Every building in New York City must meet certain safety, usability, and aesthetic requirements, and these are detailed in the NYC building code. Every phase of construction and renovation is governed by these rules. In addition, there are rules that preside over the overall appearance of a structure, such as which colors and building styles can be used in certain areas.
During construction or renovation, it will be necessary for a city employee to examine the building at various stages during the project, in order to ensure that all rules within the NYC building code are being followed. The project’s contractor must grant access to the site, regardless of whether it is a commercial or a residential structure. If any problems are found, work on other areas of the building may be delayed until the problem is fixed.
Those who own their own homes are not immune from compliance with the NYC building code, either. If one chooses to do a project within a home, even if it is minor and out of view, it may be necessary to obtain a building permit and allow the work to be inspected as it progresses. Failing to obtain the proper permits for the work can result in stiff fines for the homeowner, not to mention an unsafe house, if something was done wrong.
While the structure of the building is the central focus, the NYC building code also covers a wide variety of other issues, as well. Entrances to commercial buildings, for instance, must be accessible with a wheel chair. Air conditioning and ventilation systems must meet certain acoustic requirements. In addition to these examples, the NYC building code has many other special requirements that apply only to certain buildings, such as those that are in historic areas.
Though there are many different rules within the pages of the NYC building code, it is important to be familiar with them, not only for safety reasons, but also because non-compliance with the codes can be quite expensive.