How Can an Owner Representative Make My Construction Project Easier?

All to often, construction projects and home remodeling jobs can hold up your life due to delays, missed deadlines and poor communication between project managers, property owners, sub-contractors and New York’s Department of Buildings.

If you are managing a project that involves permits, approvals, violations, write-offs or any of the other many requirements of the DOB, you may want to consider hiring a permit expediter to act as your owner representative to city agencies such as the ECB, Department of Transportation, the Landmarks Preservation Society, the Fire Department, the Housing Preservation and Development, and the Parks Department.

An S & M permit expediter can do much more for your project than just permits. We offer a basic consultation with you and your sub-contractors, architects, and engineers. Once your objectives are decided and project completion deadlines are set, we then act as your owner representative, not only at all New York city and state agencies, but also onsite at your project.

Based on your preferences, we’ll establish a “check-in” schedule where we meet with your construction team on a daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis to be sure all benchmarks are being met.

For instance, our representatives can save you time and money by making sure walls aren’t sealed until all interior plumbing plans or renovations have been inspected an approved. You’d be surprised how often costly mistakes like this happen due to miscommunication between contractors.

Using S & M Expediting as an owner representative can also help you avoid expensive violations down the line. Many times a job is left open with the DOB as many contractors fail to file the proper paper work to officially close a job. This can pop up as a violation when you try to sell your property.

Our owner representative consulting services are available to all property owners big and small and come with flexible payment options including an hourly rate, flat fee, or per visit charges. For more information call us today!

Basement Conversions: What permits do I need?

Basement Conversions in NYC

Converting your basement in New York takes a bit of planning. You cannot simply start renting out your space without making the legal changes required for all basement rental units.

First off, all livable basement spaces need proper emergency escape and rescue openings known as egress requirements. In New York, any habitable space and all sleeping rooms in basements must have a second means of egress with a minimum open area of 5.7 square feet and a minimum height of 24 inches and width of 20 inches. Second egress cannot be more than 44 inches from the floor. This means all windows will be big enough and easily accessible for someone to crawl out of.

If second egress does not exist in the basement you are trying to convert, you are looking at a construction job that will require planning and multiple permits. Other New York City requirements for basement rental spaces include having a toilet, tub and sink as well as it’s own entry and exit.

Your first step in converting your basement to a rental unit, or just to a usable space, is to draw up a plan with an architect and engineer. At S & M we help people with all aspects of drafting, planning and plan approval through the DOB. We can even recommend the right architect for the job.

Once your plan receives approval, your permit expediter can get started on obtaining the right permits for your basement construction project. Plumbing permits, egress permits, and general construction permits are all documents you will need for a basement conversion.

If you happen to own a basement with a rental unit already and you discover it is an illegal basement conversion and the DOB is charging you with a violation, S & M Expediting can also help you with violation removal and reduce your penalty with the DOB.