5 Renovations That May Or May Not Need A Building Permit

If you're undergoing a major renovation, likely you would require a building permit to ensure that you stay in good standing with the city, and that your project is done correctly in accordance with the building code and local by-laws.

There are 5 types of renovations which may or may not require a building permit. I often hear conflicting information so I've tried to break it down by analyzing the subtle differences and looking at exact scope of work.

Hopefully this can help you clarify things if you plan on tackling any major projects.

To make it easily digestible, I decided to make another short video instead. So in this video I tried to clear up some of the misconceptions surrounding permit requirements for 5 renovation types. These include:

  • New Structures
  • Backyard Decks
  • Finished Basements
  • Window and Doors
  • Energy Efficient (Green) Upgrades

Now these are primarily determined by the Ontario Building Code and are very closely aligned between all cities in Ontario, but there are minor differences between municipalities due to their interpretation of the Code, and also local by-laws, which supersedes a particular code item. Check it out.

In addition to the video, I've compiled a handy cheat sheet PDF Building Permit Requirements For 6 Cities which provides the contact numbers as well as links to the website which outlines clearly what projects requires permits and which projects don't, specific to Toronto, Hamilton, Mississauga, Oshawa, Barrie and Ottawa.

You can click the link above to download a copy of the cheat sheet to keep handy in case you do any work in that particular city.

Thanks again for reading (and watching!) and please leave a comment below.