Preliminary Design

If you haven’t already hired an architect, it’s time to do so now. There is one exception to this rule. If you are planning to build a single-family detached dwelling for your own use you are permitted to prepare the building drawings. Unless you have some background in building design and construction it’s generally advisable to engage the services of a registered architect. You may also wish to get help from an engineer, a planner and/or a landscape architect.

The Building Design Services Act, NJSA 45:4B-1, et seq. specifies which portions of building design may be performed by an architect and which may be performed by an engineer. NJAC 13:40-7.1, et seq. identifies the delineation of responsibilities among engineers, land surveyors, architects, planners and landscape architects during preparation of site plans and major subdivision plats.

The next step is for the designer to refine your concept plan to fit within the constraints of the existing conditions on the lot, the zoning ordinance and your budget.

If the refined preliminary design plan fits within the requirements of the zoning ordinance and the project is for a one- or two-family dwelling, you may proceed to final design. If not, you need to prepare for some sort of board review.

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