You are new in Toronto, or perhaps you are planning your first kitchen renovation in this city. The problem is you do not know the regulations and requirements for a kitchen reno in Toronto. One thing is for sure; you cannot start the renovation project without permits.
We understand that permits and other requirements can add to the confusion and stress of a construction upgrade. After all, renovations are a massive project that requires a large investment, thorough planning, negotiations, and canvassing.
To save you from wasting your effort and resources, adhere to the law and the local requirements. Obtaining the correct permits is a way to ensure that your renovation will be a smooth process. Here is why you need to acquire all the needed permits before starting your renovation.
Why Do I Need to Get all the Required Permits
In almost all places, permits are always a requirement. You need to obtain them, not because your local government needs additional funds, but because it proves that your establishment is in the proper condition to handle the construction upgrades. It ensures that there is less risk for possible dangers in the future.
But, there are a few who sneakily conduct their kitchen reno as if they are sure that nothing dangerous will happen. You might wonder and ask, “Why can’t I get into it like them? Nobody will know as long as my contractors and I keep this project a secret.”
You could get away with it, but what if you get caught?
How Can the Local Government Detect Your Secret Renovation Project?
Your local government can easily find out if you have done a secret renovation project in your home. The following are two of the possible ways:
1. When you apply for a Certificate of Occupancy
A Certificate of Occupancy is one of the requirements once you decide to sell your home. To get this cert, a local government representative will assess your house to determine if it is suitable for occupancy. This process can give away the renovation you did in the past.
You can get questioned about this, and the authorities will eventually find out that you renovated your kitchen without a permit.
Besides that, there is another way your local government can find out about it.
2. When a property assessor conducts an assessment in your home
Surprise reassessments can happen at any time. The assessor’s job is to inspect the present condition of your home and any applied upgrades.
Consequences of Not Obtaining the Right Permits
Once caught, there will be consequences, which are:
Ending Up Spending More
The most common reasons some want to get away from getting the required permits are that it is cumbersome, and the fees are expensive. You have to go from one place to another and wait for weeks or even months to secure them.
You can count yourself lucky if you can get away with it your entire life, but what if you don’t? If Toronto’s local government becomes aware of your secret kitchen reno project, they will write you a hefty fine. As a result, it will be more cumbersome and expensive for you than it originally was.
One underrated benefit of securing a permit is you will have your property inspected first. The inspector will determine the current condition and issues in your home, providing you with the opportunity to fix them.
Because you didn’t apply for a permit and didn’t get your home inspected, you will be unaware of the issues that might get into your home in the future. As a result, you will have to hire new builders to fix these lurking issues that will possibly surface in the future.
Losing an Opportunity to Get a Certificate of Occupancy
When someone from the local government assesses your house for a Certificate of Occupancy, not only will it give away the secret renovation you did to your home. You might also lose a potential buyer.
Lose Your Home Insurance Benefits
If your kitchen reno goes wrong, it gives your home insurance provider a lawful reason to void the benefits you can claim. Again, you will have to shoulder all the expenses needed to fix what went wrong.
As you can see, by trying to get away from the troubles of securing the correct permits, you risk yourself possibly encountering a series of problems in the future.
Thus, secure your permits first before starting the renovation project. Make sure to find out if the kind of renovation you want requires them and what kind of permits to obtain.
What Are the Permits Needed for a Kitchen Reno in Toronto
It depends on the work needed to accomplish the renovation. It commonly comprises three: electrical, plumbing, and building permits. You need to secure them independently, and the processes and requirements of getting them can vary.
The city’s regulation on securing a building permit only pertains to structure additions and building from scratch. It does not indicate specific restrictions on kitchen renovations.
The good news is not all kinds of kitchen renovations in Toronto require permits. You mostly only need them if you have to conduct changes to your kitchen’s structure.
Suppose your plans for a kitchen reno only include replacing your furniture, appliances, and cabinets. In that case, you do not need a permit for this.
But you need to get one or all the required permits for any structural changes, such as adding new doors and windows.
Here are some renovations that need permits:
- Removal of a part of your house
- Installation of a fireplace, chimney, electrical wiring, plumbing, or heating systems.
- Modification of a chimney
- Changing the roof
- Knocking down a wall
- Expanding a storage room
Changing your kitchen window or door does not require a permit. But you need to obtain it if it includes changing your window lintel.
As you can see, there might be some confusion as to the renovation requirements. Some kinds of renovations and upgrades do not need permits, but some do. For this reason, it is best to consult a professional, such as a property inspector or a contractor, about it.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Permit in Toronto?
It generally takes up to a month to get a building permit in Toronto. It can be as short as 15 days if there are only a few works required. But if the project needs significant work and changes, you will need to wait at least a month.
However, you do not have to do the processing yourself. Your contractor can do it for you. Some contractors include it in the costs of their services.
Even though your contractors do the legwork when processing your permit, it is your responsibility to ensure that they obtain them and get the right ones. If you overlook the possibility that your contractor didn’t get the right permit, it can cause you a huge problem in the future.
Besides that, make sure that you have all the requirements before renovating. If the project starts right away, there is a possibility the local authorities will notice it. It will stall the whole process. Worse, if the inspector deems your property unfit for renovation, all the effort and resources you spent will go down the drain.
How to Make Sure Your Kitchen Reno in Toronto Will be a Smooth Process
Hire a contractor who is an expert in architecture and construction and knowledgeable with Toronto’s local building regulations.
If you need help with your renovation plans, including the permits required to secure your kitchen reno in Toronto, you can consult us.
Besides being knowledgeable with permits and local building regulations, it is important that you hire a skilled contractor in your area. After all, your main goal for a kitchen reno in Toronto is to improve its functionality and aesthetics. Make sure to hire the right people who will help you make it happen.
BCR wants to turn your dream home into reality to accommodate your growing or shrinking family needs without having to leave your current house.
The kitchen is one of the most important parts of your home that provides a huge impact to your family’s relationship. It is where you prepare the food you share to bond with your loved ones.
For this reason, kitchen renovation is one of the services we provide. We understand how vital it is to have a kitchen that offers both functionality and a welcoming atmosphere.
But before we can transform your kitchen into a luxurious-looking one, we need to adhere to the local government’s regulations first. Not only do you comply with the law, but it will also make you feel at ease. You will sleep peacefully at night without worrying about hefty fines in the future.
Moreover, you have a clear conscience when a property inspector assesses your home. If you want to let go and sell your home one day, you won’t have to worry about anything because your kitchen reno in Toronto underwent a legal process.