Permits for renovation work are only issued to a Licensed General Contractor. Chapter 4 of the NYC General Administrative Provisions for Construction Codes (AC) defines the various licensing and registration requirements, plus qualifications of individuals employed on any project regulated by the Department of Buildings. AC §28-418 requires General Contractors (GC) to register with the department. AC §28-401.18 requires licensed contractors to have a place of business in New York City. AC §28-418 requiresall registrants to include their license number and business information on trucks, business cards and advertisements.
Registered General Contractors must also have safety endorsements from the Department for construction, concrete and demolition work if performing such work on buildings that are four stories or more. Based on the scope of a project, additional requirements may be applicable.
Non-registered Contractors may perform limited work that is assigned a tracking number, but must pre-file with the department and provide proof of Workers’ Compensation and Disability Insurance.
The Department issues licenses to Contractors qualified to perform construction work. However, renovations and alterations of 1, 2, 3 and 4 family homes and individual apartment units require Home Improvement Contractors (HIC) license issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs in addition to General Contractor (GC) license.
GCs must have a place of business in New York City as per AC 28-401.18. All licensees shall include their license number and business information on trucks, business cards and advertisements.
Licensed Contractors must register first to use the Department’s online ePermit processing system. A permit application must be completed online by the licensed or registered Contractor for the issuance of a renovation permit. Prior to issuing a permit for the approved project, the following are required:
Payment of any unpaid Project Application fees.
Identification of responsible Special Inspection Agencies (SIA) by the Registered Design Professional.
Request for waiver of penalties, stop work or violations (former L2 Form).
Licensee’s license and insurance information must be active and current.
Licensed General Contractors registered with DOB must have active and current insurance policies and must keep any registration, license and insurance policies current with the Department’s Licensing & Exams Unit. This enables the Contractor’s status to be automatically checked and displayed when a permit application is submitted. Get additional insurance requirement information.
Additional Project Specific Insurance may be required. See our Project Specific General Liability Insurance Tool.
Permits have a maximum duration of two years from the date of issuance, per AC §28-105.8.1. Permit expiration may coincide with the expiration date of General Liability Insurance, per AC §28-105.12.7, or with the project-specific insurance or if work has not commenced within 12 months, per AC §28-105.9. Such permit can be renewable and must be in effect at all times during which the equipment is at the work site.
The Administrative Code of the City of New York §28-301.1 requires Owners to maintain their properties in a safe condition. Property Owners, Contractors and Construction Site Managers must minimize the risk of accidents and fire.
Site Safety Regulations
For regulations related to the safety of employees on a construction or demolition site, OSHA Standards shall apply, per BC 3301.1.
For regulations related to party wall protection, see NYC BC 3309.8.
For regulations related to waterproof integrity, per BC 3309.9.
The permit holder is required to notify the Department prior to excavation per NYC Building Code 3304.3.1.
Notification to adjoining property owners, per BC 3309.1.1.
All equipment should be used according to manufacturer’ specifications and the requirements of the NYC Building Code. Where there is a discrepancy, the stricter requirement shall apply, per BC 3301.1.3.
Tobacco, lighters and matches are prohibited on asbestos abatement sites. Local Law 35/09.
Open fires are illegal on construction sites. NYC Fire Code §1404.3.
Approved portable fire extinguishers must be available on floors where combustible materials or liquids are stored, combustible waste is being generated and at the entrance of each storage and construction shed. NYC Fire Code §1415.1.
Temporary heating equipment used at construction sites. NYC Fire Code §1403.
If you have a Fire Department variance to use a coal-fired heater, you must minimize the fire load on concrete construction projects. NYC BC §3303.6 and NYC Fire Code §307.2.2 (link to ). To apply for a variance, contact FDNY’s Bureau of Fire Prevention at (718) 999 – 2377.
Store materials away from flames. NYC Fire Code §308.2.
When work involves relocation or modification of sprinkler, standpipes, fire protection systems, etc., the Contractor must notify FDNY and obtain approval if required. NYC Building Code 3303.7 and BC 3303.8.
All shanties and contractor sheds shall be built from fire-retardant or non-combustible materials and shall be located in safe area. NYC Building Code §3303.1.3.
Follow Tenant/Occupant Protection Plans. NYC BC 3303.10.
Tenant/Occupant Protection Plan
Construction documents for renovation in an occupied building during construction shall include a Tenant Protection Plan. Such plan shall contain a statement that the building contains dwelling units, offices, or similar, that will be occupied during construction. It shall also include the specific units that are occupied during construction and the means and methods employed to safeguard the safety and health of the occupants with details such as temporary fire-rated assemblies, opening protectives, or dust containment procedures.
The elements of the Tenant Protection Plan shall have detailed and specific provisions for egress, fire safety, structural safety, health requirements, and demonstrate compliance with housing standards and noise restrictions (AC §28-104.8.4). In an occupied building, protective means (barricades, signs, drop cloths, etc.) shall be installed and maintained as necessary to provide protection for the occupants against construction hazards and nuisances. Such protective means shall be indicated on the Tenant Protection Plan (TPP) per NYC BC §3303.10.
Temporary Construction Equipment
Renovation projects such as excavation, demolition and façade repair can require the installation of temporary construction equipment such as sidewalk sheds, fences, scaffolds, material chutes, hoist, etc. This equipment is required to safely move materials associated with the project to protect workers and the public, per AC Section 28-105.8 and BC Chapter 33. Also refer to Construction Project Guidelines for Temporary Construction Equipment.