New York City Awning Regulation: What You Need to Know

In commercial buildings, awnings act as both a climate control tool and advertising sign. They provide shade, protect the structure they’re installed at from rain and snow, and serve as a sign or billboard, featuring a business’ name and address.

As with placing signs, however, there are criteria that you need to follow when installing and replacing awnings.


Permits aren’t required for routine awning maintenance, including seasonal removal and installation and minor repairs or adjustments. You’ll need one, however, if you plan to install a new awning on your storefront or replace or repair significantly damaged frames and armatures.

Types of Awning

There are two main types of awning installed in New York City storefronts: fixed awning and retractable awning. Permits are issued for a fixed awning if it follows the curved configuration of the door or window openings, and if it’s installed with an arched or segmental head.

Fixed awnings must have a straight slope, should be open at the sides, and must be installed at the rectilinear transom bar of a window or door opening.

Additional Criteria

Awnings, whether fixed or retractable, must be attached to a projecting storefront below the cornice or cap, and must have edges aligned with the principle piers of the window or door opening. Its attachments must not hide or obscure a significant building feature.

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission governs and specifies the criteria for the installation and replacement of awnings.