The province of Ontario has designed a set of construction standards intended to offer a level of life safety and health in the buildings where they live, work and play. Obtaining a building permit ensures that your home and other buildings meet these standards in the Ontario Building Code.
Building permits are necessary to ensure that applicable provincial laws, zoning requirements and fire and structural safety standards are met.
The types of projects that require a building permit include but are not limited to:
- Roofed Porches
- Attached or detached garages or sheds
- New or structural alterations; example: larger windows and doors, load bearing walls, etc.
- Adding and removing most walls
- Any new buildings including farm buildings and structures
- Addition of a bedroom in a basement
- Changing the use or occupancy of a building
If construction has started prior to the issuance of a Building Permit:
-Costly repairs may be required to gain compliance;
-Removal of work done not in compliance with the Ontario Building Code and/or other applicable law may be required;
-The Building Permit fee may be increased;
-Legal action may be initiated by the Building Services Division to gain compliance.
If you are not sure if a Building Permit is required for your project please contact the Building Services Division at 613-543-2673 and one of our staff will be happy to assist you.
Before a Building Permit application can be accepted, it must be complete and approvals for all applicable laws must be in place. In most cases, plans will be required to reflect the construction details of the proposed work and all zoning information should be provided such as an up to date survey.
When applying for a Building Permit you will need to submit a completed application form and two copies of the following drawings:
-Floor plans for each floor
-Mechanical/structural/electrical plans or data
-Plot plan/survey or site plan and
-Grading plan (for new sub-divisions)
As the owner, you may design your own project and produce your own drawings. However, if you are not familiar with various government regulations, by-laws and Ontario Building Code requirements, you may wish to hire a qualified designer instead. Delays in the issuance of your permit can arise if your drawing and specification submissions are not complete or do not conform to the Ontario Building Code and/or Zoning By-Law.
Most designs for Building Permits, not completed by the owner, will require a designer registered and/or qualified under Division C, Part 3, Section 3.2 of the Ontario Building Code (an Architect or Engineer is exempt from this requirement). A designer is anyone who is responsible for the design, which may also include preparing the drawings for submission. You may wish to check with the Building Services Division to find out whether your project requires a qualified designer.
Qualified designers will have a Building Code Identification Number (BCIN). Qualifications may be verified on the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website. Please contact the Ministry at 416.585.6666 if you have any further questions regarding designers or qualifications.
Upon obtaining a Building Permit the property owner or contractor is required to arrange for inspections of construction. The Building Inspections Section carries out inspections in conjunction with a Building Permit and also responds to customer requests to determine if a permit is required. Knowledgeable staff assist both the homeowner and contractor on completing their projects in accordance with Ontario Building Code regulations and applicable municipal zoning requirements.
Our Building Inspectors work closely with other regulatory bodies in the Municipality and County, such as South Dundas Fire & Emergency Services (SDFES) and EOHU, to ensure that all applicable local regulations are adhered to. This involves conducting fire alarm tests, informing SDFES of any possible violations discovered during our routine inspections, and ensuring conformance with any agreements between the Municipality and any other organization dealing with development of lands, such as Site Plan Agreements and Subdivision Agreements.
Requests for inspections can be made by calling 613-543-2673. The scheduling of appointments for inspections are made with the Building Inspector.
Building Inspectors will inspect at key stages of construction (required inspection stages). It is the permit holder's (applicant’s/property owner's/contractor's) responsibility to call the Building Inspector to arrange for inspections at the required inspection stages. The permit holder must also ensure that they are knowledgeable about the Ontario Building Code and understand that they must comply with all of its requirements.
Regardless of the deck’s walking surface area, if the deck is adjacent to or attached to the house and its walking surface is more than 600 mm (24 in.) above the adjacent grade, a permit is required.
Regardless of the deck’s walking surface area, if the deck is an elevated deck providing principal access to a building a permit is required.
If the deck is independent from the house (eg. is in the middle of the yard) and has a walking surface greater than 10 square metres (approximately 108 square feet) in area and its walking surface is more than 600 mm (24 in.) above the adjacent grade, a permit is required.