General News

When do you need a building permit?

December 15, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

If you are planning to build or renovate, you should check if you require a building permit before you start your project, to make sure your project is safe and legal.

You must obtain a building permit if you plan on building a new structure or renovating, repairing, demolishing, or adding to an existing one.

Examples of when a building permit is required include, but are not limited to:

  • A new building or structure larger than 10 square metres (108 square feet).
  • An addition or sunroom that’s attached to a building or structure.
  • Agricultural buildings.
  • A pre-fabricated building/structure which is greater than ten square metres.
  • Any building or structure that contains plumbing regardless of size.
  • Any plumbing or HVAC work.

You will need a building permit if you are excavating a basement, constructing a foundation, or converting an attached garage into a liveable space.

You also need a building permit if you are installing:

  • A door between an attached garage and a house or its basement.
  • An exterior staircase or basement access.

For load-bearing walls or beams, you will need a building permit anytime you:

  • Install, change, remove, or move load-bearing walls and beams.
  • Install new openings in load-bearing walls, exterior walls, or if you are changing the size of doors and windows.
  • Install a skylight on the roof of a building/structure.

For outdoor decks, you need a permit to build a wood deck greater than 600 mm (23-5/8 inches) in height above ground level. This includes decks around private swimming pools and if you are adding a roof over a wood deck.

Installing or modifying a septic system, water service, sewer line, heating system, air-conditioning system, fireplace, or wood stove requires a building permit, as well as:

  • Installing or repairing a chimney.
  • Installing, renovating, or modifying plumbing fixtures or plumbing systems.
  • Constructing, renovating, or repairing a sewage system, septic tank, or septic field.

If you are contemplating constructing a secondary dwelling unit, you must confirm the property’s zoning with the Planning Department.

If your property is located within a Conservation Authority, further authorization may be required.

Readers Comments (0)

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support