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people ask the following questions

frequently asked questions


Question 1.

The Department of Buildings (D.O.B.) offers numerous permit categories depending on the work done. Property owners most frequently require building, boiler, plumbing, and electrical licenses. Contractors must get a home improvement license from the Department of Consumer Affairs, although changing kitchen cabinets is an exception that does not require a permit.

The exception to this rule is when the owner intends to demolish the old building and replace it with a new one (in which case a New Building application is necessary):

Third-Type Modification (ALT3): This is one example of minor construction that does not affect access, use, or occupancy.

Transformation of the Second Type (ALT2): Multiple work types without alterations to access or occupancy

Instances of Type 1 Modification (ALT1): Modifications that significantly modify the building’s function, exit, or occupants


Question 2.

Apart from ALT3 applications, construction cannot begin before the PE or RA has finished construction designs. There are situations where design experts will self-certify that their applications are under all applicable codes and laws. Self-certification can avoid DOB inspection but may lead to an audit. Property owners can verify the standing of construction professionals like PEs and RAs by checking their licensing and disciplinary histories through the DOB’s online databases.


question 4.

Whether you’re filing for an Alteration I, Alteration II, or Alteration III, you’ll have to pay a charge to the New York City Department of Buildings. The charges are determined based on the expected final price of the building project. Additionally, this does not include the filing costs needed for your expediter or engineer to manage the project filing in DOB Now, which must be paid directly to the NYC DOB.


question 3.

Ensure the following for a permit filing process:

  • Employ a fast-track service for building permit applications and blueprint submissions.
  • Get DOB plan approval to ensure that your drawings conform to building regulations.
  • It is a must to submit the necessary paperwork and fees to obtain a work permit.
  • Carry out the suggested work as per the approved plans.
  • Get the OK from the Department of Buildings (unless PE or RA is self-certifying).
  • Obtain a Certificate of Occupancy from the Department of Buildings (for ALT1 and New Building applications) or a Letter of Completion from the Department of Buildings (for ALT2 and ALT3 applications).


question 5.

You require a building permit from the Department of Buildings (DOB) for nearly all construction projects in New York City. Building owners need to hire licensed design professionals like professional engineers or registered architects to get approval from the New York City Department of Buildings.


Do I need an Architect?

Before starting, the PE or RA needs to prepare construction drawings, with the exception of ALT3 applications. In some cases, the design professionals may self-certify that their applications adhere to all relevant codes and laws. (Note: Self-certification removes the need for DOB review, but it may trigger an audit.)

The DOB website offers online resources to help property owners check licenses and disciplinary records of construction professionals, including PEs and RAs.

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