Check local building codes. Building permits are regulated and issued at the local level in New Jersey based on the 2006 International Residential Building Codes. Call or visit your area planning office for a summary of codes required for deck construction. Most municipalities will require a property survey and a construction plan as part of the building permit application.
Draw or choose your deck plan. A detailed drawing to scale will be necessary to order materials as well as to evaluate safety and zoning requirements. A pre-designed plan from a reliable source is acceptable as long as it meets all necessary codes.
Evaluate costs and timing. The issued building permit will be time sensitive. To avoid delays that will require additional applications, schedule construction in a time frame that projects costs in advance and allows a reasonable margin to resolve unforeseen construction problems.
Choose a contractor. As part of the building permit process, you will need to assign a builder to the project. If you have the necessary skills, you are permitted to build the deck yourself. Your local planning office can provide you with a list of licensed contractors in your area.
Submit your building permit application. Building permit forms, fees and process may vary among local municipalities in New Jersey. In all cases the permit and the plans must be submitted prior to the start of any work.
Build your deck. Follow the plans you submitted to your planning office. Any significant changes must be reported prior to installation.