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Does Bathroom Renovation Require a Permit (Ontario)?

Permit bathroom renovation

Many people wonder if they need to apply for a building permit when they are renovating a bathroom in Ontario. There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to this question though so let's take a look at when you will need a permit.

For most cities in Ontario, you will need a permit if major changes are being made to your home. This would include, removing load bearing walls, adding/removing plumbing, any electrical work being done, or any work that will involve the structure of your home.

When it comes to bathrooms, a permit would be required if you are relocating plumbing fixtures, reconfiguring the layout, or even adding new electrical systems like towel warmers or heated floors. This is something your contractor can handle for you and is typically better to have them handle it. They will have a better idea of the permitting process and the local building codes to be aware of.

Generally speaking, if you aren't relocating any plumbing, walls or electrical, then you are able to renovate your bathroom without a permit. By keeping your layout the same, there are no concerns about the structure of the home being compromised, so it's allowable to renovate without a permit. If you were to run into an issue that then required structural changes, at that point you would need to acquire a permit for the work that needs to be completed.

Whether or not you NEED a permit, it is always a good idea because they are a low cost way to ensure the quality of your renovation and also to make sure that your space conforms to the building code. We always suggest getting a permit for your bathroom even when it isn't required. In the end this decision is yours to make! That is of course as long as it isn't required. Any good renovation company shouldn't be avoiding permits when necessary. This should be a red flag when selecting your contractor!

A bathroom renovation is a great way to invest in your home and lifestyle, but should be done with care and respect for the building codes. They are there to protect you and should be adhered to at all times! Don't be afraid of your local building authority!

To learn more about building permits for the following cities click the links:


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