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When do You Need a Building Permit? .

Changes to properties and structures including both new construction and renovations or remodeling require permits under the Code of the Town of Clarkstown. This information offers specific guidelines and examples to help you determine whether you will need permits for planned electrical, plumbing, or structural work on your property.

A Building Permit is Required to:

  1. Erect, construct, enlarge, alter, remove, improve, demolish, or convert a building or structure. This includes, but not limited to, an attached or detached accessory building such as a garage, carport, breezeway, a storage shed, a porch, deck or enclosing an existing porch.
  2. Convert or change the nature of the use or occupancy of a building or part of a building. This includes establishing a home occupation within a dwelling.
  3. Install, relocate, or remove interior partitions or walls.
  4. Repair fire damage.
  5. Demolish any building (including a garage).
  6. Install a masonry chimney or metal smokestack.
  7. Install any business sign.
  8. Construct a deck.
  9. Install any permanent swimming pool (in-ground or above-ground over twenty-four (24) inches in depth. A permanent pool is one which is substantially affixed into or onto the ground, or not easily dismantled for storage or movement to another site.
  10. Install a heating unit, gas furnace, oil heater, incinerator, a wood burning stove or fireplace.
  11. Change the occupancy (tenant) in any commercial use.

A Building Permit is not Required to:

  1. Make ordinary repairs which replace existing materials with new materials of a similar kind. For example: replacing porch steps or railings making a minor roof repair, or a minor repair to a chimney or foundation wall.
  2. Install or repair gutters and downspouts.
  3. Install siding.
  4. Replacing windows when no structural work is required.
  5. Install or replace a sidewalk on private property.
  6. Re-shingle a roof.

The Building Department is trying to make the review and approval process as brief and convenient as possible. Please do your part by having adequate information when applying for the permit. If you need further information or assistance call the Department at (845) 639-2100.

Permit Application and Approval Checklist:

Zoning Review: Submit two copies of a plot plan drawn to scale. if it is a new dwelling, three copies will be required. The plot plan should show:

  • The size and shape of the lot.
  • The location of all structures on the lot.
  • The proposed construction or addition.
  • Distances (setbacks) from the proposed construction to the lot lines and any other structures.
  • Sanitary and storm sewer provisions.

The Building Department staff will review your plans and assist you in meeting the requirements described on the Building Permit application.

Plan Review: Two sets of construction drawings, drawn to scale, are required to review conformance with the New York State Building Construction Code.

Plumbing Work: If there is plumbing work involved, the building permit will generally cover this work.

Electrical Work: If there is any electrical work involved, the building permit will generally cover such work. Any application for inspection and approval must be made to the New York Board of Fire Underwriters (see section on electrical work).

What About Electrical Work?

Electrical work performed in the town is inspected by the New York Board of Fire Underwriters or by Tri-State Inspection Angency and an approval certificate is issued by them. For more information, call (845) 639-2100. A building permit for electrical work is not required for:

  1. Replacement of defective devices with directly interchangeable types, for example, fuses, lamps, switches (when enclosing boxes are not disturbed), wall outlets, sockets, ballasts, relays, timers, and similar devices that do not disturb the fixed wiring system.
  2. Electrical work that contains less than 25 volts for its operation: doorbell circuits, for example. A permit is required for the installation of any other wiring and/or electrical devices not mentioned above, and will require an Application for Inspection to the New York Board of Fire Underwriters or by Tri-State Inspection Angency.

Who can do Electrical Work?

The owner-occupant of a single-family dwelling may perform electrical work within his/her own dwelling on application to the Rockland County Electrical Board of Examiners without having a licensed electrician, but he or she must still make Application for Inspection with the New York Board of Fire Underwriters or by Tri-State Inspection Angency in order that the work performed is inspected and approved. Basic electrical work is general wiring only and does not include swimming pools, electrical services or new additions.

In all other instances, electrical work within the town must be performed by, or under the supervision of an electrician licensed by Rockland County. We suggest you ask the prospective electrician to show his wallet card, or call the Rockland County Electrical & Plumbing Examiners and ask if the electrician is licensed. Your electrician must file for an Application for Inspection with the New York Board of Fire Underwriters or Tri-State Inspection Angency, and must file a copy of the application with the Building Department.

New York Board of Fire Underwriters Inspectors

Brian McPartland
P.O. Box 81, New City, NY 10956
Home # (M-F) 7:30-8:30 AM
(845) 365-0799
Nyack Village Hall # (Wed.) 9:30 - 10:30 AM (845) 358-2637
(Clarkstown Bldg. Dept. # (Thurs.) 9:30 - 10:30 AM (845) 638-9218

Tri-State Inspection Angency Inspector

Al Shauger
P.O. Box 869, Greenwood Lake, NY 10925
Phone#(845) 595-6154
Cell#(845) 222-7284
E-Mail shaugs@optonline.net

Scognamiglo, Tom - Electrical Inspector

P.O. Box 81, New City, NY 10956
Home # (M-F) 8-8:30 AM
(845) 639-9813
Haverstraw Village Hall # (Wed.) 9:30 - 10:30 AM (845) 429-5492
(Spring Valley Bldg. Dept. 11:00 - 12 Noon (845) 352-2088)

Airmont, Bear Mt., Garnerville, Grassy Point, Haverstraw. Hillburn, Hillcrest, Jones Point, Kiser, Ladentown, Monsey, Mt. Ivy, New Hempstead, New Square, Pomona, Ramapo, Sloatsburg, Spring Valley, Stony Point, Suffern, Summit Park, Tallman, Thiells, Tompkins, Viola, Westley Hills

When do you Need a Building Permit for Plumbing Work?

A permit is required to:

  1. Install a new plumbing fixture (sink, bathtub, shower, water closet, water heater, laundry tray, garbage disposal, etc.)
  2. Install a water supply line, storm or sanitary drainage line or vent line.

A permit is not required to:

  1. Replace existing plumbing fixtures, though certain items, like furnaces, may need a permit. Check with the Building Department before proceeding.
  2. Replace a rubber or fiber washer in an existing faucet.
  3. Do mechanical de-rooting of a sanitary drainage system to remove a blockage.

Who can do Plumbing Work?

The owner-occupant of a single-family dwelling may perform his/her own plumbing work, but must first obtain a building permit, when required, at the Building Department. In all other cases, only licensed plumbers registered by the County of Rockland may perform plumbing work which requires a permit. You can check on the licensing and registration of the plumber you plan to hire by calling the Building Department (845) 639-2100.

If you have contracted with a plumber to do work requiring a building permit, be sure that he obtains one prior to beginning work. Only emergency repairs can be made before a permit is issued, but a permit must still be obtained within a reasonable time.

Where do you get a Building Permit?

At the Building Department, on the lower level of Clarkstown Town Hall, Room 101, 10 Maple Ave., New City, NY. The office is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

How do you get a Permit?

An owner, agent, or his contractor can apply for the permit. Depending upon the type of work planned, you may need a survey of the property and plans or drawings that show details of construction. You should call ahead to check.

Permit applications must be checked against the various codes the town enforces - building, housing, plumbing, zoning, preservation, etc. The staff in the Building Department will help you with this process. Fees are based upon the dollar cost of the job. Fees are also charged for sign permits, and special permits or variances.

When a permit application is approved, a permit card is issued and must be displayed on the job until the work is finished. A set of approved construction plans should remain on the job site during the period of construction.

Special Note:

Historical Site or Landmark Buildings: Special standards and reviews apply to properties within a historical area or which are designated as landmarks. For further information, call (845) 639-2100.


© 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Town of Clarkstown, NY, USA