Design Professional Requirements:
New Deck and Porch Installation

Applicability of Code and Zoning

An existing building renovation project could be filed under either the current codes, the 2014 NYC Construction Codes (Administrative and Building Codes), or under Prior Codes, such as the 1968 Code, 1938 Code or earlier codes, depending on the Building Code used for the construction of the existing building; reference AC 28-101.2.

However, there are exceptions if prior codes are used, per AC 28-101.4.3. For example, the 2014 Code must be used for accessibility requirements, certain renovation work of mechanical, plumbing, sprinkler, fire protection and/or fuel gas systems, specific building elements such as security grilles, handrails, guards, roofs, etc., and certain kinds of structural work.

Floodplains, BC Appendix G, must be considered when performing renovations.

Renovation work must comply also with the current NYC Energy Conservation Code and applicable Local Laws, Rules and regulations. When required by the project scope of work the renovation must also comply with the rules, regulations, laws and codes of other city agencies, such as the NYC Fire Department (FDNY), NYC Environmental Protection (DEP), NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), and others.

*Note: While the following is a list of key zoning, code and other regulations that may be relevant in the project’s design, it is not comprehensive.*



Project Element

Applicable Code and Regulations

Current Code*

Prior Codes





2014 AC 28-101.4.5 and BC Chapter 1

2014 AC 28-101.4.3 - Optional Use of 1968 Code and AC 28-101.4.5

2014 AC 28-101.4.3, AC 28-101.4.5 and 1968 AC 27-114, AC 27-120


2014 BC Chapter 11, and Appendix E,Appendix N

Construction Types (Porch and Deck)

BC Chapter 6

AC 27-269 through AC 27-287, AC 27-336

1938 BC Article 4

Egress (Porch and Deck)

BC Chapter 10

AC 27-354 through AC 27-396.6

1938 BC Article 7

Fire Protection (Porch and Deck)

BC Chapter 9 and Appendix Q

2014 AC 28-315.2, 2014 BC Chapter 9 and Appendix Q

Flood Resistant Construction

2014 BC Appendix G


BC Chapter 14 and BC Chapters 19 through 26

Subject to applicable provisions of the 2014 BC and 1968 AC 27-600 through 27-651, AC 27-336

Subject to applicable provisions of the 2014 BC, and 1938 AC 26 Article 8 and 19

Roof Assemblies and Rooftop Structures (Deck)

BC Chapter 15

Subject to applicable provisions of the 2014 BC, and 1968 AC 27-338

Subject to applicable provisions of the 2014 BC, and 1938 BC Article 11

Safety - Safeguards During Construction

2014 BC Chapter 33

Structural, Soils and Foundation

BC Chapter 16 and BC Chapter 18, BC 1604.8.3

2014 BC 1601.2 and 1968 BC 27-580 through 27-724, 27-558(b)

2014 BC 1601.2 and 1938 BC Article 9

Fire Protection(Deck)

BC 903.

Other Guidelines

Construction Equipment

See Construction Equipment Guidelines (Scaffold, Hoists, Chutes, Fences, Sidewalk Sheds, Mechanical Construction Equipment)


See Partial Demolition Guidelines

Encroachments onto Public Right-of-Way

See Public Right-of-Way Encroachments Project Guideline

Façade Work

See Façade Work Guidelines

Foundations, Shoring, Underpinning

See Shoring/Underpinning of Foundation/Retaining Wall/Flag Pole/Sign Ground Structure


See Plumbing Building Systems Guidelines


See Mechanical Building Systems Guidelines


See Electrical Guidelines

*Note: New applications for buildings erected under the 2008 Code must comply with the 2014 Code, as required by AC §28-101.4 & 102.4.3*


Installation of a deck or porch may require compliance with the following Zoning Resolution sections:

Other Regulation(s) for Reference

Policy and Policy Notices

  • TPPN 04-03 – Decks, Porches, Terraces and Breezeways

Rules of the City of New York

Buildings Bulletins

  • BB 2009-012 – Outlines submittal requirements for work in Tidal Wetlands, Freshwater Wetlands and Coastal Erosion Hazard Areas
  • BB 2009-031 – Asbestos Certification Requirements
  • BB 2016-012 – When Porches Are Considered to be Floor Area

Memos and Directives

Guidelines for Submission of Sign Project Plans

Prior to preparing the design documents and construction drawings, the Registered Design Professional must perform a pre-design review that analyzes all of the existing building elements, systems and other components affected by the proposed scope of work, to verify the project will be code and zoning compliant. The information provided on the drawings must clearly demonstrate all of the work required for completion of the project per 2014 Article AC 28-104 or 2014 BC 107.2.

Pursuant to AC 28-101.2, the intent of the Construction Codes is to provide reasonable minimum requirements and standards, based upon current scientific and engineering knowledge, experience and techniques, and the utilization of modern machinery, equipment, materials, and forms and methods of construction, for the regulation of building construction in the city of New York in the interest of public safety, health, welfare and the environment, and with regard for building construction and maintenance costs.

The DOB Guidelines outlined in the following Section IV, Item C, provides an organized approach for the preparation of construction documents, facilitating the plan review process.  Drawings shall clearly indicate existing conditions, proposed conditions and any areas affected by the scope of work.

Complete Submission of Construction Documents

Construction drawings should represent complete work, including multiple disciplines such as architectural, structural, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and others. There must be close coordination between all disciplines for the proposed scope of work to ensure Code-compliance, reference AC 28-104.7 and BC 107.2.  A complete submission of drawings should include:   

Construction Documents.  Drawings necessary to convey essential information pertinent to the project work such as structural support or mounting system, elevations, and details. The entire scope of work must be clearly outlined on the drawings submitted. The applicable Zoning Resolution (ZR) and Building Code (BC) sections, text or notes should be stated on the drawings as required to demonstrate compliance. A scale should be included on the drawings; a graphic scale is recommended.

  • Title Sheet. Should provide a site/plot plan that clearly depicts the project location, including the adjacent streets, properties, zoning district location, all adjacent zoning districts (or a detail of the current and relevant Zoning District map, and include an accompanying a graphical scale. A written statement describing the entire project scope should be included. Notes on building occupancy classification, zoning analysis, structural system and/or separate structural support system, zoning use group, and a list of required Special/Progress Inspections, as well as a drawing index.

  • Site/Plot Plan. A plan indicating the block and lot, zoning lot and exact location and size of the proposed work, as well as the location, size and surface area, of all other related structures on the zoning lot. When required, indicate structures from adjacent properties that may be impacted by the proposed work.

  • Zoning Analysis. When applicable, shall be prominent and clearly identified on the documents. The Zoning Analysis shall include calculations for ZR allowable floor area, heights and setback, sky exposure plane, yards, open space, lot coverage, and other ZR requirements as previously discussed in this document.

  • Drawing Index. A recommended list that clearly identifies all drawings involved in the project; include drawing sheet numbers and drawing titles.

  • Special and Progress Inspections List:

    • Subgrade inspection, subsurface conditions
    • Structural Stability – Existing Buildings
    • Footings and Foundation
    • Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS)
    • Fire-resistant Penetration and Joists
    • Post-installed anchors
    • Structural Wood Frame
    • Fire-Resistance Rated Construction
    • Final Inspection
    • Energy Code Compliance Inspections
    • Flood Zone Compliance
  • Construction Plans. Indicates the existing and proposed conditions; clearly identify adjoining rooms’ names and use consistently between the different disciplines drawings. Coordinates between all trades/disciplines to ensure that the proposed scope of work is complete and shown on all submitted discipline drawings. Drawings must indicate excavations, foundation and footings; fire rating for partitions, ceiling, walls; location of penetrations through fire rated assemblies; and doors, windows and finished materials.

  • Roof Plans.  When applicable, shows existing and proposed conditions; clearly identifies deck location(s) on roof or setback

  • Elevations.  Fully dimensioned drawings showing deck or porch and its supporting structures. Dimensions must include height of the structure as well as any projections above the roof.

  • Sections.  These include but are not limited to partial building cross sections of porch and/or deck indicating the elevation heights from foundation and footings through framing to roof. These sections should provide detailed wall sections, framing, exterior and interior dimensions, and structural support or connections to the existing building.

  • Detail Drawing.  A detailed description and/or drawing of the proposed work in a magnified form for example, anchors, footing, railings etc.

  • Schedules. These could include equipment, hardware and finishes.

  • NYC Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC): If the project scope includes one of the following, then demonstrate NYCECC compliance on the plans:

    • Foundation and footing insulation
    • Exterior wall/roof/floor
    • Penetration of building’s thermal envelope and/or effect on building’s insulation.
    • Exterior Lighting controls and/or lighting power
  • If applicable, additional elements required:

    • Accessibility for persons with physical disabilities to comply with BC Chapter 11

Submission of Construction Documents

1. Drawings. The sign project drawings should reflect a clear scope of work and include all affected systems. Examples of this are as follows:

Designator - Sheet Number: Sheet Description
T-001.00       Title Sheet, Site/Plot Plan, Drawing Index, Required Notes, required Special/Progress Inspections list, and Legends
A-100.00 Architectural Plans and Details
A-200.00  Proposed Elevations
A-201.00 Proposed Cross Sections
S-101.00 Structural Plans and Details
E-101.00 Electrical Plans and Details (if applicable)
FO-101.00 Proposed Foundation Plans and Details
EN-100.00 Energy Code Analysis (if applicable)

Drawing Legend to include: Symbols, abbreviations, with definitions, notes andlist all applicable Building Code section numbers.

Recommended Drawing Designators
T: Title/Coversheet: Recommended designation for drawing cover page
A: Architectural: Mandatory designation for drawings showing architectural work
E: Electrical: Mandatory designation for drawings showing electrical work
FO: Foundation: Mandatory designation for drawings whenever foundation work is filed
S: Structural: Mandatory designation for drawings showing structural work
EN: Energy Analysis: Mandatory designation if an Energy Analysis is required

2. Required Documents. Based on the building location, designation, and the project scope of work, the following submissions may have to accompany the drawings at intake:

  • OER authorization – Coordination with ZR (E) designation requirements
  • FDNY – Rooftop access coordination, reference FC 504
  • Tenant/Occupant Protection Plan, only if applicable
  • NYC Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) approval (only if applicable)
  • NYC Public Design Commission (PDC) approval (only if applicable)
  • DEC – if in coastal erosion hazard area or wetlands

3. Plan Review for Approval or Acceptance, and Audit

  • Plan Review − Following submission of a complete set of construction documents, the application is assigned for review to a DOB Plan Examiner.
  • Professional Certification − The Applicant of Record may professionally certify that a project’s design is in accordance with the NYC Building Code, Zoning Resolution, and all applicable Rules and Laws. See Buildings Bulletin 2016-010.
  • Audit – Professionally-certified applications may also be subject to audit 

4. Post Approval Amendments. Any changes to approved scope of work that are significant and substantive will require submission of revised documents and/or plans for post-approval amendment (PAA).  Any additional/new type of work not in original filing must be included via PAA.  Approval for an amendment must be obtained before the work is completed. Changes in quantity of originally approved work type do not require a PAA;  however these changes must be shown on plans and included in the ‘As Built’ submission (AC §28-104.3).

Substantive changes that meet the following criteria must be submitted for review as a PAA to amend the approved plans:

  • Expanding the scope of work to include additional floor area as defined in ZR 12-10, and/or changes to supporting structure (deck or porch), including changes to how such supporting structure is attached to a building or structure.
  • Changes to the scope of work that require additional Special or Progress Inspection(s).

5. As-Built Submission. All changes must be submitted in an ‘as-built’ drawing at the end of the project.

Reference Note: Organizations like the AIA, CSI and National Institute of Building Sciences work jointly to create national standards for consistent documentation and data organization, to assist in communication and coordination across the design and construction industry. (See for more information.)

Special Inspections

As per Chapter 17 of the Building Code, renovation projects for deck and/or porch may require certain Special and Progress Inspections to be performed during and at the end of construction as outlined in the table below. Prior to Approval, the Applicant of Record is required to identify all required Special and Progress Inspections (BC 1704.1). Prior to DOB permit issuance, the Owner must typically engage a registered Special Inspection Agency (SIA) who will take responsibility for the Special and Progress Inspections.  The Applicant of Record may perform these inspections if they are also an SIA.  Inspection discrepancies and hazardous conditions shall be reported to the superintendent of construction, as well as to the site safety coordinator or site safety manager, for correction, per BB 2016-006 and 1 RCNY 101-06. Per BC 1704.1.2, the Contractor cannot hire the special inspector.

Based on the scope of work, a deck and/or porch project may be required to comply with the following Special and Progress Inspection requirements:

Subgrade Conditions

Existing subsurface conditions such as soil, compaction, borings, test pits, etc. in order to better evaluate the supporting structure’s footing and foundation needs as per BC 1704.7

Structural Stability – Existing Buildings

Any modification of existing structural systems or elements, such as columns, girders, beams, bearing walls, etc. where the stability or integrity of the structural system is impacted, in accordance with sections BC 1704.20.6 through 1704.20.10

Fire-resistant Penetration and Joists

Special Inspections for penetrations of fire-resistant elements and assemblies, and related firestops in accordance with Building Code sections BC 1704.27.1 and BC 1704.27.2.

Footings and Foundation

An inspection after excavations for footings is complete and any required reinforcing steel and required forms are in place per BC 110.3.1.

Post Installed Anchors

Installation of post-installed mechanical anchors, adhesive anchors, and screw anchors shall comply with BC Table 1704.32BC 1704.32 and Buildings Bulletin (BB) 2014-018 and 019.

Structural Wood Frame

Structural wood framing shall be in accordance with BC 110.3.3.

Fire-Resistance Rated Construction

Fire-resistance-rated partitions, walls, floors, ceilings, shafts, and shutters as per BC 110.3.4.

Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS)

Required for all EIFS applications installed more than 15 feet (4572 mm) above adjacent finished grades and alterations to existing EIFS installations more than 15 feet (4572 mm) above adjacent finished grades  in accordance with BC 1704.13.

Final Inspection

A final inspection is required prior to the issuance of a letter of completion, per AC 28- and BC 110.5.

Flood Zone Compliance

Special Inspection for flood zone compliance shall be as required by BC Appendix G and BC 1704.29.

Energy Code Compliance Inspections

  • Penetrations through thermal envelope:  must be sealed to minimize air leakage, and prevent thermal bridging, as per NYCECC R402.4 and C402.5.
  • Exterior lighting power: density must be within allowances per NYCECC C405.5 or be equipped with a control device.

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