Filing with the New York City Department of Buildings

What triggers Department of Buildings filing? And how do you file with the Department of Buildings.

So what triggers the Department of Buildings filing is simple if you are moving more than 45 square feet of sheetrock.

So if you’re taking out the wall between your kitchen and your living room, you’re filing with the Department of Buildings.

What do you need to do three simple steps.
1) You need to get approval from your building.
2) You need an Architect
3) and you need an expediter approval from your building.

The building is actually going to sign the paperwork that goes to the Department of Buildings so run your idea by them in concept first to make sure you don’t get a long way into this process and have to make changes.

Red flags for your building are going to be making a penetration in the exterior of the Building so you want to cut a hole to put an air conditioning unit in for example.

Another red flag might be moving a bathroom from one location to another. Bathrooms in buildings are generally in a stack and if you’re taking your bathroom out of that stack and putting it somewhere else, say over a bedroom, you’re creating a wet over dry scenario, which is a flood hazard for the people below. Buildings don’t like that much. Assuming that your building has no objections, you’re going to need an architect and an architect at this level, producing a simple set of plans.

You’re not really paying for the drawing time as much as you’re paying for the stamp. And the stamp will allow the plans be processed by the Department of Buildings.

The stamp is going to cost you about $15,000. The drawings will be an additional number probably $5000 or $10,00 on top of that, and once you have that together, it will take about a month or two to produce the drawings.

Once you have the drawings, they need to go to an expediter. The expediter is the team that will actually process your drawings with the Department of Buildings. It will generally take about six weeks for the Department of Buildings to process your request and give you an approval, and the expediting will charge you about $5,000.

So in summary, the process is going to take 4-8 weeks for the architect, about 6 weeks for the expediter so 10-14 weeks in time, and costs somewhere between $20,000 and $30,000.

Now this may sound complicated, but your architectural team and your construction team will be very familiar with this process, and we’ll be able to talk you through it. If you’d like more information, click on the link below.