Building Permits

Building Permit Applications Acceptance Schedule
  • Summer Hours: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (July and August)
  • General Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (the rest of the year)
Any application can be dropped off during business hours. Applications require at least 24 hours to process. You will receive a call from the Building Department when completed or for additional information required.

Why We Require Permits
The requirement of building permits and inspections of new and existing structures is to ensure a safe environment for every person in and around all buildings. Obtaining a building permit provides you a state qualified inspector to guide you through your construction project to completion.
Schenectady riverwalk with statue of a cannon
We will monitor the quality of work performed by your contractor as it pertains to the Code. Upon completion, you will receive a certificate of completion or a certificate of occupancy, ensuring you have a safe living or working environment.

The inspections needed for each permit will be presented to you at the time the permit is issued. You are required to contact the inspector at each of these inspection milestones and have the inspection successfully completed or make the necessary adjustments according to the results of the inspection prior to moving forward with the construction. This process will ensure you are performing safe building construction practices and occupancy of the building will be safe, and in compliance with New York State (NYS) and City Code.

Definition & Details of Building Permits
A building permit is legal permission to build or renovate a building/structure within the city, issued by the Building Department. Valid building permits are good for 12 months, at which time the permit will automatically expire and a new permit must be obtained to complete any unfinished work. An application to extend a building permit may be obtained by appealing to the Building Inspector with the circumstances for the extension and a realistic updated schedule for completion.

A building permit ensures that your repair, alteration or construction will be done and completed in compliance with NYS and City code. Almost every alteration, repair, or construction requires a building permit. Painting a home, (with the exception of a historic district), is one of the very few exceptions to this rule. However, if the home needs repairs prior to painting, that would require a permit.

Obtaining a Permit
Building permits are obtained by filling out an application and submitting supporting documents that include, but not necessarily limited to;
  • A detailed scope of work, including materials, dimensions, structural definitions, and a cost estimate of the construction
  • A licensed electrical and plumbing contractor if applicable
  • Workers compensation insurance, or a personal waiver for self performed work
  • An architectural drawing, or sketch, dependent on the scope of work
  • Zoning Approval may be required for new construction or additions or alterations
Please call the Building Department at 518-382-5050 with any questions regarding the work you are proposing and we will gladly provide you with the guidance you need.

Note: Performing work on a new or existing building without the proper permit(s), is subject to violations and fines including, but not limited to, Stop Work Order, Working Without Permits, and general code violations. Call before you build.