Offices in Ottawa and Perth
(613) 722-1500

CONTACT US (613) 722-1500

I Need a Permit For That?

I Need a Permit For That?


Posted July 4, 2019

Now that summer is finally here, a lot of people will looking to do renovations. While most people recognize that they will need building permits for large projects, like an addition, many do not realize that permits are required for smaller, more common renovations. There is some variance among municipalities in terms of what requires a permit and what does not. In Ottawa, for example, the following are renovations that may require a permit:

  • Building or altering a structure with an area of more than ten square meters
  • Installing new windows where there were no windows before
  • Altering the plumbing system
  • Repairing the structural foundation
  • Adding a self-contained basement apartment
  • Installing a deck (depending on the height and area)
  • Widening or creating a new driveway
  • Finishing a basement
  • Fencing for a pool or hot tub

Whether a permit is required is important to understand because if someone does renovations without one and the municipality finds out, a work order can be issued requiring the property owner to rectify whatever deficiency exists (which could be costly). As a result, prior to starting any renovation, you should consult with your municipality to confirm whether a permit is required and, if so, what the process is to obtain one.

Generally, the process begins with submitting an application form, along with certain supporting documents (i.e. plans) and a fee to the municipality. Assuming the municipality approves what you have submitted, you can begin your renovation and the municipality will arrange for inspections over the course of construction. Once the work is complete, the municipality will attend the property for a final inspection and issue a certificate if the work has been completed in compliance with the permit issued and the relevant legislation (such as by-laws and the Ontario Building Code).

So, next time you are ready to start a project and think it is only a minor renovation, remember that a permit could be required, even for something as simple as installing a hot tub.

This blog post was written by Jason Peyman, a member of the Real Estate and Business Law teams.  He can be reached at 613-369-0376  or at

More Resources

Blog |
Estate Litigation, Wills, Trusts and Estates


Posted February 7, 2023

Testamentary freedom allows testators to “rule from the grave” by controlling the disposition of their assets upon death. As an exercise of this freedom, testators[...]
Blog |
Practice Management


Posted January 30, 2023

“If you don’t know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.”  Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged It is what it is[...]
Blog |
Family Law


Posted January 26, 2023

You have made the decision to separate from your partner. Now what? You have a house, a pension, maybe you have children, debts, and an[...]
Blog |
Environmental Law


Posted January 24, 2023

The Ontario government has moved ahead with changes to the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System in support of Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022. [...]
Blog |
Employment, Labour, and Human Rights


Posted January 17, 2023

While each of these cases could have its own blog post, we have decided to create a list of important cases for employers to be[...]
Blog |
Employment, Labour, and Human Rights


Posted January 10, 2023

Constructive Dismissal is an incredibly important protection for Ontario employees – one that is often used successfully to enforce employment rights. If you ask members[...]

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.