Accessory Building

Accessory Structures

Looking to get an accessory structure built in Ottawa? First you will need to find an architect to work with to provide all the necessary drawings and plans before you can get a permit or contractor. But before we talk about our services, just what is an accessory structure?  Basically an accessory structure is a building that doesn’t have any plumbing and isn’t going to be used for dwelling. Our team can help provide you with architectural plans, support getting building permits and finding a contractor to build your accessory building. Get a free consultation and see how our team of industry professionals makes building easier!

What Is An Accessory Structure?

Accessory structures can include buildings like detached garages, open decks, storage sheds, gazebos and barns.  Accessory structures cannot be used as a separate dwelling unit or for any other purpose that is not incidental or subordinate to the main dwelling. If you are looking to have an accessory structure built in Ottawa, the first step is to find an architect. The architect will work with you to come up with the necessary designs, drawings and plans before you can get a permit or contractor. Contact us today, and schedule a free consultation to get started on your project!

When Do You Need a Permit To Build An Accessory Structure In Ottawa?

In the City of Ottawa, any accessory building that is larger than 108 square feet (10 square metres) requires a building permit. If the accessory building is attached to your house, or if it is located within three metres of your property line, you will also need to hire an architect or professional engineer to prepare the plans for the project. Other accessory buildings that require a building permit include those that are powered by electricity or natural gas, those that are used for commercial use.    

When Accessory Buildings Don’t Require A Building Permit

Most municipalities adhere to international building standards so it is advised you consult with a professional before planning and building any structure. Construction of a one-storey detached storage shed that measures 10 square metres or less in gross area, is ancillary to the principal dwelling and without plumbing, generally won’t require a building permit. In order to avoid any potential issue, it is advisable to check with architects to ensure that the proposed shed meets all the requirements for a permit exemption. The shed must be located on the same property as the principal dwelling and must be used for storage purposes only. The size of the shed must not exceed the maximum allowable gross floor area, which is roughly 100 square feet. Any door or window openings must not exceed nine square feet. The shed must also be set back a certain distance from property lines, as specified in the local zoning bylaws.

What If I Don’t Get A Building Permit In Ottawa?

Failure to comply with the city requirements may result in the shed being classified as a “non-conforming” structure, which could lead to difficulties if you ever decide to sell your property.  The City is very strict and will follow up with all complaints. Its always best to get the proper drawing and permits when building any structures in Ottawa.

Building Application Checklist for Constructing a Residential Accessory Building

Generally most accessory building permits approved by the City Of Ottawa will have all the following architectural drawings & documents.  Working with professional architects mean our team can work with the city to provide revisions and missing drawings to help prevent building permits from getting delayed.

  •     Two complete sets of legible plans drawn to scale
  •     Site plan to include dimensions, change in grading, and all buildings
  •     Foundation plan
  •     Floor plan
  •     Elevations
  •     Cross section
  •     Building permit application
  •     Any additional information that may be requested