NYC Storefront Guidelines for Business Owners

Red Awning

If you plan on installing an outdoor awning or storefront awning in NYC, you must investigate your city’s awning installation guidelines. New York City has specific rules and regulations about awning installation of retractable awnings, front door awnings, window awnings, and any other commercial awning. Here are some guidelines for awning installation in NYC.


Storefront Awning Design and Lettering Regulations

An outdoor awning, storefront awning, or front door awning on a commercial business is subject to awning design and lettering regulations imposed by the city. Your storefront awning’s lettering must not be more than 12 inches high, or cover more than 12 square feet of space. Only the name and address of the business can be displayed on your custom awning. The awning fabric must be water-resistant canvas with a matte finish, and the canvas awning must be a solid color, or with vertical stripes that relate to the historic color of the building. Any signs, letterings, or graphics in the awning design must be painted on the commercial awning skirt.

Commercial Awning Installation Regulations

You must receive a permit for a new commercial awning or storefront awning installation. Commercial awning installation permits allow for retractable awnings and fixed awning installation. Retractable window awnings or front door awnings must follow the curved configuration of the window or door openings. Fixed window awnings or front door awnings should have a straight slope and be open at the sides. All commercial awnings must not damage, hide, or obscure a building feature; must be attached to a projecting storefront; must not exceed the length of the window or door; and must be installed at least eight feet above the sidewalk.

Repairs or Maintenance of Existing Storefront Awnings

You must receive a permit for significant repairs to or replacement of existing outdoor awnings. You do not need a permit for routine awning maintenance, such as cleaning, seasonal awning removal, fabric patching, and minor repairs or adjustments. Routine outdoor awning maintenance must be performed to ensure your commercial awning always looks its best.