Wet Over Dry

Wet Over Dry NYC Renovations

(Last Updated On: May 3, 2019)

Wet Over Dry is a rule that some buildings impose on their occupants that prevents the creation of new wet areas such as bathrooms or kitchens where on the floor directly below there is a dry area such as a bedroom or living room. This is not a building code this is a house rule that individual buildings enforce.


Wet Over Dry NYC

I want to start off by emphasizing there is no Building Code or Department Of Buildings regulation for wet over dry. It is perfectly legal to have a wet area over a dry area in a building. The wet over dry rule prevents you from adding any wet areas if directly below the proposed area there is a dry area. So if you are planning on adding a bathroom to your apartment but the bathroom would be above a bedroom below you will not be able to do this in a building that imposes the Wet Over Dry Rule. Not all building in NYC have this rule but in my experience a majority of them do. Some buildings make exceptions for non habitable spaces such as wet areas over closets and hallways.

Since we are discussing a building rule you should read your building’s Alteration Agreement before considering your apartment renovation. Some buildings are more flexible than others on their rules but this one is quite strict in most cases.

Examples of Wet Over Dry

  • Adding a Laundry Machine over an existing dry space.
  • Enlarging or Adding a Bathroom over a dry area.
  • Enlarging a Kitchen.


What Does Wet Over Dry Mean?

What does wet over dry mean for your renovation? If you are planning to add or expand a wet area such as bathroom, kitchen, or laundry over an existing dry area your building can raise objections to your renovation. You may not be able to do all the renovations you are hoping to do if you are restricted by the wet over dry rule.


Apartment Renovation Rules in NYC

As an architect I study building practices and New York City regulations closely, but these are complicated and quite involved. In this article we reviewed some of the basic concepts with regards to the Wet Over Dry Rule. 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 Wet Over Dry NYC.

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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