New York City Roofing Installation and Repair Buying Guide
There are lots of reasons to consider upgrading your roofing system. Systems like metal roofing or foam roofing can make your home more energy efficient, keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter without making your HVAC system operate in overdrive. Additionally, a new roof can boost the aesthetic appeal of your home with durable, attractive clay tiles or even a rooftop garden that effectively absorbs rainwater and increases your living space. Whichever route you go, you can expect a 71.7% rate of return on investment when you replace your roof, while also saving money on your monthly energy bills. The key to choosing the best roof for you is to determine:
- what type of roofing will best stand up to your climate?
- which type of roofing will save you money on your monthly utility bills?
- how important is being eco-friendly in your decision making process?
Once you have answered those questions, you can meet with a licensed contractor to select the roofing system that best meets your needs and get the permit process moving forward.
New York City Climate and Your Roof
New Yorkers truly experience all four seasons. The weather is hot and humid in the summer with July temperatures reaching a high of 86 degrees. The humidity is in large part due to the fact that New York City experiences more rain than the national average–46 inches of rain per year as compared to 37 inches nationally. January is the coldest month of the year, with lows around 26 degrees and an average of 24 inches of snowfall. New Yorkers enjoy 224 sunny days a year, making it a great place to take advantage of solar technology.
Consider a Rooftop Garden in NYC
Real estate is at a premium in New York City, so why not maximize every square foot of your home with a green roof? Roof gardens are great for hot New York City summers because plants have the ability to reduce the overall heat absorption of the building which then reduces energy consumption. In addition to cooling your home off, your roof garden creates a new, “bonus” space for entertaining or relaxing. You can also cultivate a food garden, reducing the environmental impact or food miles, or your meals. Because a green roof will add substantial weight to a building’s structure, you must hire a professional engineer or registered architect to perform a structural analysis to determine if the existing roof and its support system can hold the added load without a modification. New York City offers property tax abatements to property owners that install green roofs on their buildings.
Add Solar Panels to Your NYC Roof
Curious about solar power? Now is a great time to invest in solar technology, because the prices for new systems are lower than ever–prices have plummeted 70% since 1998. In addition to lower than ever purchase and installation costs, New York City residents are eligible for an array of federal, state, and local incentives that can help solar adopters quickly see a return on their investment. Some incentives that you may be eligible for include:
- A sales tax exemption for the sale and installation of residential solar-energy systems.
- A federal tax credit for up to 30% of the price of your solar energy system.
- The New York City Property Tax Abatement offers building owners who install grid-connected solar energy systems through December 31, 2016 a four-year Tax Abatement of 5% per year of the installed cost of the system, for a total of up to 20%.
- The New York State Tax Credit is available to residential building owners who install solar energy systems. The tax credit is for $5,000 or 25% of the installed cost of the solar energy system (up to 25 kilowatts on net-metered systems), whichever is less. Note: the federal government does considers this state tax credit taxable income.
There are so many available incentives and financing options for new solar energy systems in New York City, that you’ll want to consult with an accredited solar installer to make sure you are maximizing your investment.
What if you rent or live in a building, as opposed to a single family home? Can you still benefit from solar incentives? Yes. The Shared Renewables Initiative is helping to build stronger and healthier communities by linking up renters, homeowners, low-income residents, schools, and businesses to join together to share in the benefits of renewable energy projects. This program creates space for those who want to adopt solar energy systems, but may not have a feasible roof structure.
New York City Roofing Permitting Process
A New York State licensed professional engineer or registered architect must submit construction plans to obtain a permit. A Department plan examiner will review the plans for any legal or zoning objections. When objections are satisfied, the Department will approve the application. A professional engineer or registered architect may also certify that plans conform to all applicable laws. Following application approval, a contractor can apply for a building permit to begin work.
The Buildings Department also has several resources available to assist homeowners and tenants in buying, renting, building, maintaining, and greening their homes. The Department hosts weekly informational sessions for residents to meet with Department representatives.
Homeowners’ Night is every Tuesday night from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at each borough office. During the weekly Homeowners and Residents Night, New Yorkers can obtain:
- Advice on home construction plans, including the permitting process;
- Information on how to check a contractor’s license status;
- Guidance on reducing energy costs by weatherizing residences;
- Instructions on how to resolve Department-issued violations;
- Recommendations on steps to take before purchasing a home or signing a lease;
- Direction on how to secure or amend a property’s Certificate of Occupancy;
- Permit guidelines for common home improvements, such as kitchen renovations and backyard shed installation; and,
- Guidance on using the Buildings Information System (BIS) to search property history and permit information.