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Are you looking to finish your basement as a permitted basement apartment?
Are you contemplating taking 3 quotes to determine the cost of your basement renovation? Get the permit set approved. Then Tender for 3 or more quotes.
We provide on-site support to assist you with the municipal regulations, Ontario Building Code and site-specific constraints.
Our friendly and knowledgeable team will measure and document the existing and new developments in your home. We will identify and interpret foreseeable issues and provide solutions and direction to get the job done right.
We specialize in basement designs that create bright, spacious and warm living areas. We can present examples of other permits we’ve completed to help you visualize the possibilities.
Sample Permit Drawing Download
You must apply for a building permit to create a new second suite. All new second suites must comply with the Ontario Building Code, residential zoning by-laws, and property standards. Any new construction will require a permit and inspections. Similarly, you will have to obtain permits for all plumbing and electrical work. There is a charge associated with each permit. Fees for each application vary depending on the type of work being done and the amount of work or square footage involved. Building inspectors review projects during key stages of construction to ensure the work complies with the Building Code and approved plans. Inspectors may visit several times, depending on the project, and they must be able to see the work under inspection. Inspectors require a minimum of 48 hours’ notice to book an inspection. They have extensive hands-on experience, so you should try to be around during their visits.
Second units must comply with any applicable laws, which could include the Building Code, the Fire Code, and property standards by-laws. The changes do not “grandfather” any existing second units that do not meet applicable laws.
The costs to develop a secondary suite will vary depending on the conditions of the home, the size and extent of the development and the labour required.
The respective municipality is not concerned or interested in the relationship between the tenant and landlord. Irrespective of their relations all applicable building code, and zoning by-laws apply. They are aware that regardless of who lives in the unit after it is constructed. It can easily be rented out to a potential tenant at any time in the future.
If you’re not building your basement apartment with a permit we strongly encourage you to speak to the municipality, your insurance agent and research the civil and criminal liability of operating an “illegal rooming house.” One of the fundamental reasons for permitting a basement apartment is to ensure that proper steps were taken to create a safe living environment for the occupants on the lower and upper levels of the home.
Please feel free to review the consequences of building a non-conforming or unpermitted basement apartment.
Insurance policy statements instruct that a homeowner must inform the insurer of any alterations made to the home. This maintains the validity of your home insurance. If converting a single-family home to a two-unit suite, the homeowner must inform the insurance company of this change whether for personal use or rental purposes.
Any Space that is not reported, would not be insured under the policy. The insurer can also render this a breach of condition, and the policy may be void or voidable. A property must also be completed to the standards of the municipal building code to maintain the status of the insurance.
What happens if you do not get a permit? If you start construction but do not have the necessary permits, you may be ordered to stop work, prosecuted, and even ordered to remove work already done. If you are uncertain as to whether you need a permit for your project, contact for your local civic centre directly.
The need to create affordable housing does not have to come at the expense of the occupant’s safety. We strongly advise you to review the benefits of a legal basement apartment and work towards protecting the occupants as well as your long-term investment.
Section 36 of the Ontario Building Code Act speaks to the nature of offences and the penalties associated with violation of the code. The construction of a second suite, which does not meet the standards set out in the Ontario Building Code, may be subject to both monetary fines and criminal charges.
36. (1) A person is guilty of an offence if the person,
(a) knowingly furnishes false information in any application under this Act, in any certificate required to be issued or in any statement or return required to be furnished under this Act or the regulations:
(b) fails to comply with an order, direction or other requirement made under this Act; or
(c) contravenes this Act, the regulations or a by-law passed under section 7. 1992, c. 23, s. 36 (1); 1997, c. 30, Sched. B, s. 19; 2002, c. 9, s. 53 (1); 2009, c. 33, Sched. 21, s. 2 (8).
(2) Every direction or officer of a corporation who knowingly concurs in the furnishing of false information, the failure to comply or the contravention under subsection (1) is guilty of an offence. 1992, c. 23, s. 36 (2).
(3) A person who is convicted of an offense is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 for a first offence and to a fine of not more than $100,000 for a subsequent offence. 2005, c. 33, s. 1.
(4) If a corporation is convicted of an offence, the maximum penalty that may be imposed upon the corporation is $100,000 for a first offence and $200,000 for a subsequent offence and not as provided in subsection (3). 2005, c. 33, s. 1.
(5) For the purposes of subsections (3) and (4), an offence is a subsequent offence if there has been a previous conviction under this Act. 1992, c. 23, s. 36 (5).
(6) Every person who fails to comply with an order made by a chief building official under subsection 14 (1) or clause 15.9 (6) (a) is guilty of an offence and on conviction, in addition to the penalties mentioned in subsections (3) and (4), is liable to a fine of not more than $10,000 per day for every day the offence continues after the time given for complying with the order has expired. 1992, c. 23, s. 36 (6); 2002, c. 9, s. 53 (2).
(7) If this Act or the regulations are contravened and a conviction is entered, in addition to any other remedy and to any penalty imposed by this Act, the court in which the conviction is entered, and any court of competent jurisdiction thereafter, may make an order prohibiting the continuation or repetition of the offence by the person convicted. 1992, c. 23, s. 36 (7).
(8) No proceeding under this section shall be commenced more than one year after the facts on which the proceeding is based first came to the knowledge of,
(a) an officer, where the proceeding is in respect of the enforcement of by-laws passed under section 15.1; or
(b) the chief building official, in any other case. 2009, c. 33, Sched. 21, s. 2 (9).
(8.1) Subsection (8), as it read immediately before the day subsection 2 (9) of Schedule 21 to the Good Government Act, 2009 comes into force, continues to apply where the subject-matter of the proceeding arose more than one year before that day. 2009, c. 33, Sched. 21, s. 2 (9).
(9) If an offence under this section has been committed within a municipality, the proceeds of a fine imposed under this section shall be paid to the treasurer of that municipality, and section 2 of the Administration of Justice Act and section 4 of the Fines and Forfeitures Act do not apply in respect of the fine. 1992, c. 23, s. 36 (9).
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