Codes Department FAQ's


Frequently Asked Questions

What would require a Building Permit?

Generally, permits are required to:

• Construct a house or building

• Add or make structural alterations to a building

• Construct or replace a deck

• Install or replace a pool, spa, or hot tub

• Kitchen or bath remodels

• Build or enclose a porch

• Construct an accessory building (shed or other structures detached from the principle building)

• Convert garage, attic or basement to useable space, such as a recreation room

• Install new, or extend existing plumbing

• Alter or extend the electric system (see who inspects electrical work below)

• Demolish any building interior or building section, except utility sheds

• Repair structures damaged by fire

• Install any wood burning appliance

• Install a chimney liner or repair chimney

• Erect any sign

• Add fill, excavate or change existing drainage

• Move any building

• Any fence installation

Many projects require permits.  So, if in doubt about whether the project you intend to undertake will require a permit, please call the Town of New Hartford Codes Department at 315-733-7500, Ext. 2423.

A Stop Work Order will be issued on any job started without a Building Permit and subject to a thorough inspection.  Additionally, permit fees are doubled for any work started without a Building Permit.

What can I do without a permit?

• Make ordinary repairs with like or similar material to restore original conditions that do not affect structural features or involve the installation or extension of electrical or plumbing systems

• Install sidewalks or grade level patios (without a roof) on private property

• Install roofing or siding (EXCEPTION - commercial roof with insulation change MUST HAVE PERMIT)

• Replace gutters or downspouts

• Replace plumbing fixtures, or perform ordinary repairs to existing plumbing systems

• Install windows and doors in existing openings without structural alteration

• Install gas appliances that are not required to be vented, such as dryers and stoves

• Repair existing gas appliances

• Add insulation

Why do I need a permit?

A permit system is the typical method used to determine whether proposed construction or installation complies with Zoning Laws and Building Codes.  The Building Permit review process and inspections are intended to secure the public protection from the hazards of fire and inadequate building construction, and to ensure that the requirements of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code have been satisfied.

Who inspects electrical work?

The Town of New Hartford will provide a list of Registered Electrical Inspectors to perform inspections of all electrical installations.  Please call the Town of New Hartford Codes Department for a list of approved Electrical Inspectors.

Where do I get a Building Permit?

A property owner, or his agent (contractor), may apply for a Building Permit at the Town Hall, 8635 Clinton Street, New Hartford, New York 13413, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM, by appointment.

Who should apply for the Building Permit?

It is recommended that the applicant be the person or firm performing the work.  The applicant has responsibilities to provide proof of required insurance, (Workers’ Compensation, Disability Benefits & Liability) or a completed exemption form. Homeowners may apply for the permit even if the work is to be performed by others, but must be willing to accept a higher level of responsibility and liability for compliance with various laws, rules and regulations.

Who should prepare construction drawings?

The New York State Education Law requires that all plans, drawings, and specifications filed with a local building official, shall bear the seal of a licensed professional architect or engineer, if the alterations cost $20,000 or more including labor, or in the opinion of the Codes Department that materially affects the structural safety of the building.

How long does it take to get a permit?

Depending on the demand imposed by applications, complete residential permit requests generally result in a permit within 5 - 10 business days.  All permit applications are handled on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Emergency work, such as the replacement of a furnace, may be performed and inspected so long as a complete permit application is received within three (3) business days after the replacement.  Arrangements for inspection should be made as soon as possible to confirm the safety of the installation and inspections will be performed in advance of permit issuance.

When do I need a construction inspection?

The Town of New Hartford Codes Department supplies a specific list of required inspections to the applicant, along with the Building Permit.  Generally, the Town inspects construction at the following stages:

• Footings and foundations before pouring

• Foundations before backfill

• Framing and plumbing before the installation of insulation

• Insulation & HVAC before finish materials are applied

• Final before use or occupancy

A representative of the applicant should be on site at the time of inspection to receive the inspection report from the inspector.

How do I request a construction inspection?

Construction inspections are ordered by calling the Codes Department, 315-733-7500, Ext. 2423, at least a day prior to the inspection.

What is a Certificate of Occupancy?

The Certificate of Occupancy is a legal document that states your project, as completed, complies in all respects with applicable state, and local codes, rules, regulations, and to the plans submitted.  Such a certification is required by State Law before a permitted project may be occupied or put into use.  Failure to obtain a required certification may interfere with future efforts to sell the property.

Are there any rules other than the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code that might have an impact on my proposed project?

Yes, the Town of New Hartford Codes Department administers and reviews your Building Permit application for conformance to the following requirements:

• The Town of New Hartford Zoning Ordinance and New York State Building Code.

What is Zoning?

The Zoning Ordinance of the Town of New Hartford regulates the use of land, and the location and size of structures within the Town.  When a permit request indicates that an intended activity or structure will result in a violation of any provision of the Zoning Ordinance, the Building Inspector will deny the permit request.  The applicant is then referred to the Zoning Office, where an appeal of the denial (variance) may be requested.

This request for a variance is heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals at a public hearing.  This Board has the authority to provide the relief requested, as well as grant special permits for certain regulated activities, such as home occupations.  Residents with zoning related questions should contact the Zoning Board Secretary at 315-733-7500, Ext. 2423.

What does the Zoning Board of Appeals do?

The Zoning Board of Appeals is a Board of officials that hold public meetings and decide on issues relating to the Zoning Ordinance.  Most often the Board hears requests for a variance (relief) from provisions of the Zoning Ordinance requested by private property owners who wish to use and/or construct a structure that is not in keeping with the regulations for a particular zone or district.