What do I need a permit for/ When do I need a Building Permit?
In short, you need a permit for any structure in excess of 107 square feet in most municipalities in Ontario.
A building permit is required to ensure that your project, whether a small deck or a large house is built to the minimum standards set out in the Ontario Building Code (OBC).
The OBC is a provincial regulation created and administered by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing which also includes the Building Code Act. The Building Code Act allows municipalities to ensure such things as structural and fire safety and energy conservation are maintained at a level equal to what is required in the OBC.
A building is a structure occupying an area greater than 10 square metres (107 square feet) consisting of a wall, roof or floor or a structural system serving the function thereof including all plumbing, works, fixtures and service systems.
You need a building permit when you remove or build wall in your house, when you underpin your basement, alter the location of a door, a window, establish a new window, finish your basement, excavate for steps to your basement, among many other things.
It is also important to note that changing the location of plumbing fixtures requires a Plumbing Permit which is a very simple application that does not require drawings in many cases for a residential application.
To make it easy; here are some of the things you do not need a building permit for.
You do NOT need a permit for:
– Painting your walls
– Change your flooring finishes, such as carpet, hardwood, tiles, vinyl floors,etc.
– Replacing door and windows (as long as location and size of openings remains the same)
– Water proofing your basement, and installing a sump pit / pump (As long as the excavation does not interfere with the soil, grade, and angle of repose in relation to your neighbors.
– Renovating your kitchen (as long as you do not change the location or add new plumbing fixtures [that requires a plumbing permit]. And do not remove or build new walls)
– In some municipalities, a gazebo that is less than 100 sqft in area as long as it complies with your zoning bylaw provisions.
– Replacing your lighting fixtures
– Replacing your appliances
– Installing new smoke detectors
– Replacing your roof shingles
– Upgrading your insulation
– Removing asbestos and other hazardous materials (as long as it is done by a professional and does not require alterations to walls and structures)
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