Eieihome.com: Making sense of the building permit process

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When homeowners dream about renovating, they think about turning existing rooms into beautiful, magazine-worthy spaces.

What they don’t think about is building permits. However, the building permit process is an important part of ensuring that your renovated space is built to code and safe to use after project completion.

eieihome.com spoke to Paul Napolitano, owner of Royal Home Improvements, a residential renovation general contractor about this seldom discussed topic.

“It is important for homeowners to familiarize themselves with the permit process early on. The process requirements are specific and, depending on the scope, can be complicated, so many homeowners choose to have an experienced renovation contractor take care of them,” says Napolitano.

Who needs a building permit? The first thing homeowners should know about permits is that they are required for more than new construction and major home renovations.

Renovation projects that may require a building permit include structural alterations, building a garden shed, pool house or garage larger than ten square meters, finishing a basement, building a deck and even building a tree house (depending on the municipality).

The permit process. The onus is on the homeowner to obtain the permit. However, when working on renovation projects, there are considerable benefits from having a professional obtain the permits for you.

One benefit is timing. The process of obtaining a building permit includes several steps and can take anywhere from weeks to months, depending upon the complexity of the project.

It includes hiring and coordinating architects, as well as multiple types of engineers such as structural, mechanical, electrical and HVAC.

All required documents must be presented to the municipality in a specified format and there is the potential for a presentation of your case to a committee to gain final approval.

“The time to obtain a permit can be expedited by having your contractor manage the permit process.

Renovation general contractors like Royal Home Improvements have experience and qualified partners they work with regularly to prepare the drawings and reports, prepare and submit permit applications and represent the homeowner at permit application hearings.” Napolitano tells us. “Delays are more common when homeowners obtain their own permits”.

Having an experienced contractor apply for the building permits also provides the benefit of having a knowledgeable representative answering the technical questions raised by the building department.

When the permit is granted it is the homeowners’ responsibility to ensure it is physically on site before construction begins.

“Fees, fines and delays to construction are all likely if work proceeds without a building permit.” Napolitano says.

“For the homeowner it is important to plan for a successful renovation and deciding how to gain the permit is an important aspect of that planning. The homeowner has to make this important decision.”

Royal Home Improvements has been renovating homes in the GTA for over 40 years. Call Royal Home Improvements at 416.236.4400 or visit
www.royalhomeimprovements.ca to request a free estimate.

— Visit eieihome.com for more renovation stories, read contractor reviews and find local service professionals.

Source: This article was originally published on TorontoSun.

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