N.Y. Renovation Services LLC
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How to Obtain a Building Permit in New York

What is a building permit?

In New York, you need a building permit, not only for the placement of new structures but also for renewals if you are adding or destroying an existing building or part of it. There are two different ways to obtain a permit, depending on the complexity of your company. There are also fees, inspections, and codes that must be taken into account.

A building permit is also known as a general contractor’s license. This license allows you to work independently rather than a business. A general contractor’s license gives you the liberty to create your own schedule and spends more time doing what you want to do.

A building permit in New York requires that you have sufficient knowledge and work experience in your specific field of construction. On the contrary, there are severe penalties for working without a valid building permit. Having a license in New York does not necessarily mean that you are allowed to work on projects in other states.

Why a Building Permit is Necessary?

Before doing any remodeling or construction at home, you must know what type of permit is required. Place a garden shed (shed), add a room, change the windows, demolished, or even installing a fence, etc. requires the city government to intervene and determine if you can make it or not. Furthermore, the engineering department of the city also assigns an inspector who is not only an expert on the subject but is able to give advice, make recommendations and monitor the correct progress of construction in accordance with the code.

The need for many companies to commission the building of their own warehouses and production halls can be a significant set of challenges for business development. New York stands the excessive time required to obtain permits and licenses, although the cost and number of procedures will put it in the middle of the OECD, ranking 12th among the 34 member countries. 

General Contractors and Building Permit

A general contractor is a person or organization that goes into working arrangements with other persons or companies contracted for a specific project. Contractors often perform or supervise the different types of work that may involve various activities including: demolition, remodeling, plumbing and electricity. To become a licensed contractor in New York, you will have to be registered in the state.

The state of New York requires contractors to provide documentation to support who are qualified to perform the duties and responsibilities of a general contractor. Contractors operating as limited liability companies, corporations, partnerships or under a business name (individual entrepreneurs) will have to provide additional information during registration.

When do you need a building permit?

As a matter of fact, you require a building permit for all projects that involve construction, demolition, plumbing, electrical work, paving, carpentry, installation of cooling or heating units. Furthermore, these activities may include building new fences, remodeling, decks, sideways, driveways, pools, and fireplaces. On the contrary, some building projects may also involve re-roofing, painting, and tiling which require a valid building permit. Hence, it is best to consult the building department in New York before making a drastic change or some construction uplift.

Who has the authority to issue a building permit?

You can get a building permit from the “City Building Department” where you property is situated in New York. However, you have to submit a pre-file if you are living in New York City. The application should be filed with a satellite office before consulting the Building Department.

Permit requirements vary throughout the State of New York hence, you have to act according to the building regulations set by the local government. Make sure you are complying with the local permit requirements and building codes of the area.

Register with the Building Department

Contractors must be registered with the Building Department for a permit for new buildings to house one, two and three bedrooms. The following requirements must be met for the record:

  • You must be 18 years of age
  • Have good moral character
  • Be able to perform the functions of a general contractor

Visit the Licensing Unit of the Department in person

Visit the Licensing Unit of the Department in person and submit the required documentation. Check the Registration Form General Contractor LiC6 for specifics.

What are the steps involved in attaining a building contract in New York?

First of all, it depends on the location of the project. Secondly, you need to find out what permits are necessary needed for the approval of your project. Believe it or not, huge projects in New York require several building permits from government institutes before you attain a building project.

These permits can include the certificate of appropriateness for historical areas and zoning certificates. Once you have acquired all the desired approvals, you will need to file application with the Building Department along with supporting documents and necessary fee. The Building Department will then review your plans and application. Later, you can receive the permit or your file will be returned for further amendments and additions. You can kick start the construction work, soon after you receive the building permit(s).

How much to pay for a building permit in New York?

There is no set fee for these kinds of permits in New York and with the exception of some small scale construction projects. Permit fees are mostly set by the city government and mostly the cost of the building is calculated per square foot of the entire project. The cost and estimated value of the construction activity are also added. On the contrary, you will also need a permit of occupancy once the building is complete, which has a different set of a fee. For example, the occupancy certificate in Buffalo will cost you $25, but it’s slightly different in Parma, which is almost double ($50).

We suggest you to visit the official website of your local government to have an idea of the estimated cost. This way you can easily understand your permit requirements and the expected set of fee against each certificate.

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