Why Do I Need A Basement Permit?

The City of Toronto has many rules and regulations in place to make sure builders and homeowners follow health and safety, fire protection, environmental, and accessibility guidelines to ensure all of our safety and comfort during basement renovations. It is important to have a solid understanding of these regulations, because building bylaws, zoning regulations, and codes for plumbing and electrical systems are often changing. The penalties for not having a valid permit can be quite steep, as well, with fees ranging from just under $200 to over $26.5 thousand, not to mention the cost of changing or removing and non-complying elements! This headache can all be avoided, in part, by understanding when you need a permit and when you do not.

basement ideas for mancave

Do You Need a Permit to Finish a Basement?

Renovating or finishing your basement may or may not require government permits. You can find out if you need a permit by contacting Toronto building permits office (or your local one), or look at the table below:

When You Don’t Need a Basement Permit? When Do You Need a Basement Permit:
There are no structural or material alterationsThere are any structural or material alterations
No extra dwelling unit(s) are created (i.e. legal second suit)You are adding a second legal suit
The original plumbing system stays the same; no additional installations are made There are any changes, installations, or modifications to heating and/or plumbing systems
There is excavation and/or major construction
There is underpinning being done
You are constructing a basement exit or entrance
You are constructing a chimney or fireplace

The Basement Permit Process

Before you even apply for a government permit you will need to complete a home assessment, and we help you with yours. Getting all of the necessary information about your household will give both you and our team an idea of the scope of the project, and what kind of drawings and services will be needed. Next, we will take any important measurements that we will need to create drawings such as: basement plans, floor plans, elevations, and other details about the project for a permit application. The final step is to take these drawings to the City of Toronto for approval. We will make your permit process painless and efficient, leaving you more time to choose the colours of your walls, and less time spent on complicated permit paperwork.

3D model of house renovation
building-permit image plan

Basement renovation permit

All the proposed changes to an existing basement must be approved. Basement renovations are complex projects that must be handled by professional contractors. If the design is not drawn to meet city regulations, you may find that permit approval may be delayed or denied. 

In general, a permit is needed for:

  • insulation
  • upgrading or adjusting plumbing, electrical, or gas lines
  • changing the use of a room
  • altering walls and openings
  • altering windows and doors
  • altering or adding stairs
  • any foundation work

A keen understanding of the process is a key quality to look for in your potential contractor.

Our reputable team at Harmony Basements can help you determine the type of permit you need for your project.

Basement apartment

Turning your basement into an apartment is one of the most beneficial ways to utilize your basement space. It can add value to your home and provide an additional income stream if you rent out the space. Our team can help you create an impressive design for your basement apartment project and seek the basement apartment building permit approval on your behalf. We know the process inside-out and can assure you that we will work quickly to ensure that your project is done right and designed in accordance with city guidelines.

Basement Renovation Design

Basement walkout permit

If you are planning to use your basement as a basement apartment, you will need to have a separate entrance. Obtaining a basement walkout permit requires the submission of drawings that are prepared by a qualified designer.

Harmony Basements is an award-winning designer with a reputation for quality workmanship, attention to detail, and excellence. Our team will ensure that all the required documents are submitted on time.

Basement underpinning permit

Before we can move ahead with any underpinning, we will need to obtain a basement underpinning permit from the city.

Underpinning provides additional strength to an existing foundation by increasing the depth of an existing foundation. This can be done to repair any faulty areas or the entire foundation.

Home addition permit

Expanding your home can give you additional square footage to utilize. This is particularly beneficial if your family is expanding or if you just need more space.

Anytime you add to your existing building, you must apply for a home addition permit to ensure that the plans are in accordance with city regulations and will not violate any zoning bylaws.

Interior renovation permit

Redesigning the interior of your basement can give your space an entirely new look and feel.

Prior to making any interior design changes, you must apply for an interior renovation permit to ensure that your upgrade plans are permissible by your local municipality.

Luxury Basement Finishing Project Vaughan
Build in Wall Unit in Custom Basement Design Woodbridge

Load bearing wall permit

A load-bearing wall is one that has a beam or column and supports the bulk of the roof’s weight. Given the critical role of such walls, removing a load-bearing wall or making any structural changes to these walls requires a permit.

Careful consideration must be given to keeping the integrity of the foundation intact. As skilled renovators, Harmony Basements is the team you can trust.

New window/door permit

If your basement renovation plan involves expanding any window openings, you’ll need to get permission before any construction can begin. This is because widening this space can compromise the integrity of the wall.

With our team at work, you can rest assured knowing every aspect of your renovation project will be completed to perfection.

finished basement oshawa

Why choose us

Harmony Basements is a trusted name in basement renovations. Our services are highly rated and we have been named the “Best Basement Renovation Contractor of the Year” twice by HomeStars. Our team consists of licenced and insured contractors who know how to get the job done right.

We prioritize quality over quantity and give every project our full devotion. Our vast experience in basement renovation permit approval process sets us apart from our competitors. Go with the guys recognized for outstanding, reliable service. Trust Harmony Basements to handle your basement building permit process.

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