Building Permit FAQs
Qualified Designers & Registered Firms
The Ontario Building Code Act requires that a range of individuals and firms responsible for design activities regulated under the Act be qualified in their appropriate area of design and, when required, registered with the Province.
Building Permits – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is a Building Permit?
- When are Building Permits Required?
- Swimming Pool Permits?
- Building a Fence?
- Demolition Permits?
- Accessory Building Permits?
- Tent Permits?
- Residential Wind Turbines?
- Mobile or Modular Homes?
- Deck and Patio Building Permits?
- Septic System Permits?
- Solar Panels?
A building permit gives you the legal authorization to start construction of a building project in accordance with approved drawings and specifications. Building permits are issued by the Building Department and are reviewed for compliance with the Ontario Building Code, the applicable municipal Zoning By-Law and other applicable provincial and municipal regulations. Building permits are necessary to ensure that zoning requirements, fire and structural safety standards, and other building standards are met.
In most cases, a customer applying for a permit will deal directly with the same Building Inspector who will oversee the permit from the initial application stage through to issuance. The one-on-one approach enables the staff to serve the public in the most efficient manner possible. The Building Department is also responsible for collecting applicable fees, such as Development Charges.
In general, a building permit is required to erect, install, extend, alter or repair a building. The following are examples of projects that require building permits:
- Construction of a new home
- Demolish any part of a residential structure
- Addition of a carport, garage, porch or room(s) to an existing home.
- Any structural work, including alterations to interior partitions or the installation of new skylights, windows or doors.
- New openings for, or changes to the size of doors and windows
- Addition of dormer(s).
- Enclosing a porch or deck.
- Retaining Walls over 1.0meters in height
- Addition of a deck to an existing home.
- Raising a house to provide a full basement.
- Constructing or installing detached accessory buildings larger than 108 square feet (10 square metres). For example, a carport, garage, shed, playhouse, etc.
- Installation of fireplaces and woodstoves and chimneys.
- Installation of above ground, on-ground or inground pools.
- Installation of insulation, air/vapour barrier and drywall.
- Replacing or installing new plumbing.
- Dampproofing or waterproofing foundation walls including installation of weeping tile.
- Installing a ramp or elevating device.
The following are examples of projects that may not require a building permit:
- Repair or renovations that have no impact on structure
- Replacement of windows. Note: A permit is not required if you are replacing windows that are the same size and same location.
- Re-shingle a roof provided there are no structural changes
- Erection of a fence, (except for swimming pools that may require a fence. See fencing by-law)
If these lists do not include specifics of your project or you are not sure if a permit will be required, please review the details of the work with our Building Inspectors, prior to construction.
NOTE: Although a building permit may not be required, you MUST still comply with the requirements of the applicable municipal Zoning By-Law.
A building permit is required for the installation of a pool. The pool location, enclosure and equipment must conform to applicable municipal by-laws. Please be advised that each of the former municipalities may have unique requirements with respect to the permitted location of the swimming pool. Please contact the Building Department for specific information. Please read the Swimming Pools Requirements for more information.
A permit is not required to build a fence. For residential fence regulations please read the Building Fences Requirements. For other questions relating to fencing please contact the By-Law Enforcement division (via our Customer Service numbers – 519-426-5870 Ext.6015 or 519-875-4485). A fence may be required for your swimming pool.
If you propose to demolish any residential structure occupying an area greater than 108 square feet (10 square metres) or part of such a structure, you will require a Building Permit. Please refer to our FORMS for an application for demolition, and a demolition checklist which will need to be completed. Demolition permits are not required for Agricultural farm buildings.
A building permit is required for an accessory building attached to a structure, or if detached exceeding 10 sq. m. (108 sq. ft.) in size. For more details on requirements for building your accessory structure, please read Building Accessory Structure Requirements. Zoning requirements apply at all times. Height and size restrictions do apply for certain zones.
A building permit may be needed for a tent. For more details on the requirements for a tent permit please contact the Building Department.
A building permit is required for a residential wind turbine and its supporting structure only if it has a rated output of more than 3 kilowatts (Ontario Building Code Division B, 220.127.116.11(g). For more information please see our Residential Wind Turbine Requirements brochure.
A building permit is required to move in a modular home. Please read Mobile Home Requirements for a permit for this type of structure.
A building permit is required for a deck or patio regardless of size if it serves an entrance. A building permit is required for a deck/patio if attached to a structure, or if detached, exceeds 10 sq. m. (108 sq. ft.) in size. Please read the requirements for building your deck. Zoning requirements apply at all times.
A building permit is required to install a new septic system, repair or replace any part of the septic system. Please refer to our FORMS for more information on applying for a septic system permit.
See attached brochure Solar Panels Information Sheet detailing information on when a building permit is needed for solar panel installation
A permit is required for a new bunkhouse, and a conversion to create a bunkhouse. For more details on the requirements for bunkhouses please contact the Building Department.
See attached document for what is required for Woodstoves