I have purchased a townhome in Mahopac NY and absolutely hate the kitchen! I would like to remove a wall to create an open concept from kitchen to living space. I do believe its a load bearing wall. Ive been told that If it is, I will need a permit to have it removed. I am new to the area and do not know where I can go to apply for a permit. Can someone advise me? Also, if it is a load bearing wall, can I just open it up to create a semi open concept and create like a breakfast bar instead of removing the entire wall WITHOUT getting a permit? I am a new home owner as well as knew to the area, please if anyone can advise me, I would truly appreciate it.
You need the permit anyway even if you open the wall only partial because you need to add a support beam to carry the load and engineering is necessary. If you search the web for permit office and your county name it should be pretty simple to find. For the work you want to do you need more than just a permit. A structural engineer and some calculations are necessary. If you go the unofficial route you need to add a support beam in the opening and you need to double up your framing to carry the load. A good framer should get that done without much of a problem. Again, I am not liable!
Get a permit -- they are not hard to do and, at least in my city, the department staff is very helpful and the inspectors patient with homeowner-builders. You wouldn't want to create a dangerous situation which could cause expensive repairs or hurt someone and you'd be liable. Permits are cheap and they will review your plans and work. Are you 100% sure the header you plan to use is sufficient? And they'll inform you of things you didn't know. To get started, just stop by the Building Dept and talk to them and they'll let you know what drawings you'll need.