6 December 2019,
Are you planning to build a deck, a carport, or a garage in your Toronto home?
According to the Ontario Building Act, a building permit is required to construct or demolish a building.
But you should be warned that it is not that easy to obtain a permit.
When do you need a building permit?
Below is a list of typical home renovation projects that require a building permit:
- Construction of a new home or building;
- Construction of an addition to an existing home, including:
- Second-floor additions
- Attached garage or carport
- Porch, solarium, or deck
- Adding or removing walls
- Adding new doors or windows
- Enlarging or relocating existing doors or windows
- The enclosure of existing decks, porches, or patio, regardless of the size.
In addition, a building permit is required if constructing an accessory structure bigger than 108 square feet, including:
- Garden shed
- Cabana/pool house
There are other renovation projects that would need a building permit.
The list above is not exhaustive.
For other projects, it is advisable to check with Toronto Building if you need a building permit.
Why is it necessary to get a building permit in Toronto?
A building permit protects you, your family, your home, and the community by making sure that your project is sound in structure, safe, and abides by established municipal zoning and other laws.
As a homeowner, it is important that your home, whether new or renovated, is safe and legal.
If you began construction without a permit for whatever reason, you can be penalized with an additional fee of 50% of the permit fees.
The work will also be delayed while your application for a permit is being processed, and even redo some of the work that was done.
Another serious consequence of not getting a permit for a home renovation (if one is required) could include problems when you try to sell your property in the future.
A homeowner is responsible for paying the penalties under these circumstances.
A reputable contractor is knowledgeable about projects that require a building permit and can help you to obtain one.
For more information regarding projects that require a building permit, you can consult the Toronto Building or apply for a permit online.
Steps to get a building permit in Toronto
Every home renovation project is unique.
Don’t rely on your neighbor’s project or a relative’s information.
The best thing for you to do before starting any type of home renovation, including the addition of a deck or garage, is to follow the proper steps.
Step 1: Check if your project needs a building permit.
Before beginning your project, determine building size setbacks, limits, parking, and zoning requirements.
In Toronto, you can apply for a preliminary zoning review wherein your property will be checked for zoning by-laws.
You can do this before applying for a building permit.
Note that the preliminary zoning review is not required but it can help to make your building permit application faster when you file your application.
Step 2: Prepare your building plans.
Once you have done the review for zoning by-laws, you can get started with your building plans.
You will need to submit them for approval and they need to be of high quality.
Designers preparing building plans are required by the Ontario Building Code to be qualified and registered with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.
Each document prepared by a designer must indicate their qualifications as well as their Building Code Identification Number (BCIN).
Step 3: Apply for a building permit.
You can submit your application for a building permit in 2 ways:
Along with the application, other information may be needed to get approval.
Once your permit is approved and issued, you can feel confident about starting your renovation project.
Do you need a home renovation contractor, designer, architect, or other building professionals for your project?
Whatever you need, our network can help you connect with reputable renovation professionals using 1 short online form.
Fill out the form on this page and receive free and no-obligation quotes!
Building a Garage or Carport: Things you need to know
A carport is usually smaller than a garage but they are both designed to protect your vehicle from damage from the sun and other weather conditions.
Many Canadians want to build a garage or a carport to protect their vehicles not only against the elements but also from falling trees, theft, or mischief.
You can prolong the life of your vehicle and also benefit from lower insurance premiums.
GARAGE OR CARPORT: WHICH IS BETTER?
A carport is less expensive to build although smaller in size than a garage.
As such, they require fewer materials and take less time to make.
Some who consider themselves to be construction-handy may feel tempted to build their own carport.
However, a carport has a few disadvantages, including:
- Less protection from the elements
- Lower value added to your property
- Less versatile
- Not safe from thieves
- Cannot be used as storage
In contrast, a garage is a permanent structure for storing a vehicle. It gives more protection against theft and nature. It also adds value to your property.
A garage can be attached or detached.
It also offers storage options and can be converted to a permanent room if you no longer need space for your vehicle.
There are some disadvantages to building a garage than a carport, including:
- Compliance with more stringent municipal requirements
- More expensive and longer to build
You should weigh the pros and cons of building a carport or a garage.
Consider your budget, the available space, and your future plans.
Whichever you choose, it is an investment that will have an impact on your lifestyle and the value of your property.
You can request a building permit review for a garage or carport before applying for a building permit.
Check the required documentation for building a carport or garage from Toronto Building that you will need to submit.
How much does adding a garage to your home cost?
If you add a garage to your house, it will increase the property value and make your life simpler and more convenient.
Your car will be safe no matter what the weather is like and you can also enjoy more storage space!
How much do you need to build a garage?
Below you will find average prices.
Consider what you need – single car or 2 car garage, attached garage, or separate from the main house.
|The average cost for constructing a garage
||Median Price (labor and materials)
|1-car garage (bare)
||$20,000 – $30,000
|1-car garage (completely finished)
||$30,000 – $40,000
|2-car garage (bare)
|2-car garage (completely finished)
||$45,000 – $77,000
** Prices above are estimates and may vary based on size, materials, and choice of contractor.
Extra costs to consider when building a garage
The above-mentioned prices are for labor and materials only.
There are other costs associated with constructing a garage, including:
Toronto building permit
Each municipality will require specific fees. You can check the exact amount to be paid for the permits you need from your city or town.
You can also pay building permit fees from your home by calling the Toronto Building Fee Payment Line (416) 397-5222.
Depending on where you live, some distance is required between your garage and the neighbors’ wall.
Check the requirement and design plans should comply.
A garage is considered an extension and additional living space.
As such, it is best to have a designer or architect prepare the plans, especially if you want a room above the garage.
If you are building an attached garage, the materials and design must complement the main home.
Architectural or design plans could cost about 10% of your budget.
Our partner contractors are all qualified and experienced in building garages, decks, and other types of home additions.
Find the best contractor for your project by filling out the form on this page.
Get free and no obligation-quotes today!
Requirements for building a deck
A deck can create extra space that adds long-term value to your home.
Because a homeowner will be investing a significant amount of money on building a deck, you want to make sure that the materials will last for many years and the deck frame will be strong enough to last just as long.
Your house in Toronto is worth a great deal of money.
As your primary investment, why would you want to install a poorly-designed or constructed deck just to save a few thousand dollars?
The right type of deck is available for your home – you just need to look for the best style that complements your home’s design, your needs, and a reputable contractor you can trust.
If you are planning to add a deck to your home, it is best to know what you need to make it a successful project.
Our network consists of reputable and experienced building contractors, including designers and architects, who can help you with your deck addition.
Applying for a building permit for a deck
Anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area, it is necessary to get a building permit to add a deck.
Your plans must indicate the footing specifications, railings, any shade or other roofing you plan to use.
Your contractor may be able to provide you with a design or plan but it is also advisable to seek the services of an architect or qualified designer.
An engineer would also need to sign it.
These drawings are drawn to scale, with full dimensions, and signed and dated before submission.
They also need to indicate the designer’s name, registration, and qualification identification number.
Once you have the complete building plans for your deck, you can then proceed with applying for a building permit.
There are instances when a detached deck may not require a building permit, including:
- An uncovered deck less than 60 cm. above the ground
- It does not form any exit covered by the building code
Check this list from Building Toronto of projects that don’t require a building permit.
Benefits of adding a deck- Is it worth investing in a deck?
If you build a high-quality deck, you and your family can enjoy additional outdoor space for relaxation and enjoyment for many, many years.
A natural wood deck is ideal for entertaining guests, enjoying the sunshine in privacy, or adding aesthetic appeal to the overall design of your home.
It should also be noted that decks are much sought-after by homebuyers because they can picture themselves enjoying a family barbecue in the summer.
Adding a deck can definitely increase the desirability and market value of your house when it becomes time for you to sell.
The cost of building a deck is cheaper compared to other types of home renovations.
If you are a budget-conscious homeowner seeking to increase the value of your home, a deck addition is definitely worth considering.
Of course, the cost of a deck will vary based on the size, the materials, and your choice of contractor.
Are you torn between building a patio or a deck? Find out the distinct features of each, the costs and the benefits from patio and deck renovations in Toronto.
Big mistakes to avoid when building a deck addition
Who wouldn’t love to have extra outdoor space with a beautiful design?
However, creating an amazing deck costs money and the more elaborate your deck design, the more expensive it will be.
Thus, it is important to build a high-quality, beautiful, and durable deck to be worthy of spending thousands of dollars.
Some homeowners want to save money and decide to turn a deck addition into a do-it-yourself project.
It can seem sensible at first but be warned that DIY projects can quickly turn nasty when unforeseen problems crop up.
A deck that is not properly constructed can cause future problems when you try to sell your property.
We don’t want your project to turn into a nightmare.
Here are some big mistakes you must avoid when building a deck addition.
Mistake #1: Inadequate planning.
Proper planning is needed to build a deck.
It needs more than just buying wood beams or deck boards.
When you don’t plan properly, a project can result in unsatisfactory results and even code violations.
Make sure to have proper design specs in place.
Find a local and reputable contractor to get accurate estimates, and apply for the proper building permits.
Mistake #2: Poor footers.
Remember, any structure is only as good as its foundation.
Using poor footers that are not properly installed is a very costly mistake.
Check the requirements for deck footers in your municipality.
Depending on the soil type and property grade, determine the best foundation to use for your project.
An experienced and licensed contractor can help you with the choice of your materials.
He will make a thorough inspection before recommending any design or materials for your project.
Mistake #3: Not installing a continuous handrail on the stairs.
The code requires that a continuous handrail is installed on any stairs with 4 or more steps.
A guard rail without midspan posts that extends until the top can be used as a handrail only if it complies with geometric requirements.
Speak to a qualified contractor to make sure your deck is compliant with the code.
Mistake #4: Not following clearance and access requirements.
A deck has clearances that are code-required such as having at least 36-inch tall escape path from a basement window.
Requirements must be diligently observed to avoid code violations which could have serious consequences.
There are decks that are beautifully-constructed yet fail to comply with code requirements.
Mistake #5: Not checking if the size of the deck complies with zoning by-laws.
The square footage of your deck matters when checking if your house complies with zoning by-laws.
A deck that is 4 feet off the ground will add to the square feet available for building.
Mistake #6: Poorly-installed deck ledger boards.
Many decks collapse because of separation from the house.
You certainly don’t want this to happen so make sure your ledger boards are properly installed.
Use the proper hardware when installing ledger boards and ensure proper flashing.
Mistake #7: Not hiring professional deck builders.
A home addition such as a deck is not simple.
Qualified experts like home addition contractors or deck builders can turn your dream into a reality with little or no stress.
Hiring professionals will make sure you know the accurate cost for building your deck so you can prepare your budget well and make sure your construction is up to code.
In doing so, the market value of your property will increase and your family can enjoy a beautiful deck for years to come.
Get help or advice about a building permit in Toronto for your home addition project from qualified professionals in our network.
Take advantage of free and no-obligation quotes!
How to find the best addition contractor in Toronto for your home?
When you turn to our renovation partners, you can make a well-informed choice.
This is because you get to compare quotes and ask for valuable advice regarding your project.
A reliable home addition contractor can help you with:
- Designing and building a garage, carport, or deck from scratch
- Provide quotes, free and no obligation, so you can compare the costs and plan your budget accordingly
- Save time and money with a well-planned and properly executed construction
- Ensure that your home addition is up to code and provides satisfactory results
TAKE 2 MINUTES TO REQUEST FOR FREE AND NO-OBLIGATION QUOTES using the short online request form on this page.
It is really that fast and simple!
Our partners, all qualified, licensed, and insured building professionals, will help you plan your new deck or garage and assist you from start to finish.
Success with a home addition project starts with hiring the right professional to guide and assist you.
You can find the best designer, architect, or contractor for your project right here today!