Why getting building plans approved is essential

06 June 2018

building plans

You’ve worked hard to make building your dream home a reality. The transfer has gone through and the land is yours. Why does what you build on that property have anything to do with the municipality? Plus, aren’t getting plans approved a long, laborious process? Well, before you forge ahead with building, you might want to read on and get those building plans printed and sent for approval stat!

Break the law, break the bank

Sure, most municipalities don’t have the capacity to send an inspector to each and every building site. The reality is, however, that building plans need to be sent for approval before construction commences.

You see, there are bylaws in place that allow the municipality to not only stop work on unapproved building projects, but to go so far as to demolish any building work done. Yup, you’re going to want to get those building plans sent off sooner rather than later. According to these laws, any new building or any alterations/structural changes to existing buildings require approval from the city council before any work can commence. To further add to this, permission must be requested from the municipality to do renovations on buildings 60 years and older. These are considered national heritage sites.

Wait, there’s more!

Excluded from building plan approvals are small, interior changes that do not affect the buildings structural integrity and/or alter the exterior appearance.

So, should you commence renovations or break ground without getting your building plans approved, and the building inspector drops in for a visit, you’re in all kinds of trouble. He/she is empowered to stop construction, impose hefty fines upon you and depending on the transgression, they can call for the work to be demolished at the property owner’s cost. Yikes!

The past could come back to haunt you…

Should you get away with it initially, it could come back to haunt you should you ever choose to sell your home. When a building is sold, building plans are requested by the city council. Should they not match the buildings existing structure or if the owner is unable to provide approved plans, the home or renovations can be torn down. Furthermore, if a home is sold to a buyer who wishes to do alterations and the existing owner cannot supply plans, the buyer has the right to cancel the sale.


Skipping the approval process for your building plans will cause more of a problem than it will do any good. It is best to be patient and follow through on the process for peace of mind. Remember, you can get black and white as well as full colour building plans printed with us. Simply upload your plans on our site and wait for them to be delivered to you!