Why do you need a building permit?

Alena Rinwi
·2-min read

Whether you have owned your property for several years or you are the proud new owner, it’s important to understand your local building codes and regulations. With so many rules to follow and requirements to adhere to, the process of applying for a building permit can be confusing for many. Here’s what you need to know about these permits and why you need one.


Why you need a permit

Building permits serve a number of roles. Not only do they allow your local municipality to protect your best interests, but also those of the community in general. Applications are thoroughly reviewed before they are approved and only once approved can building commence. The building code in your area sets standards in terms of the construction and design of buildings so that they meet various objectives. These objectives include but are not limited to safety, health, accessibility, fire protection and resource conservation. Different properties also fall under different zones which means that different rules will apply based on these zoning bylaws. Other considerations include the Environmental Protection Act which always needs to be a priority when building or renovating a property.

When a permit is needed

Apart from new construction projects, building permits are also required when you wish to perform renovations, repairs or add to your building. If you want to change the use of a building, a permit will also be required. You will need a permit if you wish to construct a seasonal building, excavate or construct a foundation as well as any other alterations, repairs or extensions of the on-site sewage system.

The permit application process

You can obtain an application for a building permit at your local municipality. It is important to note that this application will be reviewed by your municipality and not the provincial government. You will not only need to complete the application form, but you will also need to include plans, drawings and additional supporting documents. There might also be a fee involved.

Inspections along the way

Once your building permit is approved, you can expect regular building inspections along the way. This is absolutely normal no matter the type of structure you are building or renovating. For this reason, you should always keep your permit in the window of your building as well as copies of plans on-site. Let the municipality know if any changes are to be made along the way. These changes will require approval before you can go ahead. In the case of a demolition, permits for such structural alterations are also required.

Given the complex nature of the approval process and everything that is involved, it is best to have a professional in your corner. Expert permit application assistance will help ensure that the process runs smoothly and without any hiccups along the way.