Kitchener has it's own set of by-laws but the code is based on the "Ontario Building code". The first thing you need to do is make a drawing of what the project will be. You must show what is existing and what will be removed. You will need at least a floor plan and may need cross sections, elevations and other details. If you are doing structural work; you may need to draw other floors that will be effected by the changes. As a home owner, you may submit your drawings yourself and have them reviewed in order to approve a permit. The building office will either approve the drawings, maybe making minor changes, or reject it. You may have to make changes and re-submit if it is rejected. The review process can take up to 10 business days. Although you may do the structural engineering yourself, it is always better to pay and engineer to stamp your drawings. If you do not have structural work to do and do not wish to do the drawings yourself, you may use a BCIN designer. Kitchener has various prices for their permits and require a deposit that will be refunded when all inspections are complete.
Once you have your permit, you may begin the work. Always look through the package for any changes the permit office made and make sure that they did not miss anything. If any changes are made from the original drawings during the project, you must have your drawings re-approved.
When you receive your permit package, you will have an inspection schedule explaining when you need to call for an inspection. Inspections for a renovation would normally be Framing, HVAC, plumbing, insulation, and final. Usually, you can have some inspections at the same time for smaller jobs and just have a final when the job it complete. Kitchener has a convenient, automated phone service for inspections. You make your appointment the day before your inspection and they are scheduled for the following morning or afternoon.
Tips to make your inspection run smoothly
You must be prepared for an inspection because you do not want to delay your project and you don't want to create a bad relationship with your inspector. Have the permit package and the drawings ready to go when they show up. Have the site clean for when they are there and ask any workers making noise to take a quick break. The inspection process is usually fairly quick when things are organized properly. If the inspector makes you change something; always make note of it and inform who ever made the drawings. If your engineer or designer agrees with the changes the do them right away, if they do not, have them call the permit office to get more information. Sometimes a photo sent by email is good enough for the inspector when you make changes, other times then need to come back and verify on site.
If you are not sure if you need a permit, call the building permit office and ask. It's always easier to get things done properly the first time around.
Link to Kitchener Building Department Click Here
By Brent Darlington