The South Huron Building Department ensures public health and safety through the enforcement of provisions under the Building Code Act and Ontario Building Code.

Building permits are required for all structures occupying an area greater than ten square metres, sewage systems and all structures containing plumbing. Building inspectors will conduct several inspections through different stages of construction, as described in South Huron's Building By-law.

Building Services during COVID-19 

For the status of construction activities and current public health measures and restrictions under the Reopening Ontario plan, visit the Reopening Ontario in Stages page. 

To ensure the safety of municipal staff during inspections, please contact the Building Department to reschedule an inspections if a member working onsite develops symptom(s) of COVID-19, has had close contact with a probable or confirmed case, or has been instructed by public health to self-isolate.   

For more information about residential construction projects and the process to obtain a building permit, please contact the Building Department. General enquiries can be made by Emailing the Building Department, by phone 519-235-0310 or by fax 519-235-3304.

Plumbing Inspections

As of January 1, 2020, the South Huron Building Department is responsible for processing plumbing applications. Please use the form available in the list below for new applications. For assistance with plumbing applications started with the County of Huron prior to January 1, 2019, please contact the County Clerk:

Susan Cronin,
Huron County Clerk
519-524-8394 (extension 3257)

Building Resources

For detailed information, please refer to the following resources:

Please note that not all of our building resources are currently available online. Copies of the above resources can be obtained by contacting the Building Department.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a building permit?
A building permit is a license that grants permission to start construction of a building project.  Permits ensure that the construction within the municipality complies with the construction and safety standards of the Building Code Act and Ontario Building Code, zoning regulations and other applicable standards and laws.
When is a building permit required?

A building permit application must be submitted if you wish to:

  • New buildings such as homes, detached garages, sheds and workshops
  • Additions to an existing house such as a room, garage or carport, porch, add a second floor level, finish a basement or an attic
  • Decks greater than 2 feet above grade, decks with a roof, and decks less than 2 feet above grade which are attached to the home
  • Renovations such as a new bathroom, enclose an existing porch, removal/alteration of interior walls and re-insulating
  • Repairs to foundations, basements and crawlspaces
  • Replacement of windows/doors if opening made larger
  • Installation of a wood burning stove or fireplace
  • Pre-fabricated structures, mobile homes and temporary buildings
  • Plumbing systems including septic systems, water, sanitary and storm sewers
  • New or replacement fencing for the installation of a private swimming pool with a water depth greater than 29.5 inches (75 cm) or an ‘Open’ Hydro Massage Pool (Swimming Pool Fences By-Law)
  • Demolition of a residence or accessory structure in an urban area
  • Tents larger than 645.84 sq ft (60 M²)

  Note: It is the responsibility of the property owner to obtain a permit.

What projects do not require a building permit?
  • Decks less than 2 feet above finished grade with no roof and not attached to the home
  • Replace roof shingles, siding, soffit and fascia, and eave troughs
  • Replace existing windows/doors without increasing the opening size
  • Installation of new kitchen cupboards
  • Construct buildings smaller than 108 sq ft (10 M²)  

Please note that although a building permit may not be required, you must still comply with zoning by-laws and other applicable laws and regulations.

How to apply for a building permit?
  1. Complete the building permit application form (and septic permit application form if required) available in hardcopy from the building department or a digital copy.
  2. Once completed and signed, the following must be submitted to the building department with:
    • 2 sets of building plans (floor plan, foundation, cross section, roof trusses, etc., as appropriate)
    • 2 copies of the site plan or property survey
    • 2 copies of a site/grading plan from an Ontario Land Surveyor, Professional Engineer, or competent designer who is qualified to prepare Lot Grading Plans if a requirement
    • A copy of any additional required approvals as listed under “other permits and approvals that may be required

Fees are required and may be paid by cash, cheque, or debit.  The fees are determined by the building department and are based on the fee schedule of the current building by-law,  the current development charges by-law, or a Subdivision Agreement.

What is required on the drawings submitted with the building permit?

If applicable, the following may be required on the drawings submitted with the building permit:

Site Plan:

  • Drawn to scale indicating street address, lot number, lot size, property line boundaries, rights-of-way and easements
  • Location and size of all existing and proposed buildings
  • Actual and proposed setback distances from all property lines
  • Actual distance to neighbouring structures for determination of approved construction detail of the proposed exposed building face
  • Location of existing septic system, water well, etc. (if applicable)
  • Location of hydro lines and underground utilities
  • Location, height and description of existing or proposed fences (pool permits)
  • Driveways and entrance location

Lot Grading Plan:

  • A site plan with existing and finished grade elevations, foundation elevation, including a drainage scheme compatible with existing drainage patterns or an approved subdivision grading plan
  • Signed and stamped by an Ontario Land Surveyor, Professional Engineer or competent designer who is qualified to prepare Lot Grading Plans

Foundation Plan:

  • Drawn to scale showing basement wall type and sizes
  • Strip footing size
  • Column and pier footing size and spacing dimensions
  • Beams and floor joist sizes and spacing
  • Room dimensions with door and window location
  • Location of plumbing fixtures, floor drain, furnace, etc.

Floor Plans:

  • Drawn to scale showing all floors with room names or uses
  • Dimensions of rooms, halls, and stairs
  • Location of plumbing fixtures, ventilation equipment, smoke and CO detectors, handrails and guards
  • Beam, lintel and joist sizes
  • Door and window location and sizes

Cross Section(s):

  • Drawn to scale showing room height, roof pitch, construction details and materials used for the construction of walls, floors, ceiling, and roof
  • Depth of footings, type and thickness of foundation
  • Finished floor level and finished grade

Heating, Ventilation And Air Conditioning (HVAC):

  • Duct design drawings are required with heat loss calculations, furnace and air conditioner (if applicable) sizing, from Registered Designer
  • Compliance package to be submitted with application


  • Drawn to scale showing front, rear and sides
  • Details of exterior construction details and materials
  • Include balconies, bay windows, porches and stairs, and any other exterior encroachment
  • Finished floor levels and finished grade
  • Overall height of the building

Truss and Engineered Floor Drawings:

  • If trusses or I joists are used for roof or floor, the drawings must be stamped by a professional engineer

Other Engineered Drawings and Information:

  • If foundations are ICF construction (insulated concrete forms), foundations are underpinned, or special structural design is required, drawings must be stamped by a professional engineer
What is the cost of a building permit?

The fees are determined by the building department and are based on the fee schedule of the current building by-law,  the current development charges by-law, or a Subdivision Agreement. 

Fees are required and may be paid by cash, cheque, debit, or online using your Visa/MasterCard. 

Please contact the Building Department for more information. 

How long will it take to obtain a building permit?
  • Within 10 working days if all required documentation is submitted and zoning regulations including setbacks, lot coverage, etc are met
  • Permits may be issued sooner depending on the complexity of the project and the completeness of drawings and submitted information
  • There are also exceptions depending on the referral to another department or agency if required, or if special approval(s) such as minor variance, septic, etc., is also required.
Required Inspections

During various stages of the project, an inspection may be required (as set out in the Building Code) to inspect the work.

The following stages may require an inspection (as determined by the Building Inspector):

  • Storm and sanitary sewer connection, if applicable (contact plumbing inspector)
  • Footings (prior to pouring concrete)
  • Foundation (prior to backfilling)
  • Underground plumbing (contact plumbing inspector)
  • Framing after electrical and plumbing have been installed
  • Rough-in plumbing (contact plumbing inspector)
  • Insulation and vapour barrier
  • Completion of construction to permit occupancy. Requires final plumbing & electrical certificates, potable water testing and septic approval, if applicable. Also may require certified lot grading if it is a requirement of a subdivision agreement at this stage

Final inspection is completed when the project is completed (which may, if applicable, include certified lot grading).

How can I pay for my building permit?
Fees are required and may be paid by cash, cheque, debit, or online using your Visa/MasterCard. 
Online Payments
You can pay your building permit online using Visa, MasterCard, or Visa Debit. 

You will need the following information:

  • Your building permit number (obtained from the Building Department)
  • The amount you wish to pay
  • Your credit card

Please note that there is a convenience fee that is collected and paid to USTI Canada for using the online payment system. You will also need to register for an account if it is your first time using the system. 

Other permits and approvals that may be required
Electrical Permit

Electrical Safety Authority

T: 1-877-372-7233 (1-877-ESA-SAFE)


Land Use Permit

Ministry of Transportation

T: 1-800-265-6072


County of Huron

T: 1-888-524-8394

Regulation Limit

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority

71108 Morrison Line, RR3

Exeter, Ontario  N0M 1S5

T: 519-235-2610



Upper Thames River Conservation Authority

1424 Clarke Road

London, Ontario  N5V 5B9

T: 519-451-2800

F: 519-451-1188


Potable Water Testing

Huron County Health Unit

77722B London Road, RR5

Clinton, Ontario  N0M 1L0

T: 519-482-3416

F: 519-482-7820


Minor Variance and Rezoning

Municipality of South Huron

Planning Department

PO Box 759, 322 Main Street South

Exeter, Ontario  N0M 1S6

T: 519-235-0310 ext.238

F: 519-235-3304

Email the Planning Department


County of Huron

Planning Department

57 Napier Street, 2nd Floor

Goderich, Ontairo N7A 1W2

T: 1-888-524-8394

F: 519-524-5677




South Huron logo

We work hard to ensure that everyone can access the information and services they need.

For information in alternative formats or assistance accessing information, please contact the Municipal Office at 519-235-0310. 

© 2020 The Municipality of South Huron, 322 Main Street South P.O. Box 759 Exeter, ON N0M 1S6