Building Permit , Why & How

Perth South - Building Permits, Why and How?

What is a Building Permit?

A building permit is a license which grants legal permission to start construction of a building project.

What Construction Projects Need Building Permits?

Check your local building department for the requirements in your area. Building permits are typically required for:

  • New buildings
  • Additions
  • Renovations (accessory dwelling units)
  • Demolitions
  • Prefabricated Structures
  • Mobile homes
  • Electrical systems
  • Plumbing systems
  • HVAC systems (heating, ventilating, air conditioning)
  • Miscellaneous for residential (fireplace, pools, decks, fences, etc.)
  • Temporary buildings

The Purpose of Permits.

Permits ensure that construction within your municipality meets with standards set out in the Ontario Building Code. No matter what the specific project may be, the enforcement of codes is carried out to protect the public health, safety and welfare.

The Use of Permits.

Building Officials use Building Permits as a vital step in their enforcement of codes. You have a major investment in the home or business you are about to build or remodel. When that home or business building does not comply with the codes, the value of your investment could be reduced. Applying for a Building Permit notifies the Building Official that you are constructing or remodeling a building so he or she can ensure the regulations in the Ontario Building Code are followed.

Why a Bother with a Building Permit?

Building Permits provide the means for Building Officials to ensure the health, safety and welfare of building occupants.
The building permit process helps you understand what the local bylaws and regulations are. Before any construction or remodeling work begins, a permit should be obtained.
Building permits provide the means for Building Officials to review the design and inspect construction to ensure that minimum standards are met and appropriate materials are used.

The Permit Process.

1. Visit or Call your Local Building Official.

You can usually reach a local Building Official at the Building and Inspections department at your local municipal offices.

The Building Official will ask "What are you planning to do?" and "Where are you planning to do it?" Then, the Building Official will explain the requirements (codes/regulations) regarding your project. An application for a building permit will be given to you at this time.

This initial contact will provide the resources and information you will need to make your project a success and avoid potential problems which could cost you time and money.

2. Submit Application.

The permit application requires information about the construction project. You'll be asked to document "who" will perform the work, "what" work will be done, "where" the work will be done, "when" the work will be done and "how" the work will be done. Scaled drawings, plans or other documentation of the proposed work will have to be submitted for review.

3. Wait During Review Process.

The majority of permit applications are processed with little delay. The Building Official will determine if your project is in compliance with the building code, the zoning and other municipal bylaws and provincial regulations.

4. Receive Results of Review Process.

A. If compliance with the code, zoning and other applicable regulations is determined, the application is approved and a permit issued.

B. If compliance is not determined, your application as submitted will be denied. If you are refused a building permit, you can make the necessary corrections and re-apply.

5. Receive Permit.

The building permit is the document granting legal permission to start construction. You must proceed as approved in the review process. The permit fee helps defray the cost of the Building Official's time spent in the application, reviews and on-site inspection process.

The fee also gives you access to the Building Official's knowledge and experience when and if you have any questions about your construction project. An additional fee for services, such as water and sewer connections and deposits for protection to public property may be required. Inspections required for your project will be indicated on the Permit.

Most building departments require you to post the building permit in a window or other prominent place at the construction site, keep a copy of the building plans at the site, and bring any proposed changed to the attention of the Building Official immediately. Changes will require a review and approval in the same manner as the original application.

6. Arrange Inspection Visits

Each major phase of construction must be inspected by the Building Official to make certain the work conforms to the Building Code, the Building Permit and the Approved Plans.

The person responsible for the construction project must request each inspection. Normally, 24 to 48 hours advance notice is required.

If an inspector finds that some work does not conform to approved plans, the inspector will advise (and possibly provide written notice) that the situation is to be remedied. If the violation is serious, a stop work order may be posted until the problem is resolved. Another inspection may be necessary before work is resumed.

7. Certificate of Occupancy

Upon final inspection, the Inspector may issue a Certificate of Occupancy at the request of the General Contractor. This certificate is the formal document which marks the completion of your construction project and gives you permission to occupy your new or renovated building with the knowledge that it has met the safety standards in your community.



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