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About (building) permits -when do you need them, how much it costs to get one etc

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  • Jul 16th, 2015 8:16 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 27, 2015
2281 posts
435 upvotes
East York, ON

About (building) permits -when do you need them, how much it costs to get one etc

Hi guys

I am a little bit confused about when you need a building permit and how they make sure that you built everything according with the permit.
Let's say you need three things, cathedral ceiling, open concept kitchen (remove a wall) and build a deck

Google tells me that you need a building permit for these
What do you need in order to apply for each one? Can you go with your drawings?
Someone told me that the City has an engineer who will approve them and eventually make suggestion for correcting them
Now let's say that you get the permit and you start building what you were approved to build. Does the City send an inspector to see if the work was done properly? Do then come just at the end or they need to see the work at specific points in time?

How about the cost for obtaining these permits? Is it a standard price or it depends on the permit ?
What happens if you do not get a permit when you remove a wall or build a deck? What if you rebuild the deck using exactly the same plans as the previous owner used (you can prove it with pictures if needed)
9 replies
Deal Addict
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Jan 20, 2009
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Toronto
Some background info;

open kitchen concept - you need to make sure you don't remove a load bearing wall(s). if it's a load bearing wall, i believe a permit is needed. i'm going to GUESS, that you also need a plan and explanation as to how you're going to cover the load bearing wall if you were to remove it.

Deck is mainly for gas lines I think. the permit tells you where the gas lines are so when you dig for the anchor posts, you don't break any gas lines. if you do, there will be fine for the violation and for the amount of gas lost etc etc.
i think rebuilding should be fine but why spend 5-10k on a deck and not pay a little more to get new anchors?
takes awhile for this permit, 1 month? most people just dig carefully because the city takes so damn long to come.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 27, 2015
2281 posts
435 upvotes
East York, ON
n3o321 wrote: Some background info;

open kitchen concept - you need to make sure you don't remove a load bearing wall(s). if it's a load bearing wall, i believe a permit is needed. i'm going to GUESS, that you also need a plan and explanation as to how you're going to cover the load bearing wall if you were to remove it.

Deck is mainly for gas lines I think. the permit tells you where the gas lines are so when you dig for the anchor posts, you don't break any gas lines. if you do, there will be fine for the violation and for the amount of gas lost etc etc.
i think rebuilding should be fine but why spend 5-10k on a deck and not pay a little more to get new anchors?
takes awhile for this permit, 1 month? most people just dig carefully because the city takes so damn long to come.
I can't say that I totally understand what you said above.
Are you saying that people just try to avoid getting a permit and getting in trouble by digging carefully without permit?
Also What does rebuilding the deck has to do with spending 5-10K and getting new anchors?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 20, 2009
1836 posts
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Toronto
ofcourse, no one wants to wait 1 month for a permit before starting a job, especially contractors.
People/contractor do not get a permit because it takes so for the permit so they just dig carefully and hope they don't hit any gas lines and/or any pipes.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 27, 2015
2281 posts
435 upvotes
East York, ON
n3o321 wrote: ofcourse, no one wants to wait 1 month for a permit before starting a job, especially contractors.
People/contractor do not get a permit because it takes so for the permit so they just dig carefully and hope they don't hit any gas lines and/or any pipes.
So if your deck is already there and you are just replacing everything but the posts you should be ok without a permit
Deal Addict
Sep 20, 2008
1149 posts
308 upvotes
Toronto
CuriousC wrote: Hi guys

I am a little bit confused about when you need a building permit and how they make sure that you built everything according with the permit.
Let's say you need three things, cathedral ceiling, open concept kitchen (remove a wall) and build a deck

Google tells me that you need a building permit for these
What do you need in order to apply for each one? Can you go with your drawings?
Someone told me that the City has an engineer who will approve them and eventually make suggestion for correcting them
Now let's say that you get the permit and you start building what you were approved to build. Does the City send an inspector to see if the work was done properly? Do then come just at the end or they need to see the work at specific points in time?

How about the cost for obtaining these permits? Is it a standard price or it depends on the permit ?
What happens if you do not get a permit when you remove a wall or build a deck? What if you rebuild the deck using exactly the same plans as the previous owner used (you can prove it with pictures if needed)
Whoa, let's reset. As a person who does this on a daily basis, allow me to answer. Anytime you touch your house, exterior or interior, the city ALWAYS wants to know hence you need a building permit. If you re-tile, add a fan, paint a room, etc. they will leave you alone. The owner can go in with their own drawings as long as their drawings are legible, to a scale and has sufficient information pertaining to the construction. There is an engineer that is on hand suggesting corrections, but s/he will never stamp your drawings, only your own hired engineer will stamp them. Once you have a permit in hand, it is the responsibility of the owner to call for an inspector at certain stages of construction, not just final inspection. You can find the stages online.

The cost for obtaining the permits vary from project to project. There is a price breakdown if you google Toronto building permit fees so you can get a rough idea.

Let's say you have a scenario where you build without a permit (build new or build to old plans). If you have no neighbors complaining, then you have yourself a new deck. If somebody complains, then it is easy to apply for permit. BTW, a project small like this you can expect a permit in less than a week OR if you go in the office in person, maybe 48 hours turnaround. (You can find my advertisement below or PM me with more Q's, lol).
Project 708
Architectural Pencil Pusher
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Apr 20, 2011
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ON
Very generally, replace existing with the same features, does not require a new permit.
E.g. redo your bathroom with new tile, flooring, sink, etc.

But if you make any structural changes or add new, you'll need a permit.

Electrical and plumbing changes generally always need a permit.
Exceptions for minor changes, e.g. change a light fixture or sink/etc using existing wires or pipes.

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