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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

  1. Do I need a permit to build a shed?
  2. When do I need a permit to build a deck?
  3. Do I need a permit for putting in a well or extending my existing well?
  4. Do I need a permit for decommissioning an existing septic system?
  5. Why do I need a permit to install a swimming pool?
  6. Do I need a permit to install a bathroom in my basement?
  7. Why are my water pipes always wet in the basement?
  8. What causes the water pipes in my house to make a noise? Will the pipes explode?
  9. Why is there water inside the plastic covering on my basement insulation? Is this a result of a leak in my foundation wall?
  10. Why do I have a sump pump in my basement? How does it work and is it safe?
  11. The builder says I cannot have a door from my house into the garage because the Town won't allow it - why not?
  12. Do I need a permit for the installation of an air conditioner?
  13. Can I replace my furnace without a permit?
  14. I just upgraded my attic insulation - do I need to have it inspected?

Do I need a permit to build a shed?

A building permit is not required for the construction of a shed, provided it is less than 10 m² (108 sq. ft.). However, it must still be located in accordance with all the applicable zoning setbacks as regulated in the Town's Zoning By-law.

When do I need a permit to build a deck?

A building permit is required for any deck which is more than 60 cm (24 inches) above grade, and is directly attached to a house.

Do I need a permit for putting in a well or extending my existing well?

No, the installation or extension/alteration of private wells is regulated by the Ministry of Environment. In particular, they regulate both the well contractors/installers along with having regulations that specify how dug and drilled wells are to be constructed. For more information on this matter, please visit the section about wells at the Ministry of Environment website.

Do I need a permit for decommissioning an existing septic system?

While a permit is not required for the decommissioning of a septic system, you will most likely be either installing a new septic system or connecting your house to municipal sewers. In these instances, you do require a permit for the new system or if you are connecting to the municipal sewers.

Why do I need a permit to install a swimming pool?

The Town's Pool Enclosure By-Law requires the installation of fences around a swimming pool. There are some instances when this requirement is exempted. It is the installation of this fencing for which the permit is for, not the actual installation of the swimming pool. The reason for a fence is to help prevent any accidental drownings in above or in-ground swimming pools (including hot tubs and spas).

 

Do I need a permit to install a bathroom in my basement?

Yes, a permit is required to install any new plumbing for a bathroom in the basement.

Why are my water pipes always wet in the basement?

Water forming on the pipes in your basement is a result of condensation. This happens when there is a difference between the temperature of the air surrounding the pipes and the surface of the pipe. This situation usually occurs during the hot and humid summer months when there is a lot of moisture in the air. The best solution for this problem is to insulate the water pipes.

What causes the water pipes in my house to make a noise? Will the pipes explode?

If a rattling or banging noise is heard from water pipes, it may be a 'water hammer' or 'hammer'. This is caused when you suddenly turn off a water flow (i.e. a dishwasher, a clothes washer, a toilet, or a hand faucet). This sudden shutting off of the flow sends a pressure or shock wave down the water line causing the pipes to rattle or bang. Over time this repeated shock wave can damage pipes and weaken pipe joints. If you hear this noise often, you should consider installing a 'water hammer arrester'. Please consult with either a professional plumber or your nearest home improvement store for more information on this device.

Why is there water inside the plastic covering on my basement insulation? Is this a result of a leak in my foundation wall?

If the water is on the inside of the 'vapour barrier' throughout the basement, it is a result of condensation. This is most common on poured concrete basement walls that are one to two years old, and generally occurs during the hot, humid summer months. The condensation is formed due to the temperature difference between the warmer air encountering the cooler basement wall. This problem is further magnified in newer homes, because the concrete walls are still curing and are 'bleeding' off moisture (from the water used in the mixing of the concrete). While this may be inconvenient, it will not harm the insulation - provided you let the foundation wall dry out before finishing your basement. You can help accelerate the process by putting a dehumidifier in the basement, as well as cutting slits along the bottom of the vapour barrier to let the water run out. However, if the water is located in only one area, then you may have a leak, and need to look further for signs of cracking.

Why do I have a sump pump in my basement? How does it work and is it safe?

Some houses have sump pumps installed in the basement for one of two reasons. First of all, in some areas the storm sewers (which carry rainwater) are at a higher elevation than the weeping tiles which are installed around the bottom of the house foundation wall. In order to get the ground water from the 'weeping tile' out to the storm sewer, the pipe is discharged into the sump pit and then pumped by the sump pump out to the storm sewer. A second common reason for a sump pit in the countryside is because some areas have high water tables or even underground streams. In these instances it is necessary to have a sump pump installed so the basement stays dry. It is very important to make sure your pump is maintained in a good state of repair - you may even consider an emergency generator to keep it running during prolonged power failures. Otherwise, you may end up with a wet basement if the pump cannot operate for a significant period of time.

The builder says I cannot have a door from my house into the garage because the Town won't allow it - why not?

The Town's Zoning By-Law has minimum dimensions for parking spaces, and in some instances a door from a house to the garage would require the installation of stairs and/or landings. In some cases the installation of these stairs and/or landings would reduce the parking space size such that they no longer comply with the minimum Zoning By-Law requirements. Under these circumstances, therefore, the installation of a door is not permitted.

Do I need a permit for the installation of an air conditioner?

No, a permit is not required for the installation of an air conditioner.

Can I replace my furnace without a permit?

No, a mechanical permit is required for the installation and/or replacement of a furnace. This is important to ensure that any new furnace being installed is sized appropriately to provide adequate heat for the size of the house it is serving.

I just upgraded my attic insultation - do I need to have it inspected?

While the Ontario Building Code does prescribe minimum insulation values, upgrading or exceeding these minimum values does not require inspections by the municipality.

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