Determining If A Roof Replacement In Toronto Needs A Building Permit

Many homeowners may not be aware of building codes and building permit requirements when considering any renovations or construction projects within or outside the physical dimensions of their home or property. In some instances, homeowners may assume that the hired contractor, such as a roofing company or pool installation firm, will already have or look after any compulsory permits and are then surprised to learn that certain types of projects cannot begin until they present a permit to that contractor.

Depending on the project, building permits may be required for specific compliance with:

  • Zoning regulations
  • Structural standards
  • Electrical codes
  • Fire regulations
  • Health regulations
  • Energy conservation initiatives
  • Heritage building designations

As seen in many types of provincial and municipal codes and by-laws, there are several exceptions with respect to building permit requirements, adding more misunderstanding to an already confusing situation. For example, there can be uncertainty over the need to obtain a permit for a roof replacement, a perimeter fence, or a new backyard shed.

In a general context, the following lists are intended to summarize the types of projects for which Toronto homeowners require and do not require building permits respectively:

Permits Required

  • Additions to existing buildings
  • Erecting accessory structures – garages and sheds larger than 10 m2
  • Structural alterations pertaining to roofing (slope, size, different materials)
  • Adding or altering the sizes of entrances/doors or windows
  • Decks and porches, or enclosing existing decks, porches, or patios
  • Previously unfinished spaces e.g.: basements and attics
  • Installation of new plumbing fixtures required new drains and venting
  • Electrical work corresponding to structural alterations or additions
  • Excavation and installation by a swimming pool company
  • Demolitions

Permits Not Required

  • Roof replacement using the same type of roofing materials
  • Replacement of siding using similar materials
  • Exterior or interior painting
  • Replacing doors or windows without altering the size of the opening
  • Fence construction (except swimming pool enclosures)
  • Installing flooring, cabinetry, or shelving
  • Patios and landscaping

In cases of even the slightest uncertainty, you will likely want to contact the appropriate local/municipal administrator to inquire about the need for a building permit and ensure that your project does not encounter unexpected delays or incur any fines or penalties. With respect to roof replacement or renovation work, you can discuss the need for a building permit directly with your Toronto roofing company.

Discussing The Need For A Building Permit With Your Toronto Roofing Company

If you hire a Toronto roofing company to do a straightforward roof replacement using the same type of roofing materials (e.g.: shingles for shingles), you will most likely not require a building permit. This can be confirmed with a quick call to the contractor and the work can get underway as soon as the roofing company has time available.

On the other hand, if you are making structural alterations to the roof space, such as:

  • Adding another story to the home
  • Raising part of the roof to accommodate a sunroom, larger bathroom, etc.
  • Converting an attic or dormer into a loft or additional storage space
  • Installing a skylight or skylights
  • Adding a walk-out area above a garage
  • Changing the pitch or slope of the roof
  • Changing the roofing materials (e.g.: from shingles to tile or metal)

You will undoubtedly need to obtain a building permit and should discuss this beforehand with the roofing company in terms of:

  • The effective time frame/period for the permit
  • Who will apply for the permit (if the roofing company, you may need to provide them with a letter of authorization to apply on your behalf)
  • Inclusion of this information within the contract/work order

Avenue Road Roofing has extensive experience with respect to roof replacement and renovation/remodelling work and our competent professionals can advise you on the likelihood of requiring a building permit and the process of obtaining such a document.

For all your roof replacement and roof renovation needs, call Avenue Road Roofing today at 416-785-5129 or contact us for a free estimate. Avenue Road Roofing has been one of the leading roofing companies in Toronto for more than 40 years and can capably handle your roofing needs regardless of the degree of complexity.