Weather-resistant balcony enclosures (such as windows or solid walls), as well as open screen balcony enclosures more than 40 feet above grade (street level), require a building permit.
SCREENED BALCONY ENCLOSURE
If a screened enclosure was installed before October 2, 2011, the enclosure did not require a permit. However, evidence that the screened enclosure was installed before this date will be required. If proof cannot be provided, and the screened enclosure is more than 40 feet above grade, the enclosure will either need to be removed or permitted.
SOLID PANEL BALCONY ENCLOSURE
If a balcony enclosure (windows or solid walls) has a building notice or permit dated prior to October 2, 2011, the enclosure can remain, only if the enclosure is not being used as a room with plumbing, heating, ventilation, or air conditioning – unless the balcony enclosure was permitted as such. If permits cannot be documented or the enclosure is being used as a room, the balcony enclosure must either be permitted or removed.
A Registered Design Professional (RDP) must submit an application for all screened or solid panel enclosures detailing what the enclosure is made of and how it is anchored to the building. In addition, the RDP (Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA)) must be in compliance with Local Law 11 (façade inspection). This mandatory inspection checks the structural stability of façades as well as balcony enclosures every five (5) years.
REMINDER: Owners must maintain their building and all parts thereof in a safe and Code compliant condition.