Architect to build a house

You Need an Architect To Build a House in NYC

(Last Updated On: August 29, 2019)

In order to obtain permits to build a house in New York City an Architect must prepare and file plans with the Department Of Buildings. A new house would be filed as an “NB” New Building Application with NYC DOB. The application will be reviewed for zoning and construction code compliance by a DOB Plan Examiner. After receiving plan exam approval a general contractor can pull a permit to begin construction.


Do You Need an Architect To Build a House in NYC?

You will always need an architect when building a house in NYC. The architect is much more than a legal requirement.

What Will an Architect Do When Building a House?

When building and designing a house an architect will assist you in many ways, a few examples of what an architect will do are:

  • Assess the land for the proposed house
  • Review applicable zoning restrictions and codes
  • Discuss your needs, hopes, budget, and vision for your home
  • Develop a design with you for your new home
  • Help you select materials and products
  • Produce a set of construction documents and specifications for the house construction
  • File the plans with the Department Of Buildings
  • Assist the contractor in understanding the scope of work, design intent, and detailing
  • Perform site visits during construction
  • Review punch list items
  • Acquire sign offs and a Certificate Of Occupancy


When Do You Need an Architect To Build a House?

Although some parts of the country do not require you hire an architect to build a house I highly recommend you do. Architects design the built environment. This is a broad term for architects being trained to design houses, buildings, outdoor spaces, etc… This includes with, regards to building, understanding space, materials, construction, design, aesthetics, logistics, and how people use and occupy space.



As an architect I study the process of home building closely, but these are complicated and quite involved issues. In this article we reviewed some of the basic concepts with regards to Hiring an Architect to Build a House. This post does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition, but provide a general overview of the topic.


Thank you for reading our blog post on Hiring an Architect to Build a House.

I hope this was helpful. Please leave questions and comments below. If you would like to speak with an architect you can Contact Fontan Architecture directly.


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