Application for a Residential Building Permit

You have decided you want to put a suite in your home and you know exactly what you want it to look like. Have you considered the 40% rule in your design? Or maybe it is time to replace that rickety old deck at the back of your house. Have you factored the pouring of footings into your project costs? Answers to these and other questions should be taken into account before you make your application. A little homework beforehand can help take the surprise out of your project costs.

When do I need a building permit?

Building permits are required for the construction of:

  • any detached building over 107.64 ft² / 10 m²
  • any structural alterations, additions, demolitions or layout changes
  • any construction that will result in a change of layout or use of a portion of the house
  • any addition, alteration, relocation, or removal of water supply and drain waste vent piping
  • any addition or relocation of sprinkler heads

How long will I have to wait for my permit?

What does a building permit cost?

The main portion of the permit fee is based on the value of the construction.

How long does it take before I can get my permit?

Under normal conditions, our commitment is to process residential permit applications in three weeks. This is assuming the permit application is complete (i.e. everything is in order, all needed paperwork is included, nothing is missing). Incomplete permit applications are often the reason for increased wait times.

How long is a building permit active?

The application remains active for 12 months from application date. Once a permit is issued, a permit remains active for two years, subject to the first inspection being made within six months from permit issue date and the construction not being suspended for more than 12 months.

All permits expire two years after the permit issue date.

It is possible to renew a permit for an additional two years (note a permit can be renewed only once). Again, construction must not be suspended for more than 12 months (i.e. the process does not begin again).

Residential Permits

Outside of Nanaimo city limits?

Building permits for residents living outside the boundaries of Nanaimo city proper are issued by the Regional District of Nanaimo.

Regional District of Nanaimo 6300 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo, British Columbia V9T 6N2

Gas permits and electrical permits

Gas and electrical permits are issued by Technical Safety BC.

Technical Safety BC 40 1100 Princess Royal Avenue, Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 5R5

Septic tanks

Private septic systems are administered by Island Health through Sewerage System Regulations, which state that an authorized person must carry out maintenance, installation and site assessments.

Registered practitioners

ASTTBC Onsite Wastewater Registration Program

Oil burner inquiries

The City no longer issues permits or inspects residential oil burning appliances.  Please contact a private company for help with this type of work. Inquiries for historical fuel tank permits can be directed to City of Nanaimo Fire Rescue.

General Fire Information 666 Fitzwilliam Street, Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 3B5

Last updated: June 21, 2023

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