A Building Permit. What’s That?

Building permits ……… Who needs them? ……. You might need one. A building permit is the permission you need to complete many changes to your house. It ensures your project conforms to both the zoning by-laws and the building code. A permit also requires several  inspections to take place at various milestones throughout the project to make sure the work is being completed correctly.

You might think getting a permit is a hassle and it can be but Menno Martin Contractor makes the process as smooth as possible. We sort through the zoning by-laws and the building code and apply for the permit on your behalf.

building permits
permit drawings

What sort of projects need a permit?

There are some obvious types of projects:

  • a new house
  • an addition to a house
  • structural work
  • carports or garages

There are some slightly less obvious types of projects:

  • major plumbing changes (like moving fixtures around in a room)
  • adding a window where there was no window before
  • making a window wider than it was before
  • finishing previously unfinished space like an attic or basement
  • building a deck more than 24″ above the grade
  • adding a roof to an existing deck
  • building a shed more than 108 square feet
  • creating a duplex
  • adding a bedroom to a basement

And there are some less common types of projects:

  • installing a pool
  • installing solar panels
  • installing a backflow device for lawn sprinkling systems
  • demolition greater than 108 square feet
  • adding or changes to a wood burning fireplace

When is a permit not needed?

  • replacing existing windows within the existing opening
  • replacing roofing
  • building a shed under 108 square feet
  • replacing kitchen cabinets as long as the sink remains in the same place
  • most fencing projects BUT you need to build according to the fencing by-law
  • installing a gas fireplace
  • installing a water softener
  • replacing existing plumbing fixtures in the same position
  • and many other minor repair projects don’t require a permit.

Some other kinds of permits to be aware of:

  • septic permits -upgrading or installing a new system.
  • Grand River Conservation Authority permits. If your property is within a GRCA regulated waterway or floodplain you can need a permit. There are many properties within City limits that these regulations can apply to.
  • Electrical permits

A permit may seem like a lot of work but it protects you and future owners of your house. It ensures your renovation project was completed and inspected to the latest codes. It gives you peace of mind. We will also do the heavy lifting to obtain your permit on your behalf so you can relax and enjoy your renovation.