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As a home owner, you may not know enough about building permits or even how to obtain one.
Building permits are issued by your local municipality to assure compliance with health and safety requirements set out in the building codes and to fulfill the terms of zoning regulations and heritage building designations.
Permits are required for additions, reconfigurations, windows and doors, and fireplace installations. Electrical and plumbing permits are issued separately. Anything that does not entail changing the structure does not need permits, such as re-roofing, cabinetry, etc. Check with your contractor to be sure. The specific requirements vary by municipality and the administrators there will explain exactly what is needed for each type of remodeling.
The home owner is responsible for applying for and receiving the appropriate permits, but frequently the contractor will be able to act on your behalf. Inspectors may come to check and approve the work completed.
If you perform, or have performed, work without a permit, the municipality can order all work to cease immediately. If it is found that the work does not meet standards, you can be forced to undo all the work at your own expense. It can also affect your insurance coverage. It is strongly suggested that you contact your insurance representative before embarking on any project.