What is a building permit?
A building permit is a formal approval from your local municipality that will let you work on your project. It is necessary for building, renovation, demolition, additions, and other projects. The City Building Permit Department will review all the drawings to assure compliance will all laws and regulations.
When would a permit be needed?
Almost any structural project will need a permit. This includes:
- A new building
- Adding an addition
- Major alterations
- Accessory structures
- Finishing a basement
- Decks, retaining walls, etc.
- Fireplaces and chimneys
- Wood burning stove or fireplaces
- Heating and plumbing systems
- Backwater valve and backflow prevention
- Changing a building from residential to commercial or single dwelling to multi-dwelling, even if no construction is necessary
The renovation was completed years ago without permits. Do I have grandfather rights?
Grandfather rights are only available when the permit was issued at the time the improvements were done. The City can take action at any time, no matter how far in the past.
My contractor knows how to comply with codes. Do I still need a permit
Yes. A building permit and development permit are required even if everything is done properly.
Who needs a building permit?
My renovation was completed years ago. I didn't have a permit then. Do I need one now?
If the project triggers a development permit or building permit, you will need to apply for a retroactive permit. If you are selling the home, the new buyer has the right to see the permits for any improvements.
Can I get a permit after the work is done?
Yes. However, all the changes must meet today’s regulations and standards. If those are not met, you may have more work to do to pass the inspection.
I am planning on some maintenance and repairs. Will I need a permit?
Possibly. It will depend on the type of work and how large the project is. Check with the permit office first. Better safe than sorry.