Why Do You Need a Building Permit?

May 24, 2023

Renovation Design

Home Building

Building Codes

Why its important to get a building permit?

Renovating your home can be exciting, whether you're updating the kitchen, adding an extra room, or giving your space a fresh new look. However, it's crucial to understand when a permit is required. Let's explore why obtaining a permit is essential and what it entails.

A building permit is typically required when making significant changes that alter the structure or systems of your home. This includes reconfiguring layouts, adding or removing walls, creating new window and door openings, and more. Not only does the permit process safeguard compliance with the BC Building Code, zoning regulations, and local requirements, but it also ensures the safety and structural integrity of your home.

What do I need for a building permit & who applies?

The specific building permit requirements can vary depending on your municipality and the type of renovation. For interior projects, a scaled floor plan illustrating the existing and new layouts may be necessary. On the other hand, major renovations like additions, decks, or structural changes typically require a comprehensive set of working drawings, potentially including a site survey and/or engineered drawings.

While it is the homeowner's responsibility to obtain the necessary building permits, in many cases, your contractor can apply for the permit on your behalf with a letter of authorization. The review period for a building permit varies, typically ranging from 1 to 6 weeks, depending on the scale of the renovation and your municipality.

What happens if i don’t get a building permit?

Renovating without a permit can lead to serious consequences. Municipalities can issue a stop-work order, halting the project until the necessary permit is obtained. Additionally, if the renovation doesn't meet building codes, you will be required to redo the work to ensure compliance, potentially resulting in the costly removal of non-compliant additions.

Unpermitted renovations can impact insurance claims and the resale of your home. Insurance companies require documentation of permits and compliance with building codes when processing claims. If unpermitted work is discovered, it can jeopardize your ability to make an insurance claim related to the renovation or even result in the denial of coverage. Additionally, prospective buyers, who delve into a property's permit history, may be deterred from purchasing a home if they discover unpermitted work. If future renovations are proposed, the city may request working drawings for previously completed, unpermitted renovations, introducing further complexities to the process.

Obtaining a building permit is essential to comply with regulations, ensure safety, and avoid potential issues. By adhering to the permit process, you can confidently renovate your home, knowing that your project follows local requirements and building codes, thereby providing peace of mind and protection for years to come. Start your Renovation or Custom Home off on the right foot and book your Discovery Call with us today!