A New Jersey Licensed Architect is recommended for the preparation of plans for major projects. Major projects may need to include floor plans drawn to scale, sections, elevations and details. Structural elements such a girders and columns are required to be drawn by a New Jersey Licensed Architect. Minor projects such as decks and small additions can be drawn by a homeowner.
The Construction Inspection Office has standard specifications that can be followed within certain limitations for routine projects such as decks and retaining walls. These specs along with a plot plan/survey depicting your project are accepted as the required plans.
There are some projects which require a New Jersey Licensed Engineer to prepare plans. Examples are an in-ground pool, grading plans and retaining walls no more than four feet in height.