Building Permits Ottawa

Guide: City Of Ottawa Building Permit

A building permit is a document that allows you to legally construct, renovate, or demolish a building. It is issued by the municipality that is responsible for enforcing Ontario’s Building Code in your area. In Ottawa, building permits are overseen by City Hall, but sometimes they are also overseen by health departments, conservation authorities, or provincial regulators. Building permits ensure that your home is constructed safely and up to code. Without a permit, you could be risking the safety of yourself and others. So, if you’re planning on making any changes to your home, make sure to get a building permit first!

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City Of Ottawa Building Permit Fees

Building permit fees for building, renovation, construction and other projects must fully offset the cost of servicing building permits and enforcing the Building Code Act. The Building Code Act requires that every municipality in Ontario charge fees for building permits that cover the full cost of administering the building permit system and enforcing the Building Code. The intent of this legislation is to make sure that those who use the building permit system pay their fair share of the costs. The building permit fee is calculated using a formula that takes into account the value of the work, the type of work and the municipality’s cost of living. The formula is designed to ensure that municipalities recover their costs while keeping fees reasonable for those who are renovating their home.

Cost of building permit for new construction (residential):

New construction or home additions are calculated on the total square footage. For residential construction the building permit cost is about $1.06 per square foot.  If you wanted to get a permit for building a 2000 square foot custom home the cost is about $2120.  Are you going to include a finished basement in your design? That will need to be added to the cost of the building permit but only at a cost of $0.25 per square foot.  The cost of the building permit is based on square footage so adding a second storey will not change the cost of the building permit.

How much is a building permit for an addition?

If you’re planning on adding an addition to your home in Ottawa, it’s important to be aware of the building permit cost. The fee is charged at $1.06 per square foot plus 1.1% of the estimated construction value. The construction value is determined by adding up all the cost of the materials, labour, overhead & professional fees. For example, a 500 square foot home addition with a construction value of $100,000 would cost $1620 in building permit fees. Keep this in mind when budgeting for your project, as it can add a significant amount to the overall cost.

Permit Cost To Finish Basement

The permit cost to finish a basement in Ottawa is only $0.25 per square foot plus 1.1% of the estimated budget.  For large sized basement renovations there is definitely good value in renovating your basement.  The City of Ottawa requires basement renovation permits be issued even for already finished basements.  Popular renovations in basements include bathroom or shower installation, removing load bearing walls, egress windows and general renovations.

Example: 500 square foot basement remodel with an estimated construction value of $45,000 would cost a total of $620.

Why You Need a Building Permit

Building permits are required to ensure the safety of individuals are protected and that the interest of the community are being considered. The building permit gives you permission to start construction on a project. It ensures that your project meets certain safety and design standards set by your city or town. The application process can be daunting, but it’s important to remember that building permits help to protect both individual safety and the interests of the community. Water shed protection, local zoning, and individual safety are all important considerations that building permits help to address. In the end, though the process may be time-consuming, submitting for a building permit is always worth the effort to ensure that your project is safe and up to code.

When Do You Need a Building Permit in Ottawa?

If you’re planning any kind of construction project on your property in Ottawa, it’s important to be aware of the city’s building permit requirements. Any project that involves adding or removing structural elements, such as walls, plumbing, major repair work, must obtain a permit from the city. Additionally, any excavation work or sewage repairs also require a permit. Seasonal buildings, such as sheds or pool houses, also need to be permitted if they exceed 100 square feet in size. Failure to obtain the proper permits can result in delays, fines, or even stop work orders being issued by the city.

How to Get a Building Permit in Ottawa

Building permits can be applied in Ottawa by dropping off a physical application or via electronic submissions. Physical permits applications can be submitted to any of these addresses M-F between 8:30AM-4:30PM. Applications can also be submitted by mail to the location in Centrepointe.

110 Laurier Avenue West (Downtown Ottawa)

255 Centrum Boulevard (Orleans)

101 Centrepointe Drive (Nepean)

580 Terry Fox Drive (Kanata)


Need Help Getting Your Building Permit?

Navigating the process to get your building permit can be difficult for more residential home owners in Ottawa. Get professional help when applying for building permits by our team of architects, engineers and managers. Need a quick revision of your site plan in order to get the renovation or construction approved today…? It is often helpful to seek professional assistance when applying for a building permit. Our team of architects, engineers, and project managers have extensive experience with the permit process, and we can help ensure that your application is complete and compliant with all local regulations. We understand that time is of the essence when it comes to construction projects, so we will work diligently to obtain your permit in a timely manner. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

Get Help With Your Building Permit. Schedule A Free Consultation With Us Today!

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How to Get an Ottawa Building Permit

Any Building Code Client Service Center can help you during their regular hours of operation from 8:30 a.m. To 4:30 p.m.

The locations are:
  • 110 Laurier Avenue West
  • 255 Centrum Boulevard
  • 101 Centrepointe Drive
  • 580 Terry Fox Drive
  • Metcalfe, 8243 Victoria Street, (open only Tuesdays)
  • Kinburn, 5670 Carp Road, (open only Wednesdays)
  • North Gower, 2155 Roger Stevens Drive, (open only Thursdays)

Building Permit Projects

Falling under this code are any new constructions, additions, or changes over 10 square meters or 108 square feet.

Following is a list of common projects that are affected.

If you have questions contact the Building Code Client Service Center or dial 3-1-1 for information.

  • Change from septic to sewer
  • Green initiatives:
  • Storm and grey water
  • Rooftop Storm water retention
  • Wind turbine generator support systems rated over 3kW
  • Interior or Exterior structural work
  • Walls
  • Adding windows
  • Relocating doors or windows
  • Plumbing excluding replacement of existing fixtures
  • Structural
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There are some projects that do not require permits.

However, the finished product still needs to comply with all building codes, zoning or other laws. Designated Heritage Buildings have specific requirements and you should contact the Building Client Service Center.

  • Detached accessory structure like shed under 10 square meters
  • Roof shingles
  • Damp proofing basements
  • Replacement of doors or windows
  • New flooring
  • Appliances like air conditioning and hot water tanks
  • Painting or decorating
  • Fences
  • Landscaping