Wednesday, 26 August 2015

When Do I Need A Building Permit?

As a homeowner there will no doubt come a time when you decide that some work needs being done around the house. You might consider rounding up from friends and creating a new backyard masterpiece, or maybe something as simple as a new front door. But before you go making those calls, make sure you make another one first to your local city building department. The information should be found easily online, but the City of Kamloops building inspection division can be found HERE.

In the meantime, here's a rough guide to some of the projects you may(or may not) need a building permit for.

You will almost always need a building permit to undertake projects such as:

  •  Moving load-bearing or partition walls
  • Demolition of part or the whole of an existing building
  • Retaining walls greater than 4ft. in height
  •  Creating a new structure on your property larger than 100sq. feet
  • Plumbing or electrical alterations(i.e. Moving locations or re-routing of pipes/wires)
  • Any alteration to change the use of a structure(i.e. turn your garage into an office)
  • Construction or alteration of a swimming pool
  • Decks/Patios(depending on height/size)

You will be less likely to need a permit for projects like these:

  • Interior decorating
  • Painting
  • Flooring
  • Addition of extra insulation or drywall to existing installations
  • Kitchen/bathroom cabinets, when plumbing will not be altered
  • Fencing(Not always, so check to be sure!)

While this is a guide to point you in the right direction, you should always make sure to confirm the details with your local municipality. There are many scenarios where what seems like a simple project can turn into much more, and you want to be sure that you have approval from the city before you get out the hammer and start swinging!


Also, to make the most of your return on investment, see this article for ideas on the best renovations to increase your home's resale value.

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