Advice & Instructions

Advice & Instructions

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When to Hire an Expert

If You Need Waterfront Construction Work Permits

Both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) allow homeowners and small business applicants to submit hand-drawn plans and drawings for projects, as long as the information on the drawing is complete and legible.

However, once your project is approved, you may still need a Waterfront Construction Work Permit from NYC Small Business Services (NYC SBS). NYC SBS requires this permit for a broad range of construction and renovation on the waterfront, such as for bulkheads, docks, and piers. (More about SBS Waterfront Construction Permits)

SBS requires that plans and drawings for a Waterfront Construction Work Permit be prepared by a registered architect or a professional engineer. It will not accept the same set of hand-drawn plans and drawings you provided either the Army Corps or the NYS DEC – even if they were approved by those agencies.

Marine construction is a specialty requiring expertise in water-based techniques. Make sure the firm you select has either a registered architect or licensed engineer on staff and that they have experience working with similar projects.

If you do not have an official survey, you will need to hire a professional land surveyor.

Finding Experts Online

To search for experts who can provide professional plans and drawings, we recommend you look for any of the following in your area:

  • marine engineer
  • marine contractor
  • maritime construction
  • registered architect
  • licensed engineer
  • land surveyor

For Further Reading

Consumer Information from