Development-building permit (combined permit)

Home under construction

Most building or renovating projects need a building permit, a development permit, or both. City Staff will determine which permits are required and whether your project qualifies for the combined permit.

Many simple construction or renovation projects fall under this combined permit process, as well as the following types of projects:

No permit is needed to

A building permit is not needed to paint the inside of your home.

  • Replace fixtures, cabinets and flooring
  • Paint the interior of your home
  • Carry out non-structural maintenance or minor repairs to the exterior of your home

Related permits

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.

Supporting documentation

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.

How to get alternative solutions approved

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.

Alternative solutions

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.

  1. Bring your completed pre-approvals form to Engineering Client Services (see contact on this page)
  2. Engineering Client Services staff process your application and notify you when it's ready. It usually takes 3 to 4 weeks.
  3. 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:
    • Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 8:30am to 4:30pm
    • Tuesdays and Thursday, 8:30am to 4:00pm
    Bring your application and all supporting documents (including the engineering pre-approvals).
  4. We meet with you to review your application to make sure it's complete. We may ask for additional information or documents. 
  5. 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

  1. 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.
  2. Once you are ready to submit your application, call 604-873-7611 to book your application appointment. 
  3. Bring your application and all supporting documents to the appointment.
  4. During your appointment, we will review your application to make sure it is complete. We may ask for additional information or documents.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

Fees

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)

Construction damage deposit

A construction damage deposit may also be required.

Learn about construction damage deposits

Contact the Development and Building Services Centre about building and zoning

Phone
604-873-7611

Location and mailing address
Development and Building Services Centre
Ground floor
515 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4A8

Hours
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm

Tuesday, Thursday
8:30am to 4:00pm

Free 2-hour parking
West 10th Ave parking lot,
between Cambie and Yukon

Contact Client Services

Location
5th floor, Crossroads
507 West Broadway
(at Cambie St)
Vancouver BC, V5Z 0B4

Hours
Monday to Friday
(except holidays)
8:30am to 5:00pm

Phone: 604-871-6730

engineering.clientservices@vancouver.ca

Get news about development and building

* Indicates required fields

One- and two-household construction - outright