Building Permit Projects

Under the Building Code Act, a building permit is required for the construction of a new building, an addition, or alteration of any building or structure with a building area of over 10 square metres (approximately 108 square feet). The following list provides examples of common projects that require building permits. If the scope of your project does not appear on the list below or you are unsure of the permit requirements please contact Building Code Client Service Centre or 3-1-1 for more information. You can also e-mail

Information on building an addition to your home (i.e. second story additions, attached garages, sunrooms, solariums and porches)

Adding an apartment (secondary dwelling unit) to your home
Here you will find information and requirements for adding and/or building an apartment unit in your home

Backwater Valves
Backwater valves can be installed in existing homes and are required for new single, semi detached, row house and townhome dwelling units

Information on constructing a detached or attached deck to your building

Demolition of existing buildings or structures

Detached garages and sheds (Accessory Buildings)
Information on constructing a detached garage or shed on your property

Finishing a basement
Here you find information on renovating or finishing your basement.

Fireplaces and woodstoves (Solid fuel appliances)
Information on the installation of fireplaces and woodstoves

Driveway or Laneway – new or changes to an existing driveway (private approach permit)
If you plan to establish a new driveway, widen or close your driveway, you need to apply for a Private Approach Permit.

Septic systems
The Ottawa Septic System Office (OSSO) of the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority coordinates the review and approval of any septic system installed, altered or repaired, anywhere in Ottawa.

Solar collector systems
The permit requirements for solar collector systems fall into two categories:

  • Flushed-mounted solar collector system on a residential dwelling unit
    A building permit is only required for any structural upgrades, modifications, or repairs recommended by your contractor's professional engineer to suit the installation of a flush-mounted solar collector system on a residential dwelling unit.
  • All other solar collector systems
    A Building Permit is required for solar collector systems that are not flushed mounted and for installations on buildings other than residential dwelling units.

Solar hot water systems
Here you will find information on Solar Domestic Hot Water systems (SDHW).

Other Projects requiring building permits

  • Change over from septic to sanitary sewer
  • Green building initiatives, such as:
    • Storm and grey water use
    • Roof top storm water retention systems
    • Structures used in the support of a wind turbine generator with a rated output of more than 3kW
  • Interior and exterior structural alterations, such as:
    • adding or removing walls, i.e., creating different room sizes and/or uses
    • one- and two-storey additions
    • new windows where there were none before
    • enlarging or relocating a window or door
  • Plumbing - Alterations, additions or extensions to a plumbing system (except replacing existing fixtures)
  • Structural foundation repairs and drain tile replacement
  • Structural repairs of alterations

Rural Projects

  • Hoop structures (i.e. fabric covered buildings)
  • Farm use buildings - barns, silos, manure storage structures (excluding earthen structures)
  • Riding Arenas

If the scope of your project does not appear on the list above or you are unsure of the permit requirements please contact Building Code Client Service Centre or 3-1-1 for more information. You can also email

Where to apply: Building Code Client Service Centre

Application Forms: 
Application to Construct or Demolish