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Finishing a basement

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 Ontario Building Code outlines the minimum requirements for various elements, such as framing and materials, and can be viewed on the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website

Development Information Officers

If you require the services of a Development Information Officer, please call 613-580-2424, ext. 23434 or dioinquiry@ottawa.ca

Approximate cost

Refer to Applicable Fees

Approximate timeline

Approximate Timeline based on City Council approved enhanced service level:

  • First review - 5 business days

At key stages of building construction, your work must be inspected to ensure that the completed construction complies with the Ontario Building Code. The permit plans and specifications must be on site and made available to the Building Inspector at the time of inspection. To ensure the availability of a Building Inspector, you should book inspections 48 hours in advance. Failure to have the appropriate inspection performed may result in your having to uncover and expose the work for inspection, or other Orders issued, etc.

The Building Inspector's name and phone number are identified on the building permit. For a list of required inspections that may apply based on the proposed finished basement, please refer to the table below.

Inspection Description
Excavation Where required - pier footings, underpinning
Plumbing - Underground Required prior to covering underground plumbing. (Test required)
Plumbing – Rough-In Required at completion of plumbing rough-in, which includes drains, waste, vent and water piping system. (Test Required)
Framing Required at completion of structural framing.
Insulation/Vapour Barrier Required at completion of insulation and vapour barrier installation.
Plumbing – Final Required at completion of plumbing system, fixtures and appliances.
Final Required at completion of the basement’s alterations.

Effective June 7, 2021, Building Code Service counters at Ben Franklin Place and City Hall will reopen for personal service by appointment only. This includes the submission of permit applications, payment of fees and the issuance of permits.

There are various methods for submitting applications.

Application Forms: Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish