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Do You Need a Roof Replacement Permit? A Guide for Homeowners (In New York)

February 21, 2023

6 minutes read

A roof is one of the most essential parts of your home, ensuring safety and protection against the elements. Over time, roofs deteriorate, requiring a roof replacement. It’s important to obtain a roof replacement permit to ensure compliance and the proper execution of the project.

Replacing Your Roof In New York

Sometimes you can do a simple roof repair to solve leaking issues or shingles that are missing, but there comes a time when you’ll need to replace your roof entirely. Even if there are no significant issues with the roof, most roofs only last between 25 to 50 years, depending on the material, so you’re bound to have to replace them at some point. 

If you need to replace your roof in New York, learning about the process, including if you need a permit for a roof, is essential. 

So, do you need a permit for a roof in New York? The short answer is that it depends. Here’s everything you need to know about permits and replacing your roof in New York. 

Different Types of Roof Replacement

Permit requirements vary from state to state and even county to county in many cases. Regarding roof replacement, there are different types and levels to address. Depending on how intricate the roof repair is will determine if your repair job requires a permit or not in New York. 

Roof replacement is classified into two categories in New York. You can replace the roof above the sheathing or deck or replace the roof that includes all the sheathing and deck. If you’re only replacing your roof above the deck and sheathing, you shouldn’t need a permit from the city. 

Now, if you have to replace your entire roof, including the deck and sheathing, you’ll need to obtain a permit from the county you’re in to move forward. The reason for this is that the sheathing is the wooden boards that are the entire structure of your roof. So if you need to replace those, it’s far more complicated, costly, and time-consuming. 

Roof Replacement Above the Deck and Sheathing

You don’t need to get a roof replacement permit but remain above the deck and sheathing. Since the replacement is limited to the roof coverings and membrane, it’s not as intricate of a job as replacing the roof and the deck and sheathing. 

Many home and business owners get around not obtaining a permit to replace their roof by covering the existing roof with a “replacement” roof. They add new materials above the old roof, and since it doesn’t require new sheathing or any insulation, you don’t need a permit in New York.

Essentially, anything considered non-structural repairs or replacement to roofs in New York doesn’t require any building permit. 

Roof Replacement, Including the Deck and Sheathing

You’ll need to obtain a roof replacement permit, including the deck and sheathing. The sheathing requires professional knowledge of sound structures, and when done incorrectly, it can be more dangerous in the future. 

The thing that can damage the sheathing the most is moisture exposure over time. Sheathing damage happens when the shingles are damaged, and water leaks into the sheathing. No reputable roof repair and replacement company will attempt to replace your roof without obtaining a permit. 

How to Obtain a Permit to Replace Your Roof

Most roofing companies can assist with getting you the permit to replace your roof or handle it for you. All roofs or other building repairs licenses are accessed through the New York Department of Buildings (DOB). They’ll have to file the plans to replace the roof with the department, and with approval, you’ll be granted the permit to continue replacing your roof. 

Costs of Permits in New York

permit for roof filling out an application for a roof replacement in NY

When you need a roof replacement permit, you’ll need to pay for it. The license cost can vary from city to city and between counties in New York, but here’s a general breakdown of how much it’ll cost to apply for a roof replacement permit in New York. 

Depending on your roof’s size, the permit can cost anywhere from $150 to $500. While this is the general cost, it can be more or less depending on the project and where you live. If your application is denied, you will pay a re-submittal fee of as much as $200.

The total cost of the permit includes the permit itself and a non-refundable application fee. The permit cost doesn’t include the actual cost of your roof placement, like materials and labor. 

How Long Does It Take To Get a Permit To Replace Your Roof in New York

When you need to replace your roof, you want it done sooner rather than later. If you’re in a position where you need to obtain a permit for your roof replacement, you’ll have to wait for your permit applications to be approved. 

You cannot start any roof projects that require a permit until the permit gets approved, or you’ll be shut down and face hefty fines. How long you wait for your permit application to be approved will vary. It can take anywhere from a few days to months, depending on how many other applications they need to review. 

If you’re in a situation where you need to fast-track your application because the roof is posing a threat to your living situation, then you can pay to expedite the application. 

Final Thoughts

Replacing your roof is a complicated task and can be frustrating to deal with until the roof is replaced. Depending on the situation, you may or may not need a permit for a roof replacement in New York. 

A roof replacement permit in New York only needs if you replace the deck and sheathing underneath the roofing materials. If you add roofing on top of the old roof or replace it without dealing with the sheathing, you don’t need to obtain a permit. 

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