Now that you’ve decided to renovate your home, the first step is to do your homework and determine what building permits you might need.
Most construction, renovations, alterations and demolitions require a building permit. For instance in many municipalities you need a permit for constructing separate rooms in your basement, but you probably don’t need one if you are building a fence, unless it is one that will enclose a pool.
Too often people question the importance of permits and sometimes they are tempted to undertake projects without having required permits in place. However that is very short-sighted. Permits help protect you, your home and your community by making sure your project is structurally sound and follows all regulations.
Unprofessional renovators may be willing to do work without obtaining permits. Forgoing required permits may seem like a way to speed up your renovation and save money up front, but it could very likely result in renovation deficiencies and added costs down the road. You could be faced with substantial fines and having to redo work. Lack of required permits may affect your home’s insurance coverage and you could also run into problems when you sell your home.
Permits are issued by local municipalities and application processes and the rules governing building permits can vary depending on where you live. Getting a building permit can be a complicated process. It can take several weeks or even months to obtain and it can be a bit overwhelming, so a good approach is to work with a professional renovator who is experienced with permit applications.
RenoMark™ professional renovators are very experienced with permits and they will guide you through the process. They will assess your project and explain whether or not a permit is needed and what it will take to get one and they will work on your behalf to acquire them.
A critical step in obtaining your permit is ensuring that your project complies with the Ontario Building Code, municipal zoning and other applicable laws. Working with a professional renovator is the most efficient way to obtain permits. Your renovator is the project manager for your renovation and he/she will bring in the right people such as architects or engineers to get any necessary drawing for the permit application process. Make sure that the costs for additional professional services are discussed up front and included in your renovation contract.
After you’ve obtained your permit and started construction your renovator will arrange for all inspections required under the permit.
BILD created the RenoMark™ program in 2001 to help homeowners distinguish professional renovators from underground contractors. A key feature of the program is the RenoMark™ Code of Conduct which all members agree to abide by. It mandates that they provide written contracts for all jobs, have at least $2 million in liability insurance and offer a minimum of two years warranty on all work. Find a RenoMark™ professional at www.renomark.ca.
If your thinking about renovating or have questions about permits or the renovation process be sure to attend one of our “Five Steps to a Successful Renovation” seminars. Each feature two experienced professional RenoMark™ renovators who will walk through the five essential steps to a renovation, offer helpful tips and answer questions from the audience.
The free educational sessions takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. at BILD’s offices at 20 Upjohn Road in Toronto. We are holding one on May 16 and another on June 20. For more information or to register email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.