeowner, you need to ensure you’re asking the right questions, obtaining and verifying references, and doing your research. 

Speak Up Now…

Once the job is underway, it will be up to you, and you alone, to ensure the project is progressing as it should and that no shortcuts are being taken. This can be challenging, as mistakes are not always easy to spot, especially for the untrained eye. Some issues may not show up until the temperature changes, which could be months after the job is done. So, it’s critical that you educate yourself about what a properly installed roof looks like and that your contractor review each and every step with you. Don’t be afraid to ask your New Jersey roofing contractor questions or get clarification on why something is being done a certain way. It’s your home and it’s your money that’s being spent!

Go with a Pro

George J. Keller and Sons is an outstanding New Jersey roofing contractor that has been installing roofs and instilling trust in homeowners for nearly 40 years! We are happy to provide you with as many references as you’d like and will answer any and all questions you might have. We know how important proper roof replacement is, and we promise to ensure you understand and are comfortable with the process every step of the way. Contact us today at 973-927-0963 to learn more or obtain a free estimate!