NYC Renovation Permit Expediting
New York City is a tricky city to renovate in. One of the reasons for this is a higher than average construction cost. Finding a contractor can be difficult because of the multitude of options. In most cities, the contractor is able to pull work permits with a brief description of work. Since New York City is a massive entity, many government agencies issue approvals and permits to allow work to be done. This can make renovations much more complicated.
Although some renovations may be done without a permit, it is recommended to check with a licensed professional and building management to discern whether permits are needed for the renovation. Here are some rules of thumb when it comes to determining permits for renovations in New York City:
Which DOB Permits are Needed?
DOB permits may or may not be required to renovate a condominium or townhouse. Alteration type II permits are typically required for renovations, but the number of permits issued depends on the scope of work. Anything that changes the occupancy of the building, ie. converting a 3-family home to a single family home would require an alteration type I. An alt-1 takes months to get approval and can take years to obtain a certificate of occupancy.
Permits are generally not required if one is only replacing cabinets, painting, or changing flooring. Permits are issued by worktype, for example: Plumbing permits are pulled by plumbers, while general construction permits are pulled by general contractors. Depending on the scope of the renovation and work types involved, different permits are required.
Landmark permits are required for all alterations in Landmarked buildings. To determine if your building is landmarked please check with the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) or using the DOB online database. Simply type in your address and search. If you see “Landmark Status – L – LANDMARK” on the property profile, you’ll need a LPC permit to do almost any work. In some cases, you’ll need a Landmarks permit and a DOB permit, and other times you’ll need one or the other. Once again, it’s entirely dependent on the scope of work.
Once the renovation has been completed, the work permits issued for the job should be signed-off. Signing-off a job typically includes an inspection and filing paperwork to the appropriate agency. This is especially important for townhouse owners. Applications that remain open (or don’t get signed-off) can prevent re-financing, reduce property value, or result in other issues.
Where do I start?
Thinking about renovating your condominium or townhouse or Co-Op? Our years of experience with the DOB and LPC allow us to create a plan that meetings your constraints and time. Not only do we offer architectural and engineering design services for projects, but we handle the paperwork and coordinate as an owner’s representative for meetings as such, if desired. Contact us today to learn how we can make your vision a reality.