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Building permits are in place for your safety - and the safety of those around you, ensuring your construction project is protected from structural failure, fire hazards from electrical and heating systems, electrical shock and other health risks. Permits also provide a permanent record of the work performed and all inspections conducted to ensure the project is sound and safe.

Before starting a new construction project -- either indoors or outdoors -- you must determine whether you need a building permit.

Building Services at the Municipality of South Huron is here to help you through the Building Permit process.

Building Services during COVID-19 

Building services will continue and applications can be submitted by contacting the Building Department.  In-person inspections on vacant new builds only, contact the Building Department to arrange inspections.

Building Permit Guide

For detailed information on the building permit process, please refer to the following resource.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is the responsibility of the property owner to determine whether there is a requirement to obtain a permit. 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. Questions in regard to zoning processes should be directed to our Planning Department.

 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 for the following projects:

  • 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 square feet (60 M²)

Building permits are required for all structures occupying an area greater than ten square metres, sewage systems and all structures containing plumbing. 

 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 square feet (10 M²)  
 How to apply for a building permit?
 Complete the digital building permit application form (and septic permit application form if required)
  • available in hardcopy from the building department if required

Prior to submitting a completed and signed application to the building department, be sure the following documentation is included: 

    • 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, debit, or online using your Visa or MasterCard. The fees are determined by the building department and are based on the fee schedule of the current fees and charges by-law, the current development charges by-law, or a Subdivision Agreement.

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

Depending on the project, there are a number of items that may be required on the drawings submitted with the building permit application.

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 Sections 
  • 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
Elevations 
  • 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 insulated concrete form - ICF construction, foundations are underpinned, or special structural design is required, drawings must be stamped by a professional engineer
How long will it take to obtain a building permit?

A review period will be assigned to your permit application, depending on the type of project and building classification. These timelines are based upon a complete application being submitted, zoning regulations, including setbacks, lot coverage, etc are met and as per the Ontario Building Code.

10 Days 
  1. Houses and semi-detached houses including:
    • Additions, renovations
    • Decks
    • Attached garages, carports
  2. Detached structures serving a building described under item 1.
    • Sheds, Garages, Carports
    • Pool houses
  3. Tents
 15 Days
  1. Town houses or row houses.
  2. Buildings, other than those described above,  where the Ontario Building Code, Part 9 is applicable
    • 3 or fewer storeys in height
    • Building area less than 600 m2
    • Major Occupancies classified as
      • Residential
      • Business and Personal Services
      • Mercantile
      • Medium or low hazard industrial
  3. Farm Buildings not exceeding 600 m2 building area.
20 Days 
  1. Buildings where the Ontario Building Code, Part 3 is applicable
    • More than 3 storeys in height
    • Greater than 600 m2 building area
    • Major Occupancies Classified as
      • Assembly
      • Care or Detention
      • Residential
      • Business and Personal Services
      • Mercantile
      • High, medium, or low hazard industrial
  2. Farm buildings exceeding 600 m2 building area
 30 Days
  1. Post-disaster buildings
  2. High buildings to which OBC 3.2.6. applies
  3. Buildings with interconnected floor areas to which OBC 3.2.8.3. to 3.2.8.11. applies 
  • 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.
 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 fees and charges 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. 

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. 

Required Inspections

During various stages of the project, an inspection may be required (as set out in the Building Code) to inspect the work. Applicants are responsible for scheduling necessary inspections.

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

  • Storm and sanitary sewer connection, if applicable
  • Footings (prior to pouring concrete)
  • Foundation (prior to backfilling)
  • Underground plumbing
  • Framing after electrical and plumbing have been installed
  • Rough-in plumbing
  • Insulation and vapor 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).

 Plumbing Inspections

As of January 1, 2020, the South Huron Building Department is responsible for processing plumbing applications. Please contact Building Services to obtain an application.

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)
Email: scronin@huroncounty.ca 

Other permits and approvals that may be required 

Applicants are responsible for obtaining all necessary permits, inspections and approvals.

Electrical Safety Association Certificate of Acceptance

Keep yourself and your family safe by making sure electrical work meets the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.

No matter how small the job, when you hire someone to do electrical work in your home, by law in Ontario they must be a Licensed Electrical Contractor. A Licensed Electrical Contractor will ensure the work is done properly, safely and legally with the necessary notifications to ESA. General handymen and other service providers cannot do electrical work unless they hold an ECRA/ESA licence number.

Once your electrical work has been reviewed and passed, ESA will issue a Certificate of Acceptance (or Certificate of Inspection for notifications created before July 6, 2020) to the person who filed the notification. It’s an important document for insurance purposes, resale and peace of mind.

If your contractor filed the notification, ask for a copy of the certificate for your records. 

Electrical Safety Authority

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

W: www.esa-safe.com

Land Use Permit

Land use planning means managing the use of land and resources. It helps decide where homes and factories should be built in our communities, where parks and recreation centres should be located, and where roads, sewers and other essential services should be provided.

 Ministry of Transportation

A building and land use permit must be obtained from the Ministry to carry out any work within the controlled area and when an addition or alteration that changes the footprint size to existing buildings, structures, fences is proposed. The owner shall submit an application for a building and land use permit to the Ministry for approval. The application must indicate the extent of the proposed changes.  Work must not start until after the Ministry has issued a permit.

Ministry of Transportation

T: 1-800-265-6072 

 County of Huron

Huron County Planning Services develops and implements land-use policies, regulations and approvals.  Before planning any project, check the list of services and applications on this page. If you have any questions, Planning Services staff would be happy to assist. 

County of Huron

Telephone: 519-524-8394, ext 3
Toll-Free: 1-888-524-8394, ext 3
Fax: 519-524-5677
Email: planning@huroncounty.ca

 

Regulation of Development

 Conservation Authorities are watershed-based resource management agencies, whose mandate includes a variety of roles and responsibilities in the land use planning and development process. Conservation Authorities responsibilities include ensuring development is not at risk from natural hazards such as flooding or erosion and they aim to protect and restore the ecological health and integrity of natural systems.

 Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority

Before undertaking any filling, construction or altering of watercourses, contact Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority staff to determine if you are in a 'regulated area'.

If applicable, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority staff will guide applicants through a permit process that involves gathering on-site information, survey work, and providing specific conditions to reduce risk to life and property, reduce potential social disruption and protect the environment from naturally occurring flooding and erosion.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority

71108 Morrison Line, RR3

Exeter, Ontario  N0M 1S5

T: 519-235-2610

W: www.abca.ca

 Upper Thames River Conservation Authority

Property owners must obtain permission from the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority before beginning any of the following activities in a regulated area:

• constructing, reconstructing, erecting or placing a building or structure of any kind,
• any change to a building or structure that would have the effect of altering the use or potential use of the building or structure, increasing the size of the building or structure, or increasing the number of dwelling units in the building or structure,
• site grading,
• temporarily or permanently placing, dumping or removing any material originating on the site or elsewhere,
• straightening, changing, diverting or interfering in any way with the existing channel of a river, creek, stream or watercourse (all watercourses in the watershed),
• changing or interfering with a wetland in any way.

Upper Thames River Conservation Authority

1424 Clarke Road

London, Ontario  N5V 5B9

T: 519-451-2800

F: 519-451-1188

W: www.thamesriver.on.ca 

 

Potable Water Testing

Huron Perth Public Health provides free bacterial water testing services to all Perth and Huron County residents on a private well. It is recommended that you test your well water a minimum of three times a year, preferably spring, summer and fall.

Huron Perth Public Health

77722B London Road, RR5

Clinton, Ontario  N0M 1L0

T: 519-482-3416

F: 519-482-7820

W: www.hpph.ca

Minor Variance and Rezoning

Planning applications for minor variance, zoning by-law amendments, temporary use zoning, deemings and holding zones are processed and approved by the Municipality of South Huron. For more information on these processes visit South Huron's Planning and Development page.

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

Severance

A land severance is the authorized separation of a piece of land to form two new adjoining properties. This is commonly known as a land severance but more formally it’s called a consent.

County of Huron - Planning Department

57 Napier Street, 2nd Floor

Goderich, Ontario N7A 1W2

T: 1-888-524-8394

F: 519-524-5677

 

Applications and Forms

Please note that not all of our building resources are currently available online as we work toward making our website accessible. Copies of necessary resources can be obtained by contacting the Building Department.

Applications pertaining to water and sewer services can be accessed by contacting the Water and Wastewater Department

 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.

Contact(s)

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