Obtaining a Permit

The majority of construction requires a Department of Buildings permit. Most often, a New York State licensed Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA) must file plans and pull permits before work begins.

There are many permit types, such as construction, boiler, elevator and plumbing. The primary permit applications are: New Building (NB) and Alterations Type-1, 2, and 3:

  • NB: Construction of new structures
  • ALT1: Major alterations that will change use, egress or occupancy
  • ALT2: Multiple types of work, not affecting use, egress or occupancy
  • ALT3: One type of minor work, not affecting use, egress or occupancy

A New York State licensed Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA) must submit construction plans to obtain a permit. A Department plan examiner will review the plans for any legal/zoning objections. When objections are satisfied, the Department will approve the application. A licensed PE or RA may also certify that plans conform to all applicable laws.

Learn more about Professional Certification.

Minor Alterations Without Permits

Some minor work does not require a permit; a PE, RA, or Department borough office manager can explain the exceptions. For example, installing new kitchen cabinets doesn’t require a permit but Contractors must have a Department of Consumer Affairs Home Improvement Contractor License.

Filing & Records Management Fees

A licensed PE, RA, or Contractor can estimate these fees.

Plan Examiner Review & Approval

Plan approval time depends upon the project’s complexity and the issues – or objections – to be resolved.

Project Snapshot

  • Determine the necessary permits, and then file applications and construction drawings
  • Obtain Department plan approval
  • File and pull permits
  • Perform approved work
  • Pass the final inspections
  • Receive a new or amended Certificate of Occupancy or Letter of Completion

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