If you’ve ever decided it’s time to build a deck, add a bathroom or enclose your patio, you’ve run up against the bane of most homeowners and contractors in the building trades: permits. Permits are issued by government agencies that oversee enforcement of various regulations. They’re a way of maintaining oversight regarding who’s building what and where, and to promote safety and quality while preventing death traps. A recent article over at houzz.com dives into the permitting fray:
…getting that sparkling new kitchen or expansive master closet isn’t as easy as making a wish and snapping your fingers. From the beginning, your project is set up for numerous pitfalls and missteps, and nowhere is this more true than in the permitting process. Skip a permit in hopes of a smoother project and you could be faced with very real consequences.
… If the home’s reported square footage does not match up with what’s recorded, it’s a red flag that can negate a home sale… Fines, lawsuits and other legal troubles are all possible outcomes of completing work without the required permit.
As the article implies there’s no sense debating permits. They are what they are. Unless you want to find yourself at the mercy of the aforementioned regulatory bodies you need to be studious when it comes to making sure the deck builders have secured the proper permit. The consequences could be costly and just aren’t worth it.
Some folks might say “Okay. But I’m only building a deck. No plumbing or electrical work is involved. Surely I don’t need a permit for that.” If you proceed with your deck under such an assumption you’ll be in for a rude awakening. Don’t believe it?
- According to ca you’ll need a permit any time you add a “porch” to an existing building.
- The Canadian Home Builders Association website says you need a building permit for any renovations including “new additions.”
- The real estate website ca states you’ll always need a permit to build a deck if it’s attached to the house.
But when it comes to whether your deck builders need a permit, there’s really only one source you need to consider: the government that issues the permits. In this case that would be the city of Toronto. A quick visit over to their website will put any confusion to rest via item 2 on their “When is a building permit required” list (the bold letters are ours):
2. Construct an addition to an existing building, such as
- second or third story additions
- attached garages, carports
- solariums, porches, decks.”
So there you have it. The bottom line is that the permit process exists for a number of good reasons and while we can quibble over the details, it doesn’t pay to try and circumvent the system.
Don’t Gamble With Inexperienced Deck Builders: Call Us Instead!
Any contractor who suggests building your deck without permits you should be shown the door. They’ll wind up getting you into more trouble than any rock bottom price they’re offering could ever be worth. They may fear the permit application process because they’re unlicensed and don’t want to be exposed. If they’re unlicensed, they’re uninsured and if they’re uninsured you’ll be footing the bill for anyone that gets hurt on the job.
Toronto Decks and Fence is the leader in deck design and construction in the GTA. We’ve been extending the possibilities of our clients’ homes for over a decade and in that time have built an ironclad reputation for quality and dependability. We never put our clients at risk by playing games with the permitting process. We’re fully licensed and insured deck builders who take the business of home improvement seriously. Our designers are the best with many years of combined experience and our craftsmen take a back seat to no one.
If you’re contemplating adding a backyard deck to your home, give us a call on 416-238-2589 and speak to one of our home improvement specialists. They’ll provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about how to proceed. Your home is the largest single investment you’ll ever make. Don’t take chances with it by hiring a fly-by-night deck builders. Hire the best. Hire Toronto Decks and Fence.