7 Steps to build a legal house in New York

By: Abdullah Haroon October 22, 2020

Share the Post:

Building a home is quite a pleasant event in one’s life. You would always want to pour in all of your experience and want it to best illustrate your aesthetic sense. However, least you care about minding what are the legal demands and criteria to build a house. This is the first thing that you need to cater to when building a home in NYC. Not only the land you acquired must fall in legal categories but the material and safety protocols must fit well within the NYC local laws.

You need to educate yourself in detail about the eligibility criteria but also need to hire services of any professional to make sure everything falls under the law.

Let us know what are those legal requirements and how can you manage them?

Find a property:

Sometimes, it is a design which people prepare first according to their requirements or at other times, they purchase property and then get a design.  There are different designing regulations for different zones. Regulation codes dictate what can you build at a certain piece of land? Regulations determine if you can build a family house or not or how much minimum land must be acquired for a family home.

You shall need to know the following factors:

  • How many families may be allowed?
  • Minimum area required for a family house
  • How high can a roof be built?
  • Instructions for parking and garage


Obtain a loan:

Building a home almost involves one of the biggest investments of your life. It might not be possible for a person to have enough savings required to build a new home. You need to consider two strategies here: one, reducing the cost of building through customization and better designs and acquiring the budget required to build that design. You may pursue it both ways, finalize your budget bracket and design according to it or design home and manage your budget as per the requirement. Second, get a mortgage for your home.

  • Get an exact estimate of the total cost involved in the building process inclusive of construction, furnishing, legal fees and minor details.
  • Get to know the mortgage policies and interest rates and chose wisely with whom you rest your interest.


Design your home:

You have done the hardest job already. Now you have the land and budget required to build the home. If you have not considered designing your home earlier, then this is the time you shall ask a professional to design a home customized to your needs and aesthetic touch.

You might be thinking to save a few dollars and design by yourself. Well, you can if you are professional in this field otherwise let the expert do her job. Believe me, you would save more in construction expenses if you decide to consult with them.

Note: just do not hire an architect, instead of doing some research to find a professional and certified architect to design a home.

Apply for a permit:

For a legal perspective, you need to register your home with the department of building. The good news is you may apply online while the bad news is it takes time. You need to be patient with your application and due process. The time varies with the structure and size of the building. You should keep your documents well prepared as some other department re also involved in giving certification for the house.

Following are the department where you will be in touch for it:

  • City Planning Commission
  • Department of Environmental Protection
  • Department of Buildings
  • NYC Department of Finance
  • Department of Transportation
  • Fire Department Of New York


Hire a Contractor:

Now, you have been waiting for the green signal from the department of building, you may finalize other pending tasks. You need to contact professional contractors for the job of building. The best way is to take quotations from multiple contractors and along with their profiles. Read thoroughly about their construction history and experience.

Decide when you are completely satisfied with a certain contractor. Give your contractor a plan and if possible arrange a meeting with your architect to let your contractor learn about the design and minor details.

Start the construction:

You have already consulted with several contractors and have shown them the design of your home. Your permit is your green signal for construction. So, as soon as you get the permit, you shall kick off construction without any further due. During the process, oversee every step taken and try to arrange meetings of your contractor and designers so that they may truly translate the vision into a concrete structure.

Schedule an inspection before occupancy:

The construction might be over and the house is complete but your job is not done yet. You cannot shift in the house right away. When the house is complete, one final inspection by the local authorities remains due. They visit and make sure that all the safety protocols were being implemented in letter and spirit.

They see if there is any safety hazard in the house or if house is equipped with tools in case of any emergency such as fire. And if the dimensions are according to what are recommended by the law.

Once you get the inspector’s approval, you are all set to move in whenever you want.

The Bottom Line:

It takes time, energy and money to build a home. You need to have their reservoirs full and high.

In the end, we wish you a happy stay in our new house.