Before you make any alterations to your home, it’s a good idea to consult with a buildings department official. The NYC Department of Buildings hosts a Homeowners Night every Tuesday night from 4:00 to 5:30pm at Queens Borough Hall on Queens Blvd in Kew Gardens. No appointment is necessary. Just show up with questions and a plan examiner will guide you with regard to what permits are required and what regulations pertain to your project. It’s expensive to get fined and have to do things over. This provides some added insurance that you will get things right the first time.