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When Do You Need a Building Permit? part one

~ When do you need a building permit? ~ Part One

Once in a while I come across a property disclosure statement form (PCDS) that is filled out by the seller, and when asked, "Are you aware of any alterations or additions made without of a building permit?" they have answered YES.

When I see this, I have to investigate to provide the buyer with an explanation so that they can make an intelligent decision. If the property has a farm status then this is not so unusual since farms have many exemptions in this regards and there are many outbuildings that are constructed without permits. However, if it is a residential house then we need to know what was done, when and why the permit was not issued. I know about a client that made an addition to his house and when the local government authorities found out about this the owner was
forced to remove the addition, apply for permit and then rebuild it.
Since this is a big subject to talk about I will talk about it in two parts.
Part one: When do you need a building permit?
Part two: The consequences of not having one when it comes to
selling your house or purchasing a new home.

Part one:
The Regional District building bylaw specifies when a permit is
required and this includes:
•To construct, alter, or renovate any building or part of a
•To finish previously unfinished areas such as basements or
enclose a carport or porch area.
•To demolish all, or a portion, of any building or structure.
•To move any building, structure, or mobile home within the
Regional District.
•To place on any land, a manufactured or factory-built home or
any housing component or modular structure.
•To install solid fuel or oil burning appliances and chimneys.
•To install, replace, or alter any sewer, water, or plumbing
works or services.
•To install or alter a swimming pool enclosure/fence.
•To construct or alter a retaining wall.
•To erect any sign or canopy.

A building permit is not required for the construction of a single storey accessory building with a total floor area of less than 10 (ten) square metres (108 square feet), re-siding exterior walls or recovering existing roofs.

Depending on the form of construction, other exemptions may apply to farm buildings.

I'd love to hear your opinions and experiences in this matter.

Kind Regards,
Tibor Bogdan

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