Installing a gas fireplace in your living room is a great way to make it more inviting and cozy. Not only does the warmth of the flames create an atmosphere of comfort, but the flickering light provides the ambiance to enhance the look and feel of your living space.
But did you know that you need to apply for a building permit in the city of Hamilton before installing your new fireplace? In fact, you need to apply for a permit every time you decide to undertake a building project or home renovation project.
Applying for renovation permits can be intimidating. From finding the right paperwork to navigating the system, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and uncertain.
It’s worth it, though. The permit system exists to make sure your new fireplace is installed correctly, fuelled, wired, and vented.
If you’re looking to take the first steps toward getting the necessary permits for your home project, this article can provide smart tips for navigating the permit application process. You’ll get your project up and running quickly, efficiently, and safely!
Hamilton Home Renovation Permits: How to Get a Residential Building Permit
So, like many homeowners, you’ve taken the plunge, and decided to renovate your home this year! Maybe you need an extra bedroom, or you’ve finally decided to finish that basement. Either way, one of the first steps of your reno is to figure out what permits you need.
Renovating your Hamilton home can often be a cost-effective solution. Not only do you get to build the home of your dreams, but you can also reap the financial rewards by increasing the value of your home when it’s time to sell.
Hamilton uses the ePlan system to apply, collect fees and approve each building permit online. While building permits can be complicated, this application system is a gem! It’s simple, straightforward, and easy to understand.
All of your paperwork is filed online and you can even check the status of your application on the site. If the city needs any extra information, they’ll request it here. Gone are the days of lining up at City Hall!
Steps to Applying For a Home Renovation Permit
Applying for a renovation permit is often one of the most confusing parts of beginning any home renovation project. That being said, it doesn’t have to be an intimidating process (and you don’t have to be familiar with the Ontario building code, either!). Let’s dive right in!
The First Step: Gather and Submit Your Documentation
The first step to applying for a residential building permit in Hamilton is to figure out whether or not you actually need a permit. Most but not all projects require one, and you will need to know the applicable law and what the right permits are. You can check out Hamilton’s project list here to help you decide.
Once you’ve determined that you need a building permit for your renovation, the next step is to gather all the required documentation for the building permit application. When you apply, you’ll need documents such as any architectural drawings, and site plans.
The four components for a renovation permit in Hamilton are:
● Site Plan
● Manufacture/Construction Drawings
● Service Disconnection (only if demolition is included in your project)
● Application Fee
Depending on the type of construction, the list of documents and building permit requirements may vary slightly. Once you have all your paperwork in order, you’re ready to apply.
How soon are you looking to buy?*
How Much Do Building Permits Cost?
Hamilton’s permit fee is based on the project’s total area, using a formula that includes the service index value and the total area in square meters. They have a minimum fee of $265, so you’ll pay the greater of the two values.
For a complete list of service index values, check out Hamilton’s building site.
Josh is building a new garage in Hamilton. The new garage is detached and is 14 feet wide by 22 feet deep.
SI (service index) Residential: $16.69
Area: 28.6 sqm
Permit Fee = 16.69 x 28.6
Sarah is adding a new bathroom to her already-finished basement. The bathroom was roughed-in when the downstairs was finished. The proposed bathroom dimensions are 4 feet wide by 8 feet deep.
SI (service index) Residential: $16.69
Area: 2.9 sqm
Permit Fee = 16.69 x 2.9
In this case, Sarah’s permit fee will be $265, which is the minimum.
The Second Step: Await Your Approval
Once you submit your application and fee payment, it will be reviewed by the city’s planning department. They will determine whether your project meets their standards and regulations.
The review process can take anywhere from two weeks to several months. How long the review process takes depends on project complexity, so make sure you plan ahead when submitting your paperwork!
If you’re applying for a small renovation permit for your house or an HVAC permit, you can expect approval to take about 10 business days. Larger projects like a garage or addition will take longer to approve.
If there are any problems or Hamilton’s planning department needs additional information, they’ll contact you. Once approved, you’ll receive a notification from the ePlan system.
The Third Step: Get Started On Your Project
Once your application has been approved, the next step is getting started on your home renovation project! Before beginning any work, make sure that you gather all the necessary materials and hire any contractors or subcontractors needed to complete the job.
Depending on the type of work you’re doing, you may need to plan for inspections along the way. For example, if you’re finishing your basement, any new wiring or ductwork will need to be inspected before you close up your walls.
It’s a costly mistake to forget this – the inspector could make you take down the walls!
Costs of Obtaining HVAC-Related Permits
HVAC permits in Hamilton are issued as part of the building permit system. You’ll need to access the ePlan system to submit, pay and wait for the approval.
The type of HVAC work that is being done will determine what, if any, permits you need. In the city of Hamilton, you will not need a furnace or air conditioning permit. However, any work that will add new gas lines or relocate existing ones will require a permit.
The same rule applies to ductwork. If your renovation needs new ducts or you need to move existing ducts, you’ll need to include those on the drawing plans when you apply for your permit.
Hamilton does not require you to obtain a permit to install or replace your AC. However, the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) does require a permit for any new or replacement air conditioners.
FAQs – Common Questions About Getting a Building Permit in Hamilton, Ontario
Does my project need a permit?
Most construction and renovation projects in Hamilton, Ontario, require a building permit. Check Hamilton’s project list for more information about what types of projects need permits. Some examples of projects that need a permit include:
- pool enclosures
- attached decks
- accessory buildings larger than 10 sqm, such as garages, workshops, or sheds
- finishing a basement
- flood or fire damage restoration
- adding or reconfiguring internal walls
What paperwork do I need for a permit?
You’ll need to provide a site plan and construction drawings to submit your application. These can be provided by your contractor or a designer. You can submit your own drawings so long as they meet the requirements, are legible, and have all the necessary structure details.
Hamilton’s ePlan system offers some great samples of permit drawings to help you get started.
What projects do not need a permit?
Not all projects need building permits. For example, replacing your furnace does not require a permit. However, you DO need a permit to install or relocate gas lines. Additionally, you will need a permit if you’re moving or installing new ducts.
Residential Building Permits Hamilton: The Bottom Line
When planning a home project in Hamilton, it is essential to consider all the factors involved to be sure that the result meets your expectations and that your property is built to last.
This can include everything from applying for the necessary building permits to properly budgeting for the project. Every detail matters, even if the renovation project is smaller.
Hiring the services of an experienced contractor who is knowledgeable about local rules, regulations, and applicable laws can make these steps much more manageable. Even though applying for the right permit is the homeowner’s responsibility, an experienced professional can help make you permit-ready and keep you headache-free!
Whether you’re planning a new addition, a complete re-do, or an upgrade in your home or building, completing a reno project can make you fall in love with your living space all over again.