The Importance of Obtaining Permits

November 7, 2011

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There’s no doubt about it: Home improvement projects are a fantastic way to add both practical everyday benefits to your home, and in most cases, an increase in the price of the home if you were to sell it after doing the improvements (although every dollar you spend does not always mean another dollar added to the would-be sales price!).

Before you pick up the jack hammer, decide to run some new wires, or build a new structure, please, please, PLEASE be sure to check with your local municipality and/or the appropriate authority to make sure that the job you want to do is a) allowed and b) going to be done to “code”. Failure to obtain proper permits/authority not only means you are at risk of fines, but could also mean problems when it comes to selling, or worse yet – harm done to you and your family if an avoidable accident happened as a result of work done incorrectly.

To give you a rough idea, in most Ontario municipalities, the following home improvements require permits and/or inspection from the municipality or proper authority such as the Electrical Safety Authority, as an example. The following home improvements require a permit in the City of Toronto and are fairly reflective of what you might find across Ontario (always check first!):

  • Construct a new building
  • Any addition to an existing building
  • Structural alterations
  • Renovate, repair or add to a building
  • Demolish or remove all or a portion of a building
  • Change a building’s use
  • Install, change, or remove partitions and load bearing walls
  • Make new openings for, or change the size of, doors and windows
  • Build a garage, balcony or deck
  • Excavate a basement or construct a foundation
  • Install or modify heating, plumbing or air-conditioning systems
  • Install or reconstruct chimneys or fireplaces
  • An accessory structure larger than 108 sq. ft. in area
  • A deck more than 24″ above ground
  • A wood burning stove/fireplace installation
  • A basement entrance
  • A Second Suite
  • New or altered plumbing

A job done right means you’ve “played by the rules” and done your best to protect the safety of your friends and family. Doing so will allow you to remain confident that your home improvements stand the best chance of adding value to your home! Good luck with the “sweat equity’!

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About Brendan

Brendan Clemmens of Royal LePage First Contact Realty is a residential real estate agent in Barrie that provides value added service to all of his clients. Brendan can help you with all of your real estate needs but has a specific focus on helpin g young families and investors.

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