Building permits are issued when the plans for construction comply with the Ontario Building Code, the Southwest Middlesex zoning by-law and other applicable laws and regulations. Building permits allow municipalities across Ontario to ensure that proper building standards are met. The enforcement of the building code serves to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public.
What is a building permit?
A building permit is a document that gives written permission for the construction of any new structure, addition or renovation.
You can only get a building permit if the plans for construction comply with:
- The Ontario Building Code
- Southwest Middlesex Zoning By-law
- Other applicable laws and regulations
Additional Permits May be Required
You may be directed to apply for additional permits to connect to municipal services or to access your land from the municipal road system. The following permits are available through the links below or in hard copy from our municipal office.
|Service Connections||Road Work|
|Curb Stop Installation Permit||911# Permit Application|
|Glencoe Sewer Connection Permit||Road Work Permit|
|Water Meter Permit||Work and Access Permit|
|Wardsville Sewer Service Application|
Projects that Require a Building Permit
- New buildings greater than 10 sq. m. (108 sq. ft.)
- Decks greater than 600mm (24 inches) above ground
- Interior structural alterations
- Adding or removing walls (ie. creating different room sizes and/or uses)
- Basement or main floor walkout alterations
- Replacement of brick veneer or installation of new brick veneer
- Attached or detached garages, sheds
- Replacement of masonary chimney (below roofline)
- Dormers or finishing of attic space
- Finishing a basement or a portion thereof
- Furnace and ductwork replacement or relocation
- Installation of plumbing cleanouts
- Conversion from septic to sanitary sewer
- Plumbing and/or drains (except replacing fixtures)
- Insulating exterior walls when exterior or interior cladding is removed
- New or structural alterations to windows or doors
- Installation or repair of septic systems
- Installation of backflow preventers for lawn irrigation systems
- Structural work related to fire damage
- Solar panels that are mounted on a building and have a face area equal to or greater than 5 sq. m.
- Installation of new or replacement of weeping tile
- Air supported structures
- Tents greater than 60 sq. m., if greater than 225 sq. m. must provide structural drawings of tent with engineered stamp
- Portable buildings (exception of construction trailers)
- Farm buildings in accordance with CCBFC National Farm Building Code of Canada as referenced by section 18.104.22.168 of the Ontario Building Code
- Communication towers exceeding 16.6m (54'6") above ground level and imposing a load on a building
- Dish antenna that is mounted on a building and has a face area equal to or greater than 5 sq. m.
- Signs regulated by Section 3.15 of the Ontario Building Code
Projects that DO NOT Require a Building Permit
- Fences (other than for swimming pools in which case a pool fence permit is required)
- Decks not forming part of a principle entrance to a dwelling unit and less than 600mm (24 inches) above grade at all points
- Asphalt roof shingling
- Eaves troughs
- Minor repairs to masonary
- Damp proofing basements
- Air conditioning units or heat pumps added to existing forced-air systems
- Replacement of kitchen or bathroom cupboards without plumbing alterations
- Replace existing forced-air furnace (no duct work alterations)
- Replacing siding or windows (provided there are no structural changes)
- Pool heaters
- Painting and decorating
Please note that although a building permit may not be required, you must still comply with the Southwest Middlesex Zoning By-law and Ontario Building Code requirements.
Building Permit Fees
Current building permit fees are found in our Fee & Service By-law. Fees are determined by the square footage of the project and are paid at the time the building permit is issued.
How to get a building permit
You can apply online for your permit!
Southwest Middlesex is pleased to offer residents, builders and the business community Cloudpermit - an online system to apply for and track your building permits. The Cloudpermit building permit system allows you to apply for and to see the status of your application anywhere, anytime. You can start an application and finish it later plus receive email updates on the status of your permit application. You can even request building inspections!
To get started, check the helpful information below:
- How to Submit a Building Permit Application
- Getting Started with Cloudpermit manual
- Cloudpermit Support
- Cloudpermit - login and create an account
- To avoid delays, be sure to have a complete application with all required documents when submitting your building permit application. Incomplete applications or plans will sit in a pending status.
- Do not start construction until you have your permit. If you start work without a permit it can lead to delays, increased permit fees or legal action.
Applications are processed as quickly as possible. The complexity of the application, the completeness of the information submitted, including drawings, and referrals to other departments, if required, will affect the time it takes to review the application. If a zoning amendment or a minor variance is necessary, or if the building plans must be altered to comply with building codes, any required changes must be approved and finalized before the building permit can be issued.
- Upon all reviews being completed additional permits may be required (ex. water meter connection, sewer connection, right-of-way work permit)
- a building permit is issued to the applicant for payment upon approval of the proposed construction
- construction must proceed as approved by the building inspector
- inspections will be required throughout the project at each major phase of construction - these will be carried out by the SWM Building Inspector
The inspector's duty is to ensure that the project is being carried out according to the Ontario Building Code, the building permit and the approved building plans. The individual responsible for the project must request each inspection with 48 hours advance notice to the building inspection department. If the building inspector finds that some work does not conform to the approved plans or code, the owner will be advised - possibly with an order - that the situation is to be remedied. If the violation is deemed serious enough, the building inspector may post a stop-work order which will be in effect until the problem is resolved. If work on the project continues without resolution of the problem, legal action may be taken against the builder/owner.
The builder must also bring any proposed deviations from the original plan to the attention of the building inspectors so that they may be approved or rejected in the same manner as the original building plans,
Swimming Pools & Fences
Every swimming pool with a depth greater than 600 mm requires a permit
All swimming pools must be fenced for safety - see the swimming pool fence by-law for full details including gate/door requirements.
A building permit is required for a tent that is greater than 60 square meters (645 square feet)
- tents greater than 225 square meters (2,421 square feet) must have the tent framing and anchorage system designed and the installation inspected by a professional engineer
- all tent fabric must comply with CAN/ULC-S109 or NFPA 701 flammability standards.
Inspection information will be provided with all permits
Please ensure that inspection requests are made at least 48 hours in advance.
To book your inspection, use the inspection option in the online Cloudpermit system OR contact the Building Department by email or phone.
Inspections are Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Call Before you Dig
Before you start to work on your property contact Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 to be sure it is safe to begin. This is a free service to locate underground pipes and lines that makes it safe for you to dig if building or just planting a tree, deck or fence. Property owners are liable for any damage or injury caused by interfering with any buried infrastructure.