Are you thinking about renovating your home in Canada but aren’t sure what it entails? Getting the correct permits for your home renovation is not just the first step you need to take but also the most important one. Getting the proper renovation permits in Canada means you won’t have to worry if all your hard work is for nothing. Some regulations can vary from one area to another and can change after a while.

green paint and a paintbrush on the floor

Here are some things you need to know before renovating your home.

Why are renovation permits necessary?

There is an excellent reason why renovation permits exist in Canada and the rest of the world, and that reason is safety. You keep yourself, your household members, the construction workers renovating your home, your neighbors, and everyone else safe. Also, if you face any problems while renovating without a permit, there’s a high chance that your insurance will not cover it. Selling your home later can be challenging, too, as the buyers won’t be able to confirm that the renovations are done correctly and safely. Remember that these regulations and laws can change from time to time. Always inform yourself about whether there have been any changes to the regulation of permits. It’s always better to check and be safe so that you can start renovating your home with peace of mind.

Which upgrades require renovation permits in Canada?

It is forbidden to demolish, build, or add to a building on your lot in Canada without obtaining a permit. Furthermore, without a renovation permit, you can’t make a garage, a balcony, or a porch. You are not allowed to install new doors and windows that are not the same size as the existing ones. Anyone who wants to build a foundation or underpin an existing one also needs a permit. As for walls, you can’t remove load-bearing walls or partition walls. These changes need a permit first because they change the existing structure of the house or building. If you wish to make changes regarding the heating and plumbing systems, you will also need a permit to renovate them safely. That goes for electrical renovations too.

getting all renovation permits in Canada required is the first step when renovating a home in Canada

Some renovations don’t require getting a permit.

How to store your items during renovations

Preparing for home renovations doesn’t only mean getting the correct permits but also preparing yourself and your home for the upcoming construction work. To keep your things safe and make way for the workers, you can rent a storage unit until everything is over. Renting a storage unit is always a better option for excess items because it removes the risk of them being damaged during construction work. Not only that, but it will be easier to rearrange your furniture and reorganize your things after the work is done.

Which changes can you make without a permit?

You can make a wide range of small renovations legally in Canada without a permit. You can make small reparations to the chimney, damp-proof your basement, and build a shed on your property that takes up less than ten square meters. Even though you need a permit to add different-sized doors and windows, you don’t need a permit if they are the exact dimensions as the old ones. You can put up a fence, except the one surrounding a pool. Installing new cupboards without changing the plumbing is another renovation you don’t need a permit for in Canada. As for the roof, you can reshingle it without a permit, but only if it doesn’t require any changes to the structure of your home. Lastly, painting and decorating. You can make this easy and low-cost change to freshen up your home. Even though they may seem like small changes, these touch-ups will make your home look much better.

two cardboard boxes on a table

Storing your items in a storage unit minimizes the risk of damage

Permit application process

How can someone obtain renovation permits in Canada? First, it’s essential to know that only the homeowner or a person authorized by the owner can apply for permits. When applying, you will have to pay a fee. Your application will be reviewed, which can take a while. After that, you will get the permit you need which applies only to the renovation you specified. Now, you can begin the renovations you had in mind.

What happens if someone renovates without a permit in Canada?

Depending on the changes someone makes to their home, there are different repercussions for renovating a home without obtaining a permit. However, they all have the immediate stop to all renovations in common. After stopping the upgrades, you might have to bulldoze and redo everything you’ve done so far. In other cases, you may just be asked to cease and continue the renovations once you’ve obtained your permits. Even so, your work might go to waste as time goes by. Having unfinished construction work in your home can leave it prone to damage. Depending on the size and type of renovations you make, you might not be able to use your home as you normally would. Obtaining renovation permits reduces these risks drastically.

a man and a woman putting tape on a wall before painting it

It’s essential to get renovation permits in Canada before you begin renovating.

Final thoughts

Getting renovation permits in Canada can take some time, from a few days to a few weeks. You will have to obtain these permits yourself, but you can consult professionals along the way. A home inspection may be required before you can get the necessary permits. Knowing everything is done safely and following the regulations is invaluable. You can relax knowing that your home renovations will go as planned.