Bryan Tuckey -President and CEO of Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) discusses one of home renovation’s most frequently asked questions.
Most home renovations especially those that involve major construction, alterations or demolition require a building permit.
Permits help protect you, your home and your community by making sure your project is structurally sound and follows all regulations. Yet people too often question the importance of permits and sometimes they are tempted to undertake projects without having the required permits in place.
An unprofessional renovator may be willing to take on your project without obtaining permits, and bypassing required permits may seem like a way to save time and money but it could very likely end up costing you a great deal. Undertaking work without following the permit process could result in renovation deficiencies, substantial fines and having to redo work. Lack of required permits may affect your home’s insurance coverage and it could also lead to problems when you sell your home.
Permits are issued by local municipalities and application processes and the rules governing building permits vary depending by where you live. A critical step in obtaining your permit is ensuring that your project complies with the Ontario Building Code, municipal zoning and other applicable laws. Getting a building permit can be a complicated process. It can take several weeks or even months to obtain and it can be a bit overwhelming, so a good approach is to work with a professional renovator who is experienced with permit applications.
RenoMark™ professional renovators are very familiar with permits and they will guide you through the process. They will assess your project and explain whether or not a permit is needed and what it will take to get one, and they will work on your behalf to acquire any that are needed. As well, they will arrange for all inspections required under the permit.
BILD created the RenoMark™ program in 2001 to help homeowners distinguish professional renovators from underground contractors. A key feature of the program is the RenoMark™ Code of Conduct which all members agree to abide by. It mandates that they provide written contracts for all jobs, have at least $2 million in liability insurance and offer a minimum of two years warranty on all work. Find a RenoMark™ professional at www.renomark.ca.
If you have questions about permits or the renovation process or you’re thinking about renovating be sure to attend one of our “Five Steps to a Successful Renovation” seminars. They have two experienced professional RenoMark™ renovators who will walk through the five essential steps to a renovation, offer helpful tips and answer questions from the audience.
The educational sessions are free and take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at BILD’s offices at 20 Upjohn Road in Toronto. There is one on May 16 and another on June 20. For more information or to register, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bryan Tuckey is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and is a land-use planner who has worked for municipal, regional and provincial governments. He can be found on Twitter (twitter.com/bildgta), Facebook (facebook.com/bildgta) and BILD’s official online blog (bildblogs.ca).