Select Page

Permit for Kitchen Renovation In NYC

Last week, I decided to renovate my kitchen in New York City. It was really hard for me because of the lack of information available online about whether or not I needed a permit from NYC’s Department of Buildings before going through with it, so after some research and finding these answers which are easy to understand in everyday English by multiple sources such as Home Guides USA LLC., we can confidently say that you don’t need any permits (as long as there is no structural changes).

For most of the renovation, you may require a permit from the Department of Buildings depending on the complexity of the project. But for a major renovation of the kitchen in New York City, you have to get both permit and plans. You need to hire a New York State licensed professional engineer (P.E.) or registered architect (R.A) for permit and plans. Keep on reading to know exactly which type of renovation in the kitchen requires a permit. And which kitchen renovation in NYC doesn’t require a permit.

Which renovation work kitchen will not require the permits?

  • Painting in a kitchen will not require the permit.
  • Plastering in a kitchen doesn’t require the permit.
  • Refinishing your cabinets doesn’t require the permit.
  • Replacing your light fixtures doesn’t require the permits but hire a licensed electrician to avoid any risk.
  • Refinishing your wooden floors will not require the permit.

If you are thinking about some minor work in kitchens such as painting or plastering then no permit is required. But if you want to install new cabinets or resurfacing floors & planning to hire someone. Then make sure Contractors must be licensed through the Department of Consumer of Affairs (DCA).

Patching and painting in renovation if your building was built before 1978. Then your painter will need to be an Environmental Protection Agency Lead-Certified Renovator.

You can check the license of your contractor with DCA’s Instant License Check

Which renovation work kitchen will require the permits?

Taking down a wall in Kitchen

Maybe you are thinking to do some major renovation in your kitchen and you want to remove a wall. Well, then you can only do it after getting your permit from D.O.B (Department of buildings). It does not matter even if it’s about removing the partition wall completely or just making a small opening. With inexperienced contractors, there is the risk for building to collapse if they damage a structural column of the building.

Rerouting gas pipes and adding electrical outlets

If you are planning to change the position of gas pipes then you will need a permit as gas pipes and electrical lines need to be re-routed.

Installation of new window

If your renovating plans include having a bigger window or installing a new one, then you will need to get your permit. Contrary to this if you just want just replace the existing window then hire a licensed window replacement firm.

Major plumbing work

You are required to have the permits before doing any plumbing work. This is because of change in existing position will require plumbing to be re-routed.

Type of Construction Permit Applications for Renovations

There are 4 types of different construction permit applications, for bathroom & kitchen renovation you will be required mostly ALT2 application. Following are the 4 types of construction permit applications:

  • New building (NB): Construction of new structures
  • Alterations Type 1 (ALT1): Major alterations that will change use, egress or occupancy
  • Alterations Type 2 (ALT2): Multiple types of work, not affecting use, egress or occupancy
  • Alterations Type 3 (ALT3): One type of minor work, not affecting use, egress or occupancy.

Most kitchen and bathroom renovations require Alterations Type 2 (ALT2). These ALT2 application permit must be filled by New York State licensed professional engineer (P.E.) or registered architect (R.A).

For more information about the permit or any other information, you can visit your local borough office where Department of Buildings staff can provide the information you need to. Following are the address of the office which you can visit every Tuesday from 4:00 -7:00 p.m.

Bronx Borough Office, 1932 Arthur Avenue, 5th Floor, Bronx, NY 10457

Queens Borough Office, 120-55 Queens Boulevard, Kew Gardens, NY 11424

Brooklyn Borough Office, 210 Joralemon Street, 8th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Staten Island Borough Office, 10 Richmond Terrace, Borough Hall, 2nd Floor, Staten Island, NY 10301

Manhattan Borough Office, 280 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10007

Doing Renovation Work without Permits

Doing renovation for kitchen or any other renovation without approvals or permit is illegal. Having these permits is for our own safety as any small accident or mistake can cause major loss. Having illegal construction is unsafe & can result in big fines. The most severe violation which is Class 1 can carry a $25,000 fine, additional penalties, and accrued interest. These costs are in addition to legal liability, and in some cases, property owners may be brought to Criminal Court.

Time needed for Review & Approval

Project approval time varies from one other there are several factors affecting this. Project complexity is one of the major factors. Apart from this, there can be some objection to your project which you need to address and resolve.

  • Determine the necessary permits, and then file applications and construction drawings
  • Obtain Department plan approval
  • File and pull permits
  • Perform approved work
  • Pass the final inspections
  • Receive a new or amended Certificate of Occupancy or Letter of Completion.

Conclusion on Permit for Kitchen Renovation In NYC

For any small home renovation, you can go ahead and do it. But if you’re confused then definitely head to your nearest department office for assistance. For the sake of safety, make sure to get a permit or approval from them beforehand so that everything is up-to-date in accordance with the law!

It is important to hire qualified and licensed professionals who will comply with all requirements of the NYC Building Code and Zoning Resolution. Any work performed in a building, including illegal construction can result in big hefty fines that are your responsibility as property owners.

Note that this is not legal advice and there is no client-attorney relationship. Consult with an attorney or respective department if you need more guidance.


Check our post on how to save big on kitchen cabinets.