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When to Get a Building Permit

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There are many steps involved when doing a renovation. Settling on a design, budget, and finishes are obviously key. An often overlooked element to a renovation is the building permit.

If you are about to undertake a renovation it is important to familiarize yourself with the local building code to see how it matches up with the renovation. This can help keep your family safe, protect your investment and avoid costly errors.

What’s a building permit?

A building permit authorizes officials from your local jurisdiction to inspect the work during and after the renovation to ensure it meets the standards set out in the building code. A building permit is required when construction, renovation or demolition work is done that could affect the structural integrity of the house.

When do I need a building permit?

As a general guide a building permit is needed under the following circumstances:

  • Will it be a detached building greater than ten square metres?
  • Will an addition be constructed? Such as a deck, balcony, or porch?
  • Will the existing structure be altered in any way, such as adding/removing a door, or window, or removing an interior wall?
  • Is the plumbing going to be altered?
  • Are you doing any kind of demolition?
  • Are you finishing your basement?
  • Are you installing a solid fuel appliance such as a wood burning stove or fireplace?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions you may need a building permit. It is highly recommended that you research your local municipality’s building code and discuss with you contractor.

What’s required to get a building permit?

The requirements for home renovations differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The turnaround time on a building permit will not be overnight. Therefore, it is important to contact your municipality’s building department well in advance to ensure you have the paperwork, supporting documents, and fees in order when you submit your application. As the property owner you are responsible for ensuring you have permits. You can delegate the responsibility to your contractor but make sure the responsibility for the permits is clearly detailed in the contract.

Guest Post by MyReno411

MyReno411’s is Canada’s number one source for finding home improvement professionals and information on DIY, interior design and home renovation.

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