If you need a building permit, you will likely need at least one "trades" related permit (gas, electrical, plumbing, tree removal, or other).
The City is here to help
For information specific to the proposed project on your property, call the Development and Building Services Centre at 604-873-7611. Our staff will help you determine which permits you need, and help you navigate through the process, so you can speak to your contractor with confidence.
The documents (forms, plans, and so on) that you need to submit with your application will vary depending on the type and scope of your proposed project. The Applications forms and checklists page has a list of project types. The appropriate checklist will tell you which documents, and how many copies of each document, you will need for your application.
As well, you will need pre-approvals from Engineering Services for applications related to one- and two-family dwellings.
You do not have to feel boxed in by the Building Bylaw.
If your architect has proposed an alternative solution that differs from what the bylaw specifies, but still meets minimum requirements, you can apply to have it approved.
Process and timeline
One-family and two-family dwellings (if allowed outright) and laneway houses
Before you get too far in your project planning, call us at 604-873-7611 with general questions or to book an appointment for an enquiry. You can also walk in to our Development and Building Services Centre for general questions and advice but if you have an appointment, you will be served first.
For laneway houses, a meeting with a development planner is not mandatory but is encouraged.
- Bring your completed pre-approvals form to Engineering Client Services (see contact on this page)
- Engineering Client Services staff process your application and notify you when it's ready. It usually takes 3 to 4 weeks.
- After Engineering Client Services staff return your application, apply for your permit in person at the Development and Building Services Centre (see contact on this page). You can drop in:
Bring your application and all supporting documents (including the engineering pre-approvals).
- Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 8:30am to 4:30pm
- Tuesdays and Thursday, 8:30am to 4:00pm
- We meet with you to review your application to make sure it's complete. We may ask for additional information or documents.
- We process revisions to issued permits on Fridays, 8:30am to 4:30pm. For a complex revision, we may not be able to process it right away so you may need to schedule an appointment to pick up your revised permit.
All other projects which qualify for a DB (combined) permit
- Call 604-873-7611 and book a pre-application appointment to discuss your proposed project. During this appointment you will find out if there are issues or changes required to your application before you submit.
- Once you are ready to submit your application, call 604-873-7611 to book your application appointment.
- Bring your application and all supporting documents to the appointment.
- During your appointment, we will review your application to make sure it is complete. We may ask for additional information or documents.
- The development-related aspects of the permit will be reviewed by staff. Depending on the scope of the project, a decision on that portion of the permit may be immediate. Otherwise, it could take up to 3 weeks.
- The building-related aspects of the permit will be reviewed by staff. Depending on the type of project, and the volume of current applications, a decision on that portion of the permit will generally take:
- 1 to 2 weeks for field reviews, tenant improvement, and other very simple projects
- 2 weeks for applications submitted by a Certified Professional
- 6 to 8 weeks for most other applications
The price for a combined development-building permit is the same as for the separate development and building permits that would apply to your project. The fees schedule has more information.
You pay for the permit when you apply for it. You can pay by cash, cheque, debit, or credit card.
View the fees schedule (693 KB)
Location and mailing address
Development and Building Services Centre
515 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4A8
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm
8:30am to 4:00pm
Free 2-hour parking
West 10th Ave parking lot,
between Cambie and Yukon
5th floor, Crossroads
507 West Broadway
(at Cambie St)
Vancouver BC, V5Z 0B4
Monday to Friday
8:30am to 5:00pm