Work you can do without a permit, Licensed Skilled Tradesperson, Licensed Contractor, or Registered Design Professional
There is some minor work, described in the sections below, which can be performed without a work permit, without hiring a Licensed Contractor, and/or without hiring a Registered Design Professional.
NYC Administrative Code Section AC 28-105.4 clarifies work exempt from a permit. Exemptions from permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for work to be done in any manner that violates the provisions of the code, including the Zoning Resolution or any other law or rules enforced by DOB. Such exemptions shall not relieve owners of the obligation to comply with the requirements of other city agencies, including any filing requirements. Unless otherwise indicated, permits shall not be required for the following:
Ordinary plumbing work, as set forth in section AC 28-105.4.4
Minor alterations and ordinary repairs, as described in AC 28-105.4.2
Small swimming pools, as described in Table 1 of 1 RCNY 101-14
Ordinary Plumbing Work AC 28-105.4.4 provides a limited list of work related to a building’s ordinary maintenance and repair, which includes the repair, replacement and relocation of installed plumbing, gas and fire protection piping, service equipment, and other system components. However, such work must be performed by a Licensed Master Plumber and such plumber must submit a monthly report to DOB as described in this AC section.
NYC Administrative Code Section AC 28-105.4.2 defines minor alterations and ordinary repairs. A permit shall not be required for minor alterations and ordinary repairs.
Minor Alterations. Minor changes or modifications in a building or any part thereof, excluding additions thereto, that do not in any way affect health or the fire or structural safety of the building or the safe use and operation of the service equipment therein. Minor alterations shall not include any of the work described as “work not constituting minor alterations or ordinary repairs.”
Ordinary Repairs. Replacements or renewals of existing work in a building, or of parts of the service equipment therein, with the same or equivalent materials or equipment parts, that are made in the ordinary course of maintenance and that do not in any way affect health or the fire or structural safety of the building or the safe use and operation of the service equipment therein. Ordinary repairs shall include the repair or replacement of any plumbing fixture, piping or faucets from any exposed stop valve to the inlet side of a trap. Ordinary repairs shall not include any of the work described as “work not constituting minor alterations or ordinary repairs.”
Work not constituting minor alterations or ordinary repairs. Minor alterations or ordinary repairs shall not include:
The cutting away of any load bearing or required fire rated wall, floor, or roof construction, or any portion thereof.
The removal, cutting, or modification of any beams or structural supports;
The removal, change, or closing of any required exit;
The addition, rearrangement, relocation, removal or replacement of any parts of the building affecting loading or exit requirements, or light, heat, ventilation, or elevator requirements or accessibility requirements, or any fire suppression or fire protection system;
Additions to, alterations of, or rearrangement, relocation, replacement, repair or removal of any portion of a standpipe or sprinkler system, water distribution system, house sewer, private sewer, or drainage system, including leaders, or any soil, waste or vent pipe, or any gas distribution system;
Any plumbing work other than the repair or replacement of plumbing fixtures, piping or faucets from the exposed stop valve to the inlet side of a trap;
The alteration or repair of a sign for which a permit is required; or
Any other work affecting health or the fire or structural safety of the building or the safe use and operation of the service equipment therein.
Per 1 RCNY 101-14, Table 1, a permit is not required for outdoor in-ground or above-ground pools accessory to a one- or two-family dwelling limited to 400 square feet in area, provided that the distance from the edge of an in-ground pool to any building or lot line is greater than the depth of the deepest portion of the pool, and:
there is an existing slop sink for indirect waste; or
a plumbing permit is obtained for the installation of such sink.
Permits are tied to the project’s scope of work and work type, and the permits are regulated according to the nature of the work, licensing, and registration requirements for the work being performed. There are several aspects of outdoor swimming pool work, including but not limited to piping, fuel-burning equipment, ductwork, air-conditioning equipment, electric wiring, and the repair or replacement of interior/exterior finishes, which can only be performed by contractors with specialized licenses to perform such required work, and permits are issued to these registered trade license holders.
No work requiring a permit can be performed by a General Contractor without the owner first hiring a Registered Design Professional, who must submit construction plans for approval by DOB prior to the issuance of the permit.
The work outlined below can only be performed by a Licensed Master Plumber. However, if the plumbing project exceeds the work allowed under the categories of limited plumbing alteration work listed below, a Registered Design Professional must submit construction plans for approval by DOB in order to obtain a work permit; see below.
Administrative Code section AC 28-101.5 provides the definition of Limited Plumbing Alteration, specifying repair to a plumbing or fuel gas piping system that is limited in scope under two categories:
Category – 1: With Cost and time period limitation - $35,000 cost limitation per building including appliance and labor in any 12 month period – only the following can be done:
Addition of Plumbing Fixtures or Connections. Add five or less fixtures within any 12-month period;
New Piping. Installation of new plumbing or fuel gas piping – Not including Category 2 work;
Category – 2: Without cost and time period limitation - only the following can be done:
Piping. Reroute existing plumbing or fuel gas branch piping to serve the same number of existing fixtures and appliances
Replace Fixtures. In-kind replacement of plumbing fixtures and gas appliances, and which exceeds a minor alteration/repair or ordinary plumbing work
Relocate Existing Fixtures. Relocation and mounting of new fixtures on existing roughing, and which exceeds a minor alteration/repair or ordinary plumbing work
A new installation, alteration, or repair of electric wires, wiring apparatuses and appliances or equipment shall be performed by a New York City licensed electrical contractor. All electrical work such as, but not limited to, installing conduits, wires, lighting fixtures and switches, panelboards, fire alarm devices, boiler line voltage work and controls, etc., require an electrical permit before commencing such electrical work.
The Electrical Contractor shall coordinate with the Registered Design Professional (RDP), other members of the design team, and all other construction trade contractors where projects have other aspects to the work in addition to electrical. For such projects, DOB only requires the submission of a separate electrical permit application. When an electrical permit application by the Licensed Electrical Contractor includes a large electrical installation (see classifications of large installations under electrical plan examination listed below) or requires NYC Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) compliance, such an electrical permit application must reference the general project application number for permit issuance.
Electrical construction documents are not required to be submitted by a Registered Design Professional to DOB as part of the electrical or general permit application, except electrical construction documents must be submitted to DOB to obtain an electrical permit as follows:
Electrical Plan Examination. Submitted by either a Registered Design Professional or a Licensed Electrician
Electrical Equipment with a capacity of 1000 KVA or larger.
Electrical installation that utilizes 1000 Volt or higher.
Any addition to an existing installation which would bring the total to 1000 KVA or higher.
If the outdoor swimming pool project is comprised of aspects of work exceeding what is allowed above, then a Registered Design Professional must submit construction plans, for approval by the Department, prior to obtaining a work permit.
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