Many of our clients inquire about the necessity of obtaining building permits. Municipalities use building permits to ensure the safety and well being of the residents of a building. All of our work is executed to meet and exceed municipal building code standards. We encourage all of our clients to comply with municipal by-laws. The following lists some of the benefits and potential drawbacks you should consider prior to making your decision.

Benefits of obtaining building permits:

  1. "Stop Work Orders" will not affect the budget or timeline of a project.
  2. All work is performed to building code standards.
  3. Ensures that all work is performed by licensed professionals.
  4. Ensures that the General Contractor holds a valid business licenses to operate in the municipality.
  5. Improvements to the property are recognized and reflected in increased property tax assessment value.
  6. If the building is sold, the buyer will not ask for discounts based on any non-permitted construction work.

Reasons building permits are not obtained:

  1. Costs and fees associated with permits.
  2. Additional time required for inspection.
  3. Inspectors may ask for building upgrades due to non-compliance with current building codes.
  4. Increase in property tax assessment.
  5. Lack of awareness of building code regulations and municipal by-laws.

Drawbacks of not obtaining a permit and being issued a stop work order:

  1. Requirement to draft plans and submit a permit application can significantly delay a project.
  2. The General Contractor may loose his business license to operate in the municipality.
  3. Building permit costs and penalties:
    • Building and sub-trade permit fees.
    • Penalties and fines can typically be double the permit fees.
    • Site surveying fees.
    • Drafting of construction plan.
    • Inspectors requiring construction work to be removed or exposed.
    • Increases scrutiny by inspectors of existing site conditions.