Inspection Ready is the Department of Buildings’ (DOB) latest creation for transparency on all jobs filed with their agency. It is an online scheduling and routing system that went live on December 7, 2015. Once it went live scheduling inspections the old fashioned way (in person or by phone) was no longer an option. In theory, Inspection Ready should make life easier for Plumbers, Contractors, Property Owners, Architects, and Engineers to close out their projects.

However, right out of the gate, the system had and still has many flaws, a major one is the inability of the system to work with current versions of common internet browsers. Optimum browser requirements for Inspection Ready for Windows users is Internet Explorer 8 or 9 (released 2009 and 2011 respectively) and Safari 5 (released 2010) for Mac users. Another issue is that licensed professionals (LPs) and building owners did not get their PIN emailed to them prior to going live in order to register for Inspection Ready, forcing many to head to the Borough offices to register.

With Inspection Ready, the goal of the DOB is to streamline inspections and sign-off for the following units:


-Builders Pavement Plans


-Cranes & Derricks



-House Connections



With Inspection Ready, anyone can view job records, inspection results and objections. Sign-off requests should be reviewed within 36 hours and results posted online.

Once all the kinks are worked out this system should accomplish all the DOB hoped it would. Good job on the planning. Poor job on implementation.

For anyone still having problems with Inspection Ready, give us a call. (718) 833-2333 or Email us at S & M Expediting has the resources to help maneuver this system.

S & M Permit Expediting Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about NYC DOB and Permit Expediting

What services does S&M Expediting offer?

  • Building Permits
  • Event Permits
  • Work Permits
  • Equipment Use Permits
  • DOB Filing Services
  • Building Violation Research
  • Building Violation Removal
  • Removal of Stop Work Violation Orders
  • HPD Violation Removal
  • Legalize existing work
  • Alteration Type 1,2, and 3 Job Filings
  • Construction Consultation
  • Drafting, Architectural, and Engineering Services
  • Luxury and Custom Contracting Referral Services
  • Asbestos Investigation and Lead Abatement

How can SME help my business?

In short, we save you time! We act as an owner representative for all things related to your construction project’s permits and filings. We represent you at New York’s Department of Buildings, ECB Court for Violation Removal, and on-site to make sure contractors are closing out jobs and procuring the right permits.

How long do I have to wait to see a plan examiner for an appointment?

It depends on the demand. Appointments are scheduled up to two months in advance.

Why doesn’t my building have a Certificate of Occupancy?

Buildings built prior to 1938 that have had no changes made to their occupancy or egress since then, do not require Certificates of Occupancy.

How do I get a “curb cut” permit?

File an application document (PW1), a recent survey, a drawing of the planned curb cut and a filing fee with the Department. After the plan is approved, a permit can be obtained. You will need the professional services of a Registered Architect (RA) or Professional Engineer (PE).

What’s the difference between a demolition and an alteration?

Demolition is the removal of the entire building, including the foundation. In an alteration you may remove interior and exterior walls, but not the entire foundation. An alteration can also be the addition of stories; an enlargement; or a new structure built on top of an existing foundation.

What kind of electrical work requires a permit?

Most electrical work requires an application to be filed by the licensed electrician. A permit will be issued, an inspection must take place, and a certificate should be issued. Minor work, which is limited in scope, requires filing (with a lower filing fee) and a permit, but no inspections are required and no certificate is issued. Maintenance work must also be filed, but there is no fee, permit or inspection. For questions about electrical applications and permits, contact S & M Expediting. (718-833-2333)

What kind of forms do I need to perform construction work in my home or building?

A PW-1 form is always required. Additional forms, depending on the work to be done, may also be required. Be advised that a licensed Registered Architect or Professional Engineer must submit these forms on behalf of a homeowner for most types of work. Appropriate insurance must be held by all potential permittees unless the permittee is a homeowner who will be performing the work himself on his own home. In that case, a waiver from the Worker’s Compensation Board must be submitted.

What are the construction industry hours of operations?

According to the Department of Environmental Protection’s noise code, working hours are 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

What type of work requires a licensed plumber?

Any plumbing work beyond the direct replacement of a same-type plumbing fixture, or a simple repair requires a licensed plumber.

Is it legal for a landlord to remove or relocate a radiator?

Yes. There is no code requirement for heating systems other than a boiler. However, if extension-piping relocation is involved, the landlord must retain a licensed Master Plumber to do the work.

When is a sidewalk shed required?

When construction work is over 40 feet high, or 25 feet high for a demolition, and whenever there is a dangerous condition, irrespective of the height

Work was done on a job many years ago and it was not completed. How do I proceed?

You must hire a Registered Architect or Professional Engineer to supersede the previous applicant’s filing and complete the construction approval and sign-off process.

When is a Dept. of Buildings work permit required?

NYC Building Code section 27-126, states that a work permit is required for the following:

  • The removal, change or closing of any required means of egress or the cutting away of any wall, floor, or roof construction, or any portion thereof; or the removal, cutting, or modification of any beams or structural supports.
  • The rearrangement or relocation of any parts of the building affecting loading or exit requirements, or light, heat, ventilation, or elevator requirements; additions to, alterations of, or rearrangement, relocation or removal of any standpipe or sprinkler piping, water distribution piping, house sewer, private sewer, or drainage system, including leaders, or any soil, waste or vent pipe, or any gas distribution system, or any other work affecting health or the fire or structural safety of the building.

What do I need to put a bike rack or other structure on the sidewalk in front of my building?

You need a revocable consent from the city. This is a grant of a right to an individual or organization to construct and maintain certain structures on, over or under the property of the City (that is, the streets and sidewalks). The City retains the right to revoke a revocable consent at any time.

What is a sidewalk violation?

A sidewalk violation is an official notice issued by DOT stating that your sidewalk is defective. There is no fine associated with a violation. A copy of the notice is filed with the County Clerk and remains on file until the Clerk receives official notification from the City that satisfactory repairs have been made. A violation can complicate selling or refinancing your property.

For which activities are special events permits needed?

Special events permits are required for events/activities where twenty or more people will be present. School picnics, birthday parties, and field days all require a special events permit. S & M Expediting can help you obtain these permits.

May we erect a tent and/or hang signs or banners at our event?

You must inform Parks on your application if you plan to hang signs or banners at your event. No signs or banners can be affixed to trees or fences. To erect a tent, you must receive permission from the Special Events office, and you can’t stake the tent into the ground. In Manhattan, tents are generally not allowed, except under very limited circumstances.

How long will it take to process my event permit?

Permits require at least a minimum of 21 to 30 days to be processed (Different guidelines apply to demonstrations and rallies). Please plan accordingly.

How do I apply for a permit for an event on a street or other non-park property?

Contact the Street Activity Permit Office (SAPO) at (212) 788-7439.

Which activities require a SAPO Permit?

Special Event, Commercial/Promotional Permits: Promotions, stunts, red carpet events, press conferences, and media days.

Street Festival/Block Party Permit: Street festivals including all multi-day and/ or multi-block events, block parties, religious ceremonies, and farmers’ markets.

Which activities fall under the parameters of obtaining a parade permit?

A “parade” is any procession or race which consists of a recognizable group of 25 or more pedestrians, vehicles, bicycles, or other devices moved by human power, or ridden or herded animals proceeding together upon any public street or roadway.

Parade permits are issued by the New York Police Department.

Do I need a permit if I am building a stage for my event?

If you are building a stage over two (2) feet high, you will need to file for a Department of Buildings Structure permit. However, you must file your application first with one of the primary permitting agencies: SAPO, Parks, NYPD, MOFTB and then you will be directed by the permitting agency to contact the Department of Buildings.

Turning Your New York City Roof Into a Terrace Garden

Terrace Garden Design in NYC

In New York, there’s a lot you can do with your roof or terrace design from green roofs to full-scale commercial-use outdoor terrace lounges. For some roof and terrace renovations permits are required, and for others such as a some green roof options, permits may not be required. If what you are considering for your roof or terrace is on a more major level of construction, keep reading to find out what steps you need to take in obtaining proper building permits for your project.

First and foremost, any roof terrace garden with decking, a floating deck, and outdoor luxuries like outdoor kitchens, gas grills, spas and fireplaces all required formal design plans. Licensed engineers and architects will work with you create an up-to-code plan that can be submitted on your behalf by S & M Expediting services. Once we obtain plan approval from the DOB we can then obtain the necessary permits for you and your general contractor so construction can start right away.

What kind of permits do I need for a roof or terrace renovation?
Renovating your terrace or rooftop in New York is a lot like renovating any other part of your home. There is no blanket “roof” or “terrace” permit, but yet a general construction permit for any decking that is fully anchored to your roof or terrace. There is such a thing as a floating deck that is not anchored to your property and in some cases can be considered patio furniture and this type of deck may not require a permit. If a floating deck is something you are considering you should still have an engineer submit plans on your design before you begin any DIY installation. If the size of deck exceeds New York’s combustable materials limits you could be left dealing with an expensive violation removal in the future.

Adding a spa with a hot tub and outdoor shower is a popular option for some of New York’s more upscale properties. For this addition to your design, plumbing permits are required. A plumbing permit is also required for any kind of outdoor grill running from a building’s main gas line. This is a great option for roofs and terraces with outdoor kitchens. For other wood burning fireplace options permits are likely required as well.

Other things to keep in mind when planning a terrace or rooftop overhaul are the fire and safety codes if what you are remodeling has customary all-occupant access. Your insurance company will need to know about any construction for community areas especially in the case of a business–like a rooftop bar and lounge. They will adjust your policy and rates accordingly.

Before you go any further with your design plans, your first step will be to have a licensed engineer certify the roof as being capable of carrying the extra load of decking, stone pavers, seating, accessories and the people who will use the space. This is usually required for anything that’s added to a roof including AC units and other mechanical units.

For terrace design specifically
Any terrace enclosure made of waterproof and weather resistant materials such as glass or solid walls always requires a permit. For open-air terrace enclosures such as screens, a permit is required for construction above 40 feet.

And lastly, many green roofing options (a popular option that can help keep your building cooler in the summer and is tax exempt in some cases) do not require a permit if the green material used is no more than 4 inches thick.

The Difference A Class 2 Filing License Makes

Class 2 Filing License NYC

In 2012, New York’s Department of Buildings issued new licensing requirements for all NYC expeditors. Due to our breadth of experience, S & M Expediting qualified for a Class 2 Code and Zoning Representative Filing License. This simply means that we have more exposure to the maze of departments at the DOB.

More than half of all expediters have Class 1 Filing status which means they can only submit and remove applications on behalf of their clients. These expeditors can only perform the most basic permit expediting duties and as a result many run into hurdles, setbacks, and delays. Your construction project limbo for quite some time while an inexperienced expeditor navigates the system for you.

A Class 2 license, on the other hand, allows your filing representative to meet with plan examiners and technical staff during meetings to review documents. With a Class 2 license, we can address any questions and inquiries onsite right away on your behalf. The bureaucratic back-and-forth between the DOB and your expeditor can be greatly reduced. This can potentially cut weeks, if not months off your building permit’s approval.

Our Class 2 designation also guarantees that our company has met the DOB’s stringent ongoing training and education requirements. We have 15 years of experience, hundreds of jobs complete, plus 36 hours of professional training. All this equals faster approval times for your job. Call us today.  718-833-2333

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!