Renovating or building? Our guide has got you covered!

Renovating or building? Our guide has got you covered!

Getting permits and authorizations, submitting plans and documents, making sure you’re playing by all the rules and regulations… And the list goes on! Where do you even begin? Who do you talk to? How do you go about it? We can walk you through it!   


1. Understand your project

What do you want to do? Build a house from the ground up or renovate your home? What kind of work does your project require? Are you adding a building (a garage, a shed) or maybe a swimming pool? Ask yourself the right questions and write it all down. Some details may seem inconsequential enough, but when it comes to laws and regulations, a small detail can make a big difference!

2. Get all the information you need

Your municipality’s permit and inspection department can provide you with accurate information on all the laws and regulations that may affect your project. They’ll be able to tell you all about zoning and urban planning constraints, as well as any permits and authorizations you may need. This is an important step and it might spare you many a headache down the line.     


Certificate of location

Project sketch


3. Get your plans

Different projects call for different plans, and your municipality’s permit and inspection people can tell you exactly what you need. But careful there, a sketch is not a plan! Depending on the kind of plan you need, you’re going to have to call on a different professional: a land surveyor, a technologist, an architect or a landscape architect. Make sure your professional has all the information they need to get your project approved.


4. Get all the documents you need

When you hand in your application, the permit and inspection department will ask you to submit certain documents along with your plans. At the very least, any application will require evidence of ownership and a certificate of location. If you don’t have those, they might refuse to even process your application.


5. Apply for a permit

Got everything you need (including two copies of your plans, drafted by a professional)? Get to yor municipality’s permit and inspection department and fill in a form to apply for a permit or authorization. Pay the processing fees right at the counter.


6. Put up the permit

Once your application goes through, you’ll be issued a permit. It’s time to kick off the work! Remember: the permit needs to be up and visible at all times.   



7. Request an inspection

Depending on the kind of work, one or more inspections are in order to make sure everything is in line with the plans you submitted to get the permit. To avoid any problems, it’s a good idea to request your inspections early on, in case something is not up to snuff and needs to be corrected. It can save you money and trouble!  

Do I need a permit to change my doors and windows?

If you’re simply changing your doors, windows or patio doors, you don’t need to get a permit. But if you want to widen a patio door or add doors or windows to let more natural light in, you’re going to want to check with your municipality, because regulations are different from place to place. If a permit is required, you’re going to have to submit a construction plan by a licensed technologist or architect. Another important thing to remember: make sure you get your doors and doorglass in approved models, especially if your house is designated as heritage.