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Garage Permits in NY: Find Your Answers

a garage with a building permit in ny

Want to know a secret? Getting garage building permits in New York is not as confusing or elusive as you imagined! Through this article, you will find answers to your questions concerning building permits and if you simply want local answers, skip ahead to our table of government links

Perhaps you are looking for a quality garage without the hassle. At Shed’s Unlimited, we are thrilled to provide durable garages that are fully customizable through our 3D Builder

Okay, time to head into permit answers!  

Do I need a permit to build a detached garage in NY?

Most likely, yes. In order to be compliant with the 2020 Residential Code of New York, your detached garage will need a building permit. 

However, there are exceptions. Some townships and cities within New York have adjusted their building standards. For example, in Otsego County, if your detached garage is smaller than 144 square feet, you will not need to receive a building permit in order to construct your new garage. 

According to the 2020 Residential Code of New York both attached and detached garages must comply with the following: 

  • The floor must not be flammable or combustible.
  • A slope must ensure that all fluids can drain out of the garage door.
  • Private garages must have fire sprinklers.
  • All garage door openers must be in alignment with UL 325.
  • For one-story houses and garages that are up to 9 feet tall, the walls made of solid bricks or blocks should be at least 6 inches thick. However, if a gable is included, the thickness can be extended up to 6 more feet to reach the top of the gable.
  • For attached and detached garages with electricity, there should be at least one electrical outlet in each vehicle bay, placed no higher than 5.5 feet above the floor.
  • Appliances with a flame or ignition source must be raised so that the flame is at least 18 inches above the garage floor for safety.
  • Make sure you check with your local government for a comprehensive list of standards.
garage with a garage permit in ny

Do I need a permit to build an attached garage in NY? 

Yes, in every location within New York, you will need a building permit for your attached garage. 

The 2020 Residential Code of New York requires that all attached garages align with the following:

  • Incorporate heat detection (attached garages that do not use commercial power are exempt). 
  • If attached to basements or crawl spaces, they (basements and crawl spaces) must have an average temperature of 64 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Because exact laws can vary based on the township, city, or county in which you reside, you must verify all permit information with your local government (see our table of links). 

garage building permits in ny

Do I need a zoning permit for a garage in NY?

Exact zoning requirements vary according to your exact jurisdiction

Do I need a garage permit in Rochester, NY? 

Yes, a building permit is required for both detached and attached garages in Rochester, NY

There are additional requirements for both types of garages: 

  • They must be placed in the rear of the property 
  • Garages must be five feet from rear and side lot lines 
  • The floor must be crafted from non-flammable material 

Where do I get a garage building permit in NY?

Typically, garage building permits can be accessed online through your local government’s website. Some jurisdictions within New York prefer that all applications be mailed into the office, while others accept emailed and digital copies. Make sure you are in compliance with your local government

a garage with a building permit in ny

How much is a garage building permit in NY?

Typically, garage building permits are charged by the estimated value of the garage. For example, in Mt Vernon a permit application is $80, plus an additional $6 per estimated $1,000 of work. This means if your attached or detached garage is estimated to cost $30,000, you would pay a grand total of $260. In contrast, in Binghamton, NY, work that ranges from $10,001-$20,000 costs a flat rate of $125. 

For exact prices, check with your local government.

What is the penalty if you don’t get a garage permit in NY?

If you start to build a garage without a building permit in NY, you will receive a fine. For example,  in New York City, you will receive a fine of at least $600 for building a garage without a permit or with an expired building permit. For more information, read our article on shed permits in NY

What are the setback requirements for garages in NY? 

Overall, setback requirements can vary by a few feet in different cities and counties within NY. For example, detached garages in the City of Auburn must be built six feet from the house and three feet from both the side and rear boundaries; attached garages should be seven feet from the side property lines. In contrast, Albany requires a two foot setback from both the side and rear lot lines, while Grand Island observes a five foot rear and side setback. 

Ensure you are aware of your local government’s setback requirements for garages. 

a garage with a building permit in ny

How long does a building permit last in NY?

Construction must begin within the first six months of receiving a building permit. However, a building permit is valid for one year in New York. This means that from the time you receive your building permit, you have a year to finish the building process. If you have not finished within that time frame, you can reapply for another building permit. 

How long does it take to get a garage building permit in NY?

In most cases, it will take 7-10 business days to have a garage building permit approved. Of course, this can vary case by case. It’s a good rule of thumb to check with your local government to get a closer estimate of the approval time period. 

Can a homeowner pull a garage permit in NY?

Normally, the individual overseeing the renovation/construction is the one obtaining the garage permit in New York. If a contractor is in charge of constructing your shed, make sure to request three types of insurance: liability, worker’s compensation, and disability coverage. Although it’s the contractor’s duty to secure the building permits, it is essential for you to verify that all necessary permits have been successfully obtained before beginning construction. 

a garage with a building permit in ny

What do you need for a garage permit in NY? 

While the exact requirements will vary by township, city, and county within NY, here is a simple list to get you thinking: 

  • Lot survey
  • Estimated value of the project
  • Copy of permit application
  • Proof of ownership 
  • Contractor’s contact information 
  • Garage specs
  • Setbacks
  • Worker’s Compensation insurance 
  • Contact your local government for the most current list of needed documents. 

What is needed after garage work is completed in NY? 

In some areas of New York, you must receive a final inspection once your attached or detached garage has been built. For example, the city of Harrison requires that all construction projects receive final inspection and a Certificate of Occupancy if there are plans to make part of the garage a livable space. Additionally, if electric work is needed, additional inspections are required. Check with your local building department to understand exactly what is required from this final inspection process. 

a garage with a building permit in ny

Can I build a garage in my backyard in NYC?

Yes, but first you must make sure that you are in compliance with New York City’s building code. In order to ensure that your garage is legal, you must obtain zoning approval and submit a request for a building permit. Finally, after the building permit has been approved and received, building can commence. 

What makes a driveway legal in NYC? 

In order to have a legal driveway in New York City, you must fill out a work permit application. Once it has been submitted and approved, you will then file for a construction permit. After your permit is approved and received, the actual building process will be able to proceed. For detailed information, refer to New York City’s government website on curb cuts

What is the New York state driveway law?

If you are trying to modify a driveway that is located on a New York state highway, you must receive a permit from the NYS Department of Transportation before you begin renovation. All contractors are required to share their insurance; homeowners are exempt from needing insurance. Find further information and instructions from the NYS Department of Transportation

a garage with a building permit

What is the building code for detached garages in NYC? 

First, you must contact the zoning district with your “site designations:” a diagram of your lot, location of the main building on your lot, ect. To apply for a driveway permit, refer to DOB NOW

Garage Permit Requirements by Counties in New York 

Take a glance at our list of counties to find specific answers to your garage permit questions. 

County: Link:
Albany, NY https://www.albanyny.gov/165/Buildings-Regulatory-Compliance
Broone, NY https://www.binghamton-ny.gov/government/departments/building-construction-code-enforcement
Cayuga,  NYhttps://www.cayugacounty.us/1560/Code-Enforcement-Office
Dutchess, NY https://www.dutchessny.gov/Departments/DBCH/Building-Permits-Certificates-Occupancy-Lot-Approval.htm
Onondaga, NY https://www.townofonondaga.gov/departments/buildingandcodes/InstructionsandFeesforBuildingPermits
Otsego, NY https://www.otsegocounty.com/departments/code_enforcement/frequently_asked_questions_(faqs).php#:~:text=Percolation%20Tests-,Permits,-Photographs
Rensselaer,  NYhttps://rensselaerny.gov/City-Departments/planning-building-and-zoning/building-department
Saratoga, NY https://www.saratoga-springs.org/160/Building-Department
Schenectady, NY https://cityofschenectady.com/179/Building-Permits#:~:text=Obtaining%20a%20Permit,cost%20estimate%20of%20the%20construction
Sullivan, NY https://www.townofsullivanny.gov/building-planning-and-zoning/pages/building-permits
Tompkins, NY https://www.cityofithaca.org/135/Codes-Standards
Ulster, NY https://www.townofulster.ny.gov/departments/building-planning-zoning/
Warren, NY https://www.warrencountyny.gov/fpbc/reqs
Washington, NY https://www.washingtoncountyny.gov/268/Code-Enforcement

Garage Permit Requirements by Cities in New York 

Through our table of New York cities, you’ll be able to find specific answers to your local garage permit questions. 

Albany, NY https://www.albanyny.gov/165/Buildings-Regulatory-Compliance
Amsterdam, NY https://www.amsterdamny.gov/DocumentCenter/View/131/When-Do-I-Need-a-Permit-PDF
Auburn, NY https://www.auburnny.gov/code-enforcement-office/pages/general-requirements-construction
Buffalo, NY https://www.buffalony.gov/516/City-of-Buffalo-Charter-Building-Permits#:~:text=Construction%20or%20installation%20of%20one%20story%20detached%20structures%20associated%20with%20one%2Dor%20two%2Dfamily%20dwellings%20or%20multiple%20single%2Dfamily%20dwellings%20(townhouses)%20which%20are%20used%20for%20tool%20and%20storage%20sheds%2C%20playhouses%20or%20similar%20uses%2C%20provided%20the%20gross%20floor%20area%20does%20not%20exceed%20144%20square%20feet
Freeport, NY https://www.freeportny.gov/742/Building-Permits
Garden City, NY https://www.gardencityny.net/168/Building-Department
Glen Cove, NY https://glencoveny.gov/building-department/
Harrison, NY https://www.harrison-ny.gov/building-department
Hempstead, NY https://hempsteadny.gov/191/Building-Department
Ithaca, NY https://www.cityofithaca.org/130/Building-Division
Kiryas Joel, NY https://www.orangecountygov.com/413/Kiryas-Joel-Village
Lackawanna, NY https://lackawannany.gov/government/code-enforcement/
Lindenhurst, NY https://villageoflindenhurstny.gov/planning-board-business-meeting/building-department/building-permits/
Lockport, NY https://elockport.com/government/building-department/#3-sheds
Long Beach, NY https://www.longbeachny.gov/index.asp?SEC=C83C757E-C2A2-414A-B9AD-48EB351A5F47
Mamaroneck, NY https://www.townofmamaroneckny.org/173/Building-Code-Enforcement
Mineola, NY https://www.mineola-ny.gov/building-department
Mount Vernon, NY https://www.cmvny.com/Faq.aspx?QID=69
North Tonawanda, NY https://www.northtonawanda.org/building-inspector
Peekskill, NY https://www.cityofpeekskill.com/199/Building-Department
Plattsburg, NY https://www.cityofplattsburgh-ny.gov/department/building-inspector
Port Chester, NY https://www.portchesterny.gov/158/Building-Department
Riverhead, NY https://www.townofriverheadny.gov/pview.aspx?id=2472&catid=118
Rochester, NY https://www.cityofrochester.gov/article.aspx?id=8589939746
Saratoga Springs, NY https://www.saratoga-springs.org/160/Building-Department
Schenectady, NY https://cityofschenectady.com/179/Building-Permits
Spring Valley, NY https://villagespringvalley.org/village-departments/building-department/
Syracuse, NY https://www.syr.gov/Departments/Central-Permit-Office
Troy, NY https://www.troyny.gov/176/Building-Permits
Utica, NY https://www.cityofutica.com/departments/codes/permits/building-permit/index
Valley Stream, NY https://www.orangecountygov.com/413/Kiryas-Joel-Village
White Plains, NY https://www.cityofwhiteplains.com/115/Building-Permits-Applications
Yonkers, NY https://www.yonkersny.gov/government/departments/housing-buildings/forms-permits
a garage with a building permit in ny

In Conclusion…

Whew, that was a lot of information! Hopefully, now at the end of this article you have a concise understanding of garage permits in NY. 

Here are a few key points to remember: 

  1. All attached garages in NY need a building permit.
  2. In most cases, detached garages in NY need a building permit. There are a few exceptions. 
  3. Always contact your local government to understand what building and zoning permits are required. 

If you are still searching for a garage, we would be happy to assist you in finding the most effective, quality garage. With our representatives and 3D Builder, you will be on your way to your dream garage. 

Want to keep learning? Read our guide to garages with attic trusses.

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