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When Do I Need a Building Permit?

Building Permits are required for the following:

  • Any new buildings including farm buildings and structures
  • Adding a carport, garage, rooms or another storey to an existing building
  • Adding structural features such as a balcony, decks, a canopy or dormer, or enclosing a porch
  • Excavating to construct a new or full basement under an existing house
  • Constructing any accessory building over 10 sq. metres (100 sq. ft.) such as a garage or utility building
  • Doing renovations or repairs of any kind, including the addition of a bedroom in a basement, or undertaking structural changes such as removing a load bearing partition or wall
  • Signs having structural components or over 7.5 metres in height, retaining walls over 1 metre in height, antennas or towers over 16 metres, pools deeper than 3.5 metres, and dishes or solar collectors over 5 metres2
  • Changing the use or occupancy of a building
  • Installation of wood burning equipment and/or chimneys
  • Installation of a public pool
  • Installation or alteration of any building system such as plumbing, heating, ventilation or any life safety systems
  • When a building or structure is to be move

A demolition permit is required if you are tearing down a building or part of a building. A building located on a farm does not require a demolition permit.

Why Do I Need a Building Permit?

Building permits ensure that construction within the municipality meets with standards set out in the Ontario Building Code, and in doing so protects the Public's Health, Safety and Welfare. Building Officials use Building Permits as a vital step in their enforcement of codes. The value of your home or business investment could be reduced if it does not meet with the code requirements.

How Do I Apply?

You will be required to complete and sign an application form. This form is available at the Municipal Office. You may also be required to submit other information depending on the type of construction project you propose (refer to the building permit check list to determine what common types of information are required for various projects).

What Is A Site Plan?

(A plot plan or survey showing a “bird’s eye” view of the property)

  • Municipal address
  • Lot and Concession number
  • Use of building
  • Location of all buildings
  • Lot dimensions
  • Set backs from rivers, ponds, property lines
  • North Arrow Vehicle access (drive way)
  • Retaining walls (if applicable)
  • Right-of-way (if applicable)
  • Easements Location of septic system
  • Location of well
  • Location of ground source heat pump ( if applicable)
  • Drainage plan showing how the water will be draining away from the building
  • Location and discharge of sump pump
Can I Draw My Own Building Plans Or Drawings?

Plans are required for new buildings, additions, accessory buildings and structural alterations. Under Provincial Legislation, plans and specifications which accompany an application for permit must be prepared by a person who is qualified and has a Building Code Identification Number (BCIN), an Architect (licensed in the Province of Ontario) or a Professional Engineer (licensed in the Province of Ontario). Some exemptions may apply to the owner of the property or to the project itself, based on the type, size and use of the structure. Contact the municipal office for details.

The following information must be included for each of the plans:

2 sets of plans to be submitted; one set will be returned to you to be kept on the construction site at all times

Measurements may be in metric or imperial

Plans may vary depending on the type of construction but generally should include

  1. Foundation Plan
    • All dimensions
    • Floor framing, size and spacing
    • Beams, columns (sizes)
    • Stair location, number of steps or height of steps
    • Foundation wall
    • Footings
    • Partitions
    • Door, windows (sizes)
    • Plumbing fixtures
    • Furnace
    • Floor drain
    • Lintels
    • Cross bridging
    • Use of space
    • Scale of plans
  2. Floor Plan
    • All dimensions
    • Floor framing, size and direction
    • Beams, lintels, and columns (sizes)
    • Stair location, number of steps or height of steps
    • Partitions
    • Doors, windows (size)
    • Plumbing fixtures
    • Cross bridging
    • Intended use of spaces (names of rooms)
    • Roof framing (upper floor), size and direction of framing, include ridge lines and valleys
    • Fireplace/stove and chimney locations
    • Scale of plans
  3. Fire Separations
    • Plans to show locations, rating and construction detail
  4. Roof Plans
    • Truss design and assembly criteria to be provided by manufacturer and may be provided at the time the trusses are delivered to the site
  5. Building Elevations
    • Finishing details of the exterior
    • Accurate grade location
    • Steps and handrails
    • Deck and porch construction details
    • Windows, doors
    • Roof Pitch
    • Chimney height
  6. Plumbing Drawings (except for detached dwelling units)
    • Schematic of all drains and vents
    • Fixture locations and details of grab bars and stall sizes for Barrier Free washrooms
  7. Cross Sections
    • Scale of plans
    • Vertical height dimensions
    • Identify all materials used in walls, roof and floor construction
    • Stair sections (dimensions)
    • Roof pitch
    • Construction details
    • Exterior grade
    • Lintels, Beams, columns
    • Roof overhang
    • Dimensions of materials
What Do I Need For My Water And Sewage Systems?

Certificate of Approval for Sewage System from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

  • Certificates are required for the installation or enlargement of any private sewage system i.e.septic tank and tile field
  • Copy of certificate must be submitted to the Building Official before a Building Permit can be issued
  • In the case of an addition, change of use, etc., a letter of approval is required.
Do I Need A Plumbing Permit?
  • A Building Permit is required for the installation of any plumbing fixtures or modification to any plumbing and drainage systems
  • Plumbing inspections are required .
Do I Need A Ontario New Home Warranty (Tarion) Registration Number?

A registration number is required for new house construction where a person other than the homeowner is the builder or general contractor. A builder means a person who undertakes the performance of all the work and supply of all the materials necessary to construct a completed home whether for the purpose of sale by the person or under contract with a vendor or owner.

What Does A Building Permit Cost?

Building Permit fees are set by By-law, you may ask for a copy of the By-law or call the department to get an estimate of costs. The types of fees and Performance Deposits will vary depending on the project. See Schedule "A" of By-Law 2005-40.

Are There Any Other Matters I Should Consider?
  • An Entrance permit may be required. Contact the appropriate road authority.

    United Counties of Prescott and Russell
    613-675-4661 Ext 3100
    Township of East Hawkesbury
    Jacques Quesnel
  • Electrical permits are required by the Electrical Safety Authority - 1-877-372-7233
  • Bell Canada for telephone connections and the location of buried cable
  • Insurance contact your own agent for coverage during construction
  • Ministry of Labour - Require a Notice of Project if total cost of project exceeds $50,000
  • Future Plans Make sure that location of services will not affect future plans, ie. Garages, decks, pools, additions, sewage/water systems, play ground equipment, fencing, etc.
What Are My Obligations During Construction?
  1. POST your Building Permit so that it is visible from the street.
  2. KEEP a copy of your Building plans on the construction site.
  3. NOTIFY the Building Inspector at least 48 hours in advance of the stage of construction requiring notice indicated on the Building Permit.
  4. NOTIFY the Building Inspector of any proposed changes to your building plans. These will require approval prior to changes.
When Can I Occupy The Building?

A building may be occupied when notice of the date of completion is given to the Chief Building Official and a final inspection has been made.

Can I Occupy an Unfinished Building?

Occupancy of an unfinished building may be granted provided the conditions of the Ontario Building Code are met, e.g. Fire and Life Safety components, water & sewage components, etc.

Why Do I Need Inspections?

Proper inspections will help ensure that construction is safe and that it meets code requirements. This will help protect your investment and contribute to a better standard of development for the community.

What Happens If I Build Without A Permit?

Building without a permit is against the law and is subject to fines or penalties set out in the Building Code Act and the Provincial Offences Act. Furthermore, the cost of issuing a permit where construction has begun is double the standard permit fee. The Chief Building Official may also ask for engineering inspections on the existing building or parts thereof before a permit can be issued. This is an unwise and expensive proposition, don’t do it.

NOTE: The issuing of a Building Permit does not in any way relieve the Owner or his agent from complying with all the rules and regulations of the Zoning By-laws, the Ontario Building Code, or any other applicable law.

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