It’s Just A Construction Fence…

Continuing with the bureaucratic insanity of the NYC DOB… It’s amazing how difficult it is just to build a simple plywood construction fence…

First and foremost it takes a completely separate permit to build a temporary construction fence. They’re all built pretty much the same I honestly don’t know why they can’t have an approved design that people can build without a permit. If you have an approved permit for other work, then the fence should just be something that you can do without overthinking it. But no, this is the NYC DOB we’re talking about.

Next up our architect had never drawn a construction fence and didn’t want to be responsible for it. I guess there are liability issues since pedestrians come in contact with it. The architect/expediter who works for him hadn’t ever drawn one either. So we asked our contractor to take care of it. His expediter searched around for the architect with the best price and $800 later we had plans we had approved plans. I doubt our contractor will charge us $800 to build the thing – it’s just plywood and 2x4s…

But that’s not the end of it… We have a permit for construction, we have a permit for a fence, but we still have a stop work order on the property so we can’t do anything…

The original stop work order that was issued in 2007 for working without a permit when no work was being done and a permit was in place (but not displayed) – that one got lifted. But apparently the new stop work order they put on us in late December for having two sets of approved plans is still in place. But I’ll reiterate – the first set has expired and cannot be renewed. We filled out the paperwork to cancel the original (expired) job a couple of weeks ago now, but they still haven’t lifted the stop work order. How is this so complicated? Old plans that can’t be renewed + new plans that reference the old plans… What’s not to understand?

All we want to do is build a construction fence to resolve a violation (for the current fence not being constructed properly)…

Once we have the stop work order resolved things should go a bit more smoothly. We want to start renovations in earnest in mid to late March. Before then we want to get sewer, water, electric and gas service re-established. But sometimes it just feels like it’s never going to happen…

2 thoughts on “It’s Just A Construction Fence…

  1. I didn’t know that you needed a separate building permit for things like a temporary plywood fence. That’s good to know. It sounds like it’s really important to research building permits and some of the necessary safety measures to make sure that a project goes smoothly. I’m sorry to hear that you had such a tough time. I’ll try to learn from you experience if I ever have a major remodeling project.

  2. Usually as part of the general application PW1, the architect checks off ‘construction equipment – fence’ your architect just didn’t want to do it. The detail is also a standard detail on any architectural drawing. It’s also in Chapter 33 of the building code, so really, he should’ve handled it. Sorry you’re having difficulty. The permit itself is provided separately but the process should’ve been taken care of by a competent architect

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