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Bought a gutted house. Time to rebuild. Do I need a permit?

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  • Oct 3rd, 2011 7:42 am
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[OP]
Jr. Member
May 5, 2007
164 posts
Toronto

Bought a gutted house. Time to rebuild. Do I need a permit?

I bought a house gutted to the studs and want to finish the home to make it liveable. Do I need a permit? I won't be destructing any exterior or adding a deck or porch. Just finishing the inside , basement, adding bathroom, kitchen, pot lights.

I did get a licensed electrician to replace all panel and wiring. Can anyone help me?
6 replies
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2006
4183 posts
279 upvotes
Burlington, Ontario
??

Yes.

Framing, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, insulation, all require inspections. Especially on a house that someone else gutted.
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Deal Addict
Jan 14, 2009
1072 posts
76 upvotes
I'm sure there will always be a greedy bureaucrat around to take your money if you are dumb enough to let them know. How would they ever find out?
Deal Addict
Mar 27, 2011
1281 posts
89 upvotes
Nowhere
kixx9o5 wrote:
Oct 2nd, 2011 9:08 pm
I bought a house gutted to the studs and want to finish the home to make it liveable. Do I need a permit? I won't be destructing any exterior or adding a deck or porch. Just finishing the inside , basement, adding bathroom, kitchen, pot lights.

I did get a licensed electrician to replace all panel and wiring. Can anyone help me?

Um of course. And no offence if you have to ask, I kinda worry.

The whole house will likely need one giant permit for electrical, plumbing, and structural (yes you said you got electrical replaced and so forth, but it will still likely all need to be inspected and you obviously will probably need to bring electrician back if you need to add other things). I put structural in here because you will likely be changing walls and so forth for this bathroom addition. Oh and finishing a basement is an automatic permit need (though for most people who have a finished house a lot of people never wind up getting one which was a big flag for us when looking at houses). You will need inspectors to come in at a few stages. To be honest, you should have had a city inspector in already while the walls and everything are open to check things out but you really need to check with your City building office.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 16, 2008
7562 posts
149 upvotes
correct me if i'm wrong, but OP wants to know if he requires a permit....not whether inspections are required.....
nothing structural is being done, however looks like the major things are electrical & plumbing (& i guess HVAC), in both cases inspections are VERY important, esp for insurance...LOL

as for adding bathroom, not sure what the situation is, but if OP has roughed in, and is just building interior walls, there's still no structural...but still a good idea to get proper ventilating fan.

course...what do i know...
Deal Addict
Mar 27, 2011
1281 posts
89 upvotes
Nowhere
^To above poster, just because there is no structural does not mean a permit is needed. In most municipalities many general renovations and repairs require permits. Also roughins are not usually correct and get altered and require permits. Also inspections and permits go hand in hand for the most part. Part of getting a permit is that they have it on file and require a city inspector or whomever to come at various points in the renovation to insure things are being done correctly.

To OP. You are in Toronto.
http://www.toronto.ca/building/building_permits.htm

From Toronto website:
When is a Building Permit required?

You will need a building permit if you plan to:
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

Bolded things that may apply from OPs post but of course if you start touching anything structural, even a tiny bit, you can bold a bunch more stuff.

Bottomline, you need to contact the building department and talk to them. Do no skimp on permits and the inspections. You will regret it if you try to sell down the road. Though a lot of people are blissfully unaware of the importance of permits (for reasons beyond revenue for the city) for ensuring the Ontario Building Code is followed. A lot of people when buying a house will just look at fancy finished basement (or crappily finished one) and not even inquire as to if a permit was obtained and it was inspected. So you can probably lull some people into buying it, but a discerning buyer would see red flags all over if the seller cannot provide permits and certification of inspection.
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2011
2189 posts
426 upvotes
kixx9o5 wrote:
Oct 2nd, 2011 9:08 pm
I bought a house gutted to the studs and want to finish the home to make it liveable. Do I need a permit? I won't be destructing any exterior or adding a deck or porch. Just finishing the inside , basement, adding bathroom, kitchen, pot lights.

I did get a licensed electrician to replace all panel and wiring. Can anyone help me?
I can! Like everyone else has said here, you need two permits:

1) A building permit from your municipality (it varies as to whether this is from your local municipality or regional/county muncipality, depending where in Ontario you are). This permit can be applied for by either the homeowner or contractor, regardless of who performs the work.

2) A permit for your elctrical work from the ESA. This permit must be applied for by the person doing the work, either the licensed electrical contractor, or the homeowner. One cannot take out an ESA permit for another person to do the work.

To clarify some confusion here, a 'permit' and an 'inspection' are simply two parts of a whole, you can't have one without the other. A building permit issued by your municipality requires that inspections are done and signed off at various stages. Same thing with an ESA permit, which is finalized with them issuing a 'certificate of inspection'

An electrical permit covers only electrical work, a building permit covers absolutely everything else that would need to be inspected, including HVAC, plumbing, construction, structural, and the like. There is no seperate permit for these.
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
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