New York Building permit


N.Y. Renovation Services LLC
Phone 212 863 9202

When Do You Need a Building Permit in New York? 

If you are planning to construct a new home or a commercial building in New York, you must be aware that you will need a valid building permit from the local government to execute the construction project. Building permits are not just for new constructions even a renovation project requires a permit. Whether you are constructing a new building or renovating an old structure, the question always arises, when you need to obtain a building permit?

Today each local government in New York has its own process of obtaining a building permit. In New York State, local governments are entirely responsible to implement the law for the administration and all kind on of enforcement of the NYS Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Cod along with State Energy Conservation Construction Code.

On the contrary, the State Building Code of the each local government should be incorporated into the Code of its own zoning ordinances. Moreover, each local government is slightly different from others, so you need to find out, whether or not you need a building permit. We strongly advise you to reach your local Codes Enforcement Officer before you kick start the renovation, construction or an upgrade project.

You should know whether you can execute the project, or it require an additional approval and a valid permit to make it happen. Obviously, a complex project should go through a process to obtain a building permit. However, we have seen many projects halted or criticized by the authorities all because of the owner’s failure to some simple homework before executing a mega project.

We have included a list of special circumstances where you need to obtain a building permit. You can find all the relevant information by taking a look at the NYS Division of Code Enforcement listing below and assess your situation, whether or not you need a building permit for the construction or renovation process.

However, there are many local ordinances and local laws which you have to follow during the entire process of construction or rehabilitation of a project. The list below is just a starting point and there many factors which may supersede the exemptions. So it is a wise decision to collect all the relevant information and then double check or consult with the local building codes officials in your area.

Here are some examples of construction projects that require a building permit:

  • All new buildings
  • All additions
  • Alterations
  • Pools construction
  • Fences
  • Signs
  • Mobile homes
  • Garages and barns
  • Fireplaces
  • Stoves
  • Inserts
  • Demolition
  • Decks and Porches
  • Sheds and storage buildings

Are there any exemptions?

Building permits are not required for the work in the following categories:

  1. Construction or installation in a dwelling where single or multi families are living. The place should be used for tool storage shed, a playhouse or something similar. The gross floor areas should not exceed 144 square feet. The construction could be a one story detached structure.
  2. Installation of playground equipment or swings in a family dwelling or a townhouse where a single or multi families are residing.
  3. You can construct swimming pools which are associated with single or multifamily dwellings. The pool’s depth should not exceed 24 inches and should be installed above the ground.
  4. You can install fences which are not enclosed by a swimming pool. Fences should be a part of a construction.
  5. There is no building permit required for construction of retaining walls. These retaining walls should support Impound Class I, II, or IIIA liquids.
  6. You don’t need a permit for constructing a temporary motion picture, television stage, a temporary stage or scenery.
  7. You can install window awnings supported by some exterior wall in a single or multi families dwellings.
  8. You can install partitions or moveable cases which not more than 5-9 in height. Make sure you keep the partitions under this measurement.
  9. Wallpapering, painting, carpeting, tiling and other relevant finish work exempted
  10. You can also install a list plumbing, portable electric, heating systems, ventilation or cooling equipment without obtaining a building permit.
  11. You can also replace any equipment which is provided as the replacement. Make sure the replacement does not alter the equipment’s listing or make it inconsistent with its company made specifications.
  12. You can do all kind of repairs if they do not involve
  13. Any type of removal or cutting a load bearing wall, a sub-partition, or an entire partition thereof. Moreover, you cannot remove any structural bean or some load bearing part of the equipment.
  14. Rearrangement of the basic structure
  15. A removal which affects egress
  16. Alteration
  17. Enlargement
  18. Replacement
  19. Or relocation of an entire building system
  20. Removal of some parts of a fire protection system
  21. Authorization to perform some type of a non-compliant work

The above-mentioned projects are entirely exempted and shall not be deemed an authorization for a building permit. Now you can take the advantage and execute your project accordingly.

Most common code violations

Lawn/Lot Maintenance:

Weeds and grass should not be cross reach the height above ten inches from the ground. Make sure you trim all weeds and grass as per code.

Waste Material and Trash:

All the waste material should be stored in proper receptacles.

Unsafe Buildings:

An unsafe building could be an abandoned property, an opened building or some construction site which is accessible to children or transients. The building must be repaired, demolished or boarded up to keep it closed.

Junked or abandoned vehicles:

One unlicensed and/or unregistered vehicle is allowed on your property as long as it is operable. Inoperative vehicles are not allowed.

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