Building Permit Application

25 Years Exp. City Hall Niagara Falls, Home and Commercial Inspector/ Issuing Building Permits

Building Permit Application Services

Building Permit Application Services

Building Permit Application Services

Building Permit Application Services made easy. I have a BCIN Design License granted to me by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, that authorizes me to prepare Design Drawings for the General Public.  Don’t get frustrated travelling to City Hall 2,3,4 times or more in order to apply for a Building Permit?  Give me a call, let me help you with my Building Permit Application Services.

Does it seem like the person behind the counter is speaking to you in a different language? Do they keep asking you for additional information each time you arrive at the front counter?  I know what it’s like.    Let me make things easy for you, get the “jk Advantage” – Education – Qualifications – Experience.   Call me to discuss how I can help? (Building Permit Application Services)

Building Permit Application Services

Red Tape at City Hall


Building Permit Application Services

Building Permit Application Services – I have posted almost everything you need to know about the Building Permit Application Process, on the opposite side.  This is not a complete list, since there are many variables, and circumstances, ie. Lot Severances, Minor Variances, Zoning By-Law Amendments.   If you have any questions or require any help in this process please give me a call.


Links to Building Permit Application Forms

Building Permit Application Services – The following are links to Building Permit Applications for the Municipalities listed below, along with information regarding information that you must submit along with your Building Permit Application.

City of St. Catharines Building Permit

City of Niagara Falls Building Permit

City of Welland Building Permit

Town of Fort Erie Building Permit

City of Thorold Building Permit

Port Colborne Building Permit

Niagara-on-the-Lake Building Permit

Town of Pelham Building Permit

Town of Lincoln Building Permit

Grimsby Building Permit

Stoney Creek / Hamilton

Burlington Building Permit

Oakville Building Permit


Building Permit Process – What You Need to Know

Part 1: Understanding why you need a Building Permit

Understanding why you need a Building Permit

Building permits ensure that the municipality has record of all development in the community in order to protect the interests of both the individual and the community as a whole. A building permit regulates construction so that health, fire, structural and general safety standards are met.
It is illegal to start work without a permit. Anyone who starts work without a building permit is in contravention of the Building By-law and the Building Code Act and is therefore subject to financial and legal consequences.

When do I need to obtain a Permit?

Building permits are typically required for, but not limited to, the following projects:

  • New buildings over 10m² (107 ft²)
  • New buildings under 10m² (107 ft²) that contain plumbing
  • Additions
  • Renovations (including finishing a basement)
  • Demolitions
  • Installation of prefabricated structures
  • Installation of mobile homes and park model trailers
  • Plumbing systems
  • HVAC systems (heating, ventilation air conditioning)
  • Structures designated under Section1.3.1.1 Division A, i.e.:
    • retaining walls in specific circumstances;
    • pedestrian bridges;
    • a crane runway;
    • solar collectors larger than 5m²;
    • signs;
    • exterior storage tanks;
    • mounted dish antenna with output greater than 3kW;
    • an outdoor pool;
    • wind turbine generators;
    • outdoor public spa;
    • permanent nutrient storage facility
    • miscellaneous residential structures (i.e. fireplaces, chimneys, hot
    • tubs, pools including inflatable pools, decks, carports, etc.)
  • Temporary buildings including tents over 60m² (645.6ft²)


What is the Building Code?

The Building Code is a regulation outlining the requirements for construction of new buildings and additions or alterations to existing buildings.  The Code is constantly evolving to reflect changes in technology, new building practices and the needs of the public.

The prime purpose of the Ontario Building Code is the protection of people, to allow them to enter, occupy and leave buildings safely. The standards in the Code are centered around Health, Safety, Accessibility and Energy Efficiency.


What Could Happen If I don't Obtain a Permit?

Failure to obtain a Building Permit prior to commencing construction may place both the homeowner and the contractor in contravention of the Building Code Act, which means both parties are breaking the law.

  1. Once discovered, you will still need to apply for a permit.  A fee will apply for commencing work without a permit and will be charged once the permit is issued.
  2. It is the owner or contractor’s responsibility to notify the Chief Building Inspector (CBO) that the construction is ready to be inspected.  It is an offence if the CBO has not been notified of the readiness for required inspections.
  3. It may be necessary to uncover components of the building so that these items can be inspected (e.g. remove drywall so that insulation and framing can be inspected etc.). You may need to hire an engineer, at your own expense, to review the completed work that has not had the required inspections.
  4. The Building Code Act also provides the following penalties:
    1. “36. (3) Penalties. A person who is convicted of an offence is liable to fine of not more than $50, 000 for a first office and to a fine of not more than $100, 000 for a subsequent offence.”
    2. “36.-(4) Corporations. Is a corporation is convicted of an offence, the maximum penalty that may be imposed upon the corporation is $100,000 for a first offence and $200, 000 for a subsequent offence and not as provided is subsection (3).”
    3. “36.-(6) Continuing Offence. Every person who fails to comply with an order made by a Chief Building Official under subsection 14(1) or clause 15.9 (6) (a) is guilty of an offence and on conviction, in addition to the penalties mentioned in subsections (3) and (4), is liable to a fine of not more than $10, 000 per day for every day the offence continues and after the time given for complying with order has expired.”


Part 2 - Getting Started
Will there be any restrictions, such as maximum height, lot coverage or building size that I need to take into consideration?

Your permit will need to be reviewed by the Building and Development Department early in the planning stages to ensure that your project meets any requirements under the Municipal Zoning By-law

What is a Building Permit Plot Plan?

A building permit plot plan is a detailed scaled drawing of your property indicating the location and dimensions of all existing and/or proposed structures (e.g. new house, pool, shed etc.). The site plan must include the following:

  • Location of all existing and proposed structures
  • Dimensions of all existing and proposed structures
  • Separation distances between structures, septic
  • Proposed/existing location of septic and well (if applicable)
  • North arrow and street name
  • All water courses, ditches, municipal drains
What is Lot Grading?
All new residential lots created by plan of subdivision, and lots subject to site plan control, are required to comply with the approved lot grading plan.  Lot grading is important because it ensures that the flow of water is directed away from the owner’s property and that of neighbouring properties. The Master Grade Control Plan for a Subdivision should be available in your local Municipalities Engineering Department. Final lot grading is carried out by the builder once the house has been completed. Upon completion of construction and lot grading, the owner / applicant must submit an As-built Lot Grading Plan generally prepared by an OLS (Ontario Land Surveyor, or Professional Engineer), certifying that the grading on the lot is in conformance with the approved Master Grade Control Plan for the Subdivision.
Part 3: Obtaining the Building Permit
How do I apply for a Building Permit?

You can pick up a building permit application in most Municipal Building Departments, or visit them on line.  It is recommended to review your proposed construction with Building / and Planning Department staff before you make application to ensure that you provide all of the necessary information, drawings that need to be submitted with your application.

Who should obtain the permit; the property owner or the contractor?

It is the responsibility of the property owner to make sure that a permit has been issued before work begins on a project. A contractor can apply for a building permit on behalf of the land owner with written consent. Once issued, the permit becomes effective and must be posted on site throughout construction.

Part 4: The Application Process
Preparing the permit forms and support documents

When applying for a building permit you will need to provide forms and supporting documents to complete your application.

The building permit application form is the standard form that is issued throughout Ontario. This form can be completed by the owner or contractor.

The application form consists of the following categories:

  1. Project information
  2. Purpose of the application
  3. Applicant
  4. Owner
  5. Builder (optional)
  6. Tarion Warranty Corporation (Ontario New Home Warranty
  7. Required Schedules
  8. Completeness and compliance with applicable law
  9. Declaration of applicant
    Schedule 1: Designer Information (to be completed by Designer)
    Schedule 2: Septic System Installer Information
  10. Energy Efficiency Design Summary
  11. Plot Plan
What supporting documents are required?

Drawings Required With A Building Permit Application

Please provide 2 sets of plans drawn to scale with the following information:
Residential/Commercial /Industrial/Institutional

  • Copy of land title (deed)
  • Site plan showing all setbacks, septic (if applicable)
  • Foundation plan
  • Elevations
  • Floor plan
  • Cross sections
  • HRV design
  • Required building details

Accessory Buildings (Over 10m² (107 ft²) i.e. detached garages, sheds, etc.)

  • Site plan showing all setbacks, septic (if applicable)
  • Foundation plan
  • Elevations
  • Floor plan showing all doors and windows
  • Cross section(s)
  • Required building details


  • Site plan showing all setbacks, septic (if applicable)
  • Floor plan including dimensions and material to be used
  • All elevations
  • Required building details


  • All setbacks, buildings and nearest neighbours residence(s)
  • Foundation plan
  • Cross sections
  • Elevations
  • Required building details


  • If roof or floor trusses are used, a truss design must be stamped by a Professional Engineer.
  • A floating slab, including greater than 55m² (592 ft²) requires a design stamped by a Professional Engineer.
  • A soils test may also be required if it is deemed necessary.
Will I get the Building Permit right away?

No. Once your permit application has been received, it will be processed and reviewed to ensure compliance with applicable regulations.

When should I apply for my Building Permit?

If you have already checked with Planning and Building that you can obtain a Building Permit for your project, and you have all of the necessary documentation, plans and specifications, it is recommended that you apply at least 1 month before you intend to begin, only to allow additional time for any hiccups along the way.  The Municipality is required to issue a Building Permit within a prescribed amount of time regulated by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, this amount of time depends on the type of project.

What are the most common factors that delay obtaining a Building Permit?

Not checking with the Municipality with regard to what is required in order to obtain a Building Permit.

Not checking with Planning with regard to zoning by-law requirements.

Part 5: Building Permit Fees
How is the cost of a Building Permit determined?

Every Municipality has it’s own set prescribed Building Permit fees.

Depending on the type of construction there may be a lot grading deposit, inspection deposit, as well as water & sewer connection and entrance permit fees, etc.

Part 6: The Drawings
May I draw the plans myself?

Yes. For some residential projects, such as dwellings, additions, garages, decks, and finished basements, the property owner may draw the plans themselves. With that said, the drawings must be to scale, neat and complete, showing all elevations, floor plan, cross section(s) etc. For all projects a clear understanding of the Ontario Building Code (OBC) must be evident. As of 2012 an Energy Efficiency Design Summary must be attached to all residential dwellings which summarizes the compliance used by a house designer to comply with energy efficiency requirements of the OBC.

If you do not have a clear understanding of the Ontario Building Code, hire a qualified professional with a BCIN number.

What is a BCIN?

A Building Code Identification Number (BCIN) identifies a qualified designer. These individuals or companies are listed on the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing .

Part 7: Issuing the Permit
What happens if I want to make a change to my plans?

Any revisions to the approved plans must be reviewed prior to implementing the change. Submit two copies of the revised plans (with date) to the Building Department so that appropriate staff can make certain the changes will comply with Planning/Zoning and Ontario Building Code requirements. Typical examples of changes made after issuing a permit are:

  • Change pitch of roof
  • Increase height of walls
  • Change the engineered truss to conventional framing
  • Add an extra window or change a door opening

Please be aware that re-review of any plans takes time and are subject to the same time allotment as the original permit.

How will I know when the Building Permit is ready?

The Municipality will notify you.

What do I get when I pick up the Building Permit?
  • Building Permit
  • Detailed list of charges
  • List of inspections required
  • Approved Lot grading plan and policy (if applicable)
  • Water meter (if applicable)
  • Civic number (if applicable)
What do I do during the construction process?
  • Post the Building Permit so that it is visible from the street.
  • Ensure a copy of your plans are available on the construction site
  • Call for inspections when required
  • Notify the Building Department of any changes to your plans before making them
  • Remember to call for a final inspection
Part 8: Inspections
Where and when do I call for inspections?

When you pick up your building permit a list of applicable inspections will be indicated. After each step is completed, call the Municipality to book an inspection, at least 48 hours in advance.

Please have the following information available when requesting inspections:

  • Building Permit Number
  • Project Address
  • Type of inspection
  • Requested date of inspection
  • Contact name and phone number
Is it possible to book a specific or general time for my inspection?


Each Municipality has their own booking Policies, please contact the Building Department to find out what their Policy is.

How will I know whether or not the inspection passed?


Generally an Inspection Sticker or Inspection Report will be left on Site, indicating a Pass or Fail, noted deficiencies and to call and rebook an Inspection if it did not pass.

What is an Occupancy Permit?

An occupancy permit is your permission to occupy all or part of a building. The Building Code requires an inspection to be made and a permit to be issued prior to persons occupying certain new buildings, which include detached, semi-detached and row houses.

The following minimum requirements for a single-family residence include:

  • The required exits, handrails and guards, fire alarm and detection systems and fire separations must be complete, operational and inspected.
  • Water supply, sewage disposal, lighting and heating systems must be complete and operational
  • Building water systems, building drains, building sewers and drainage and venting systems must be complete, operational, inspected and tested.
What is a Final Inspection?
A final inspection is carried out when the project is completed. The final inspection can take place at the same time as the occupancy inspection but the two can be separate.

In order to close the file and have your deposits refunded, a final inspection is required –don’t forget to call!


Building Permit Application Services – Let me help you.

jk Home & Commercial Inspections Services

Serving the Niagara Region from Fort Erie to Oakville, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, Welland, Thorold,
Niagara on the Lake, Lincoln, Grimsby, Beamsville, Vineland, Stoney Creek, Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville
Fonthill, Port Colborne, Pelham, Ancaster, Dunnville, Halton - Anywhere in the 905!