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Building Permit Requirements City Of Ottawa

A Homeowner's Guide

Reference: City of Ottawa

The Ontario Building Code Act requires homeowners to obtain a building permit prior to construction to ensure construction meets the Building Code standards and other municipal requirements including zoning. By applying for a building permit, you ensure that your project meets minimum structural, fire, and health and safety building standards as legislated by the
Province of Ontario.

A building permit is required for the construction of a new building over 10 square metres (108 sq. ft.) in area or the addition/renovation to any structure or the installation or alteration of the plumbing system.

Other Approvals

In addition to a building permit, your project may also be required to comply with other approvals. Staff at The City Of Ottawa are available to advise if these approvals are necessary for your specific area and project: Heritage Approval, Site Plan Control Approval, Septic System Approval Demolition Control Approval, Conservation Authority Approvals, Lot Grading and Drainage Approval.

A permit is not normally required for:
• asphalt roof shingles
• minor roof sheathing repairs
• re-pointing of brick veneer
• damp proofing of basements
• painting and decorating
• kitchen or bathroom cabinets (not including plumbing)
• new flooring
• installation of air conditioners
• fences (not enclosing a pool)
• sundecks not more than 600 mm (24 inches) above grade

Permit Submission

Building Permit application forms are available at all Client Service Centres located throughout the City of Ottawa. Your application form must be submitted with the appropriate fee, as noted in our fee brochure, as well as two sets of plans and specifications.

Drawings for New Homes

How detailed should your plans be?
If you feel you have a good working knowledge of construction practices, some knowledge of the Ontario Building Code or experience in construction, you can draw your own plans. Single line or pencil drawings are not acceptable. All plans must be drawn to scale in either metric or imperial measurements. Remember, a good set of plans is the best way to see your project completed on-time and within budget. Incomplete applications or drawings will not be accepted.

Required Drawings
All work must be in conformance to the minimum requirements of the Ontario Building Code.
• House Plan
• House - Plan details:
• site plan
• cross section(s)
• elevation views
• structural framing details
• foundation plan
• floor plans
• roof plan for complex designs
• drainage and grading plan

For the installation of any wood-burning appliance please ensure to include a detailed installation plan and the manufacturers installation instructions.

Drawings for Home Additions

• All requirements noted for a house, as well as a full and complete site plan for the entire lot (partials are not accepted)
• foundation/floor plans and cross sections to include the adjacent structure
• elevation views of all affected building sides
• Detached Garages and Shed
• full and complete site plan for the entire lot
• foundation/ footing and pier plan
• floor plan
• cross-section
• elevation views
• Sundecks
• full and complete site plan for the entire lot
• foundation/ footing and pier plan
• deck framing plan
• guard and handrail details
• cross section(s)


Inspections are required during the construction of your project to ensure that all work is done in compliance with the approved plans. Inspection stages are outlined when a permit is issued. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to ensure that they or their contractor contacts the City to request an inspection before the next stage of construction as required. Please call 3-1-1 to request a building inspection appointment.

Other Inspections
Remember to contact all utilities before your dig.
Ontario One Call: 1-800-400-2255

This page is intended to provide general information only. For more information
please visit the Client Service Centre, call the City of Ottawa at 3-1-1.