A building permit is your formal permission to begin construction or demolition. It means that the City of Belleville has reviewed the plans for any proposed structure, addition or renovation for compliance with the Ontario Building Code, local zoning bylaws, and other applicable laws and regulations.
The building code creates a level playing field by establishing minimum standards for construction that apply across the Province of Ontario. The building permit process protects the interests of property and building owners, as well as those of the community by ensuring the buildings in which we all live, work and play are safe, legal and sound.
By obtaining a permit, you are not only making a sound investment for yourself but also an investment that will serve the community for many years to come. Building Inspection staff have many years of building code compliance and construction experience and can often be a source of helpful advice to help solve construction problems, often before they occur.
In many cases, your designer or contractor can obtain a building permit on your behalf. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the building owner to ensure that a building permit has been obtained prior to commencing and construction or demolition work.
WHEN DO I NEED A BUILDING PERMIT?
Some examples of when a building permit is required to be obtained are before you do any of the following:
- construct a new building
- renovate, repair or add to a building
- demolish or remove all or a portion of a building
- change a building's use
- install, change or remove interior, exterior or load-bearing walls
- make new openings for, or change the size of, doors and windows
- build a garage, balcony or deck or enclose an existing deck
- build a utility shed over 108ft2 (10m2)
- excavate a basement or construct a foundation
- install or modify any life safety or fire suppression system such as fire alarms, sprinkler or standpipe or fixed extinguishing systems including commercial kitchen exhaust hoods and the installation of electromagnetic locking devices
- install or modify heating, plumbing, and air conditioning systems, fireplaces, fireplace inserts and woodstoves
- install kitchen or bathroom cupboards with plumbing
- construct a chimney
- to finish a basement or convert a room to a bedroom
- to install a swimming pool or hot tub
- erect a sign
Some examples of when a building permit is not required are:
- replace existing, same-size doors and windows
- install siding on small residential buildings, subject to distance from property lines
- build a utility shed under 108ft2 (10 m2)
- reshingle a roof, provided there is no structural work
- install eavestroughs, provided that drainage is contained on your property
- re-damp-proof existing basements
- paint or decorate
- reinstall / replace kitchen or bathroom cupboards without plumbing.
- erect a fence (except swimming pools and outside hot tubs require permits)
WHAT IF I HAVE A HERITAGE PROPERTY?
If you are the owner of a property designated under Part IV or V of the Ontario Heritage Act, you may require approval from Council prior to obtaining a building permit. Heritage approvals may be required for work not requiring a building permit. Please confirm with the Special Projects Planner what approval(s) are required for your specific job. For more information on altering or renovating a property designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, contact the Special Projects Planner, Greg Pinchin at 613-967-3319.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT GET A PERMIT?
It is unlawful to start construction without the required permits. If you start construction without the necessary permits, you may be ordered to stop work, ordered to remove work already done, and you could also be subject to prosecution for contravention of the Building Code Act. Please contact the Building Section if you are not sure whether you need a permit for your project.
WHAT DOES THE BUILDING INSPECTOR DO?
A building inspector reviews projects during key stages of construction to ensure work complies with the Building Code and the plans originally submitted for review. The inspector may visit a site several times depending on the project. Work that requires inspection must not be covered, concealed or enclosed before it is inspected by the Building Inspector. It is the owner’s (or contractor’s) responsibility to notify the Building Inspector of the stages of construction that require inspection and a minimum of 48 hours notice is required to be provided.
WHEN I PURCHASE A HOME, SHOULD I CONSULT A BUILDING INSPECTOR?
The city does not conduct pre-purchase inspections. (For locating a pre-purchase building inspection service, (Home Inspector) please refer to the Yellow Pages of the telephone directory.)
However, if you have questions or concerns about your new home, or to determine if a finished basement or apartment is legal and meets the Ontario Building Code and Property Standards requirements, you can contact the City's Building & By-law Enforcement Section.
As the new home owner, it is your responsibility to ensure you use the home in a manner that meets the Ontario Building Code. Do not assume the previous owner obtained a building permit before doing renovations to the home.
WHERE DO I APPLY FOR A PERMIT?
You can make an application for a permit, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at:
Engineering and Development Services Department
Building & By-law Enforcement Section 2nd Floor
City of Belleville
169 Front Street
Belleville Ontario K8N 2Y8
Please visit the Ontario Building Code Act for more information.
Application to Construct or Demolish (effective January 1, 2014) - Please submit ALL pages with every application
Residential and other Building Permit Documents
Deck Construction Brochure
Guards for Housing & Small Buildings
Farm Building Brochure
Residential Addition Brochure
Temporary Tent Brochure
Code of Conduct for Building Officials
Swimming Pool Enclosure Brochure
Code of Conduct for Building Officials