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Which home improvements require permits in Canada?

Usually, homeowners are aware of the fact that they need a permit for larger things around the house, like adding a room. However, many smaller home improvements require permits as well. It is better to check whether you need it or not since not having a proper permit can end up costing you more money, time and nerves. If you currently do not have enough space at your home, do not worry. You can always leave your belongings at the safe storage units, Sudbury. We will now provide you with a complete guide on what will you need permits for.

a pint of paint and three brushes for painting
Home improvements will make your home look much more new and fresh, just be aware of the permits and whether you require them

A lot of home improvements require permits in Canada

It is not uncommon that if you plan some major or small improvements around the house that those home improvements require permits. If you are moving into a house that requires a lot of home improvements, we recommend that you get the help of Sudbury movers with your relocation. Then, you will be able to dedicate fully on the necessary home improvements that require approval. Here is the list of the most common ones:

  • If you want to construct accessory buildings which are larger than 10 square meters – This also applies if the addition is in the building that already exists. Hence, if you are planning to build something like a garage or add a room larger than 10 square meters, make sure that you have a permit for it.
  • Structural changes – If you plan to make some structural changes, for example, if you want to make a wall or remove a wall in your house, do not do it before acquiring a permit.
  • If a building is not finished yet, and you want to finish building it – These types of home improvement require permits in Canada, so do not take your chances.
  • Windows and entrances – Normally, you would not require a permit if you are setting up new windows or doors. However, if you are adding new entrances or windows, or changing their size then you will require a permit.
  • Chimneys or fireplaces – There is nothing more beautiful than having a fireplace in a home, however setting up chimneys or fireplaces is the type of home improvements that require permits in Canada.
some home improvements require permits, like the fireplace outside your home
Many home improvements require permits in Canada, among which is building a fireplace outside your home
  • Swimming pools- The same goes with the swimming pools, you need to get a permit before you can take your first swim.
  • Decks – Constructing any detached decks requires a permit, if the deck will be higher than 60.96 centimeters.
  • Finally, demolishing of a building requires a permit – Either demolition or relocation of a building will require a permit from the authorities.

How can you get a permit for home improvements?

A lot of home improvements require permits in Canada. Luckily, the process usually lasts for several days, unless it is for bigger improvements. You can get a home improvement permit in Canada fairly quickly. Then the process may last for several weeks. However, have in mind that the authorities really know that you are in a hurry, and will issue a permit for you as soon as it is possible.

You, as the homeowner are responsible for obtaining the permit. Unless you have a contract with the renovator. In that case, the renovator will tell you which permit will you require. They can request a permit on your behalf. In this case, you will need to draw a letter of authorization, giving the renovator the power to obtain the permits without you.

The process is as follows:

  • You should obtain the permit application – You can do this at the local building department
  • Send the application (s) to the local planning department for approval of land-use and also to the sanitation authority. If necessary you will send it to the environmental quality department to obtain a sanitation and septic approval.
  • Pay the permit fee
  • The municipality will review your plans and drawings for several days or weeks, as we already mentioned. Then, you will be all set up even when home improvements require permits.

What matters mostly when you renovate the house is to know what are the standards of a good home. Everything else will come easily and naturally.

What will happen if you do not have a permit?

It is better to be safe than sorry, and obtain a permit on time. Otherwise, you will lose a lot of money and nerves and for nothing. Note that even when you obtain a permit, it will serve you only for that specific improvement. If the municipality finds out that you do not have a permit, they can stop the work until you get a permit. Or, do not allow you to continue with the work altogether. If you fail to obtain a permit after this, they can pursue legal actions against you. Lastly, if you do not have a permit for home improvement, this can have an impact on your home insurance.

a set of ladders leading to the roof of the house
Some home improvements such as roofing do not require permits.

What home improvements do not require a permit?

Of course, there are many home improvements that do not require approval whatsoever. There a lot of DIY projects, for which you will only need goodwill and time and not a permit. Painting and decorating a house will not require a permit. You can also install any shelves or cabinets inside the house without a permit. You can place new windows and doors without a permit, as long as the opening is not altered. Also, if you want to renovate the roof, you will be able to do so without a permit. Also, we can certainly give you some tips on how to remodel your kitchen. 

We know that this may sound like a discouraging and daunting task. However, home improvements require permits for a reason. If you want to build a pool or a garage, you want them to be safe for your children and yourself. Only when the improvements comply with all the regulations can you sleep calmly and safely.