Sorry this has to be long answer: the amount of information depends on what type of work you are proposing: If you are building a new home, addition, or separate building, the plans shall include at a minimum, the following from the state law:
(a) Any application for a construction permit for a single family residence shall be accompanied by at least two copies of plans drawn to scale, with sufficient clarity and detailed dimensions to show the nature and character of the work to be performed. Plans submitted shall not be required to show more detail or include more information than is reasonably necessary to assure compliance with the requirements of the Uniform Construction Code and rules in this chapter.
(b) Plans containing the following information shall be considered to meet the requirements of (a) above:
1. Site diagram consisting of a site plan showing size and location of all new and existing construction on the site with distances from lot lines and indicating new building services, location and size.
2. Construction plans consisting of a scale drawing showing foundation, floor plans, and elevations, including structural framing notes for all floors, ceilings and roofs. Only girders and columns need be identified and located on the plan. Included on the drawings shall be a loading schedule indicating the live loads for which the structure is designed.
3. The following details and submissions shall be required:
i. A cross section through one typical wall showing construction details from footing to and including roof framing. This section shall indicate all construction materials used including roofing, vapor barriers, sheathing type and thickness, insulation type and thickness, windows, glazing type if other than standard window glazing is used, interior finish material, floor type and thickness, structure, foundation and footings. Decorative material shall not be required to be shown unless it contributes to the structural integrity of the section.
ii. When roof or other truss systems are used, the details required by shall be shown.
iii. Electrical details indicating lighting; receptacles; motors and equipment; smoke detectors; service entrance locations; size and type (overhead or underground); panel size, location; number of proposed circuits. A symbol legend shall be included.
iv. Plumbing details indicating the locations of fixtures and a notice or table listing water and drainage pipe sizes. A note stating if sewage disposal is to public sewer or individual septic system shall be included.
v. Mechanical details indicating the type of heating system; location, size and type of heating unit, noting the distribution method and indicating design rates, location of fire dampers and safeguards; and location, type and size of flue.
vi. Energy subcode compliance shall be demonstrated with either detailed calculations, Energy Star compliance documentation, the submission of printouts from software recognized by the Department, such as RES Check, or the prescriptive packages described in Bulletin 03-2. RES Check software is available from the Department of Community Affairs, Division of Codes and Standards, PO Box 802, Trenton, New Jersey 08625 or from the U.S. Department of Energy at www.energycodes.gov.
ii. Plumbing plans, electrical plans and mechanical plans may be prepared by licensed plumbers, licensed electrical contractors and mechanical contractors, respectively, in accordance with these regulations.
5. Construction plans, and electrical, plumbing, and mechanical details may be shown on more than one drawing.
If you are doing interior alterations only, we generally just need to know if what you are doing is structural, and what you plan to do regarding electrical, plumbing, or fire protection work. Usually, sketches and a written description of the work will suffice. In any case, if we have questions, you will be contacted for clarification. Occasionally permit are issued with conditions, meaning that additional information is required to be submitted, but we do not judge the issues to be major. Remember: 2 copies of any plans or specifications will be required.