12:37 PM 02/26/2013
Building code indicates that 'balconys' can be maximum 50% of the building width.
All I see are nice full width rear decks ... are ALL these decks illegal or am I overlooking something?
23-132 - Balconies in R6 through R10 Districts ( http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pd...
balconies may project into [....] a #rear yard# [...] provided that such balcony shall:
(f) have an aggregate width, at the level of any #story#, not exceeding 50 percent of the width at that level of the plane surface of the #building# wall from which it projects.
Maybe an architect will chime in with the exact details but deck size is limited to a certain area by the depth of the lot and proximity to the building behind. Decks can run the width of the house but cannot contain ANY combustible material within 3" of both side lots, i.e. they have to be steel construction.
1:18 PM 02/26/2013 | 0 Votes
The section of the code you are referring to is for balconies, not decks. The main difference is that a deck cannot be on any level higher than the first floor, and a balcony cannot be on any level lower than the second. That section is also specifically for balconies that project into the 30 foot required rear yard. If they do not, then they can be much bigger.
A deck can protrude into the required rear yard up to 8', which means the rear edge of the deck needs to be 22 feet from the rear property line. It does not mean that the deck is limited to 8 feet deep. If the building is for example 50 feet deep, the deck may be able to be 28 feet deep because that still puts the rear edge at 22 feet from the rear lot line. DOB examiners object to this interpretation, but can usually be overridden if you can prove that the building plus the deck does not exceed the maximum amount of lot coverage.
And of curse, dibs is right, no combustible material within 3 feet of the side lot lines. And Trex ( or other composites) is combustible.
2:30 PM 02/26/2013 | 2 Votes
Thanks Jim, this is very valuable information to me.
3:01 PM 02/26/2013 | 0 Votes
I could be wrong, but I believe the amount of door space also plays a factor in the allowable size of the deck. If you're going to have big double doors/sliders to open out onto it, I think you can have more deck. I don't recall the specifics of this, but when we were adding a permitted deck, I remember being told we could make part of it bigger if we were adding a second door or blowing out the back to put in big french doors. Ours is steel and stone--steel frame and railing with cement paver flooring. Low maintenance so far.
That said, most of the decks along the backyards of our block were done without permits and are whatever the hell the owner wanted regardless of the rules when they built or replaced it. I've heard from neighbors that some people were snitched on to the DOB for building widely out of code decks but the violations disappeared, and paying off or knowing the right person is the supposed reason. I've seen some favoritism happen (inspector and contractor were clearly buddies) with my own eyes so I know it can happen.
3:56 PM 02/26/2013 | -1 Votes