When you need a permit

No permit is needed for

A permit is not needed for cosmetic changes to your home, such as painting. 

  • Replacing fixtures, cabinets or flooring
  • Painting
  • Unclogging drains
  • Replacing defective fuses, receptacles, or switches
  • Installing roofing, gutters, or drain-pipes

Here is a list of common renovation, maintenance, or construction situations you may face, and the permit(s) you may need for them.

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.

You need a building permit and at least one trade permit for

  • Moving interior walls and partitions
  • Moving existing plumbing, electrical or gas lines
  • Installing new plumbing, electrical or gas lines
  • Making structural repairs, doing renovations, or building additions that are permitted outright (specifically allowed) by your district zoning schedule
  • Building an accessory building (garage, carport, garden shed etc.) that is permitted outright (specifically allowed) by your district zoning schedule

You may need a development permit if the building or use is a designated heritage building or site, or is located in the Chinatown, Yaletown or Gastown Historic Areas.

You need a development permit, a building permit, and at least one trade permit for

  • Building a new home
  • Installing a residential suite
  • Making structural repairs, doing renovations, or building additions that are permitted conditionally (may be allowed) by your district zoning schedule
  • Building an accessory building (garage, carport, garden shed etc.) that is permitted conditionally (may be allowed)  by your district zoning schedule

Simpler projects may qualify for a combined development-building permit.

You need a trades permit for

  • Any work on a fire sprinkler system
  • Any work on a gas system
  • Most work on an electrical system
  • Most work on a plumbing system

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

How to apply for a permit

Find out how to apply for and manage your permit.

Permits

Do you need an inspection?

Inspections

City inspectors can help you make sure that construction or renovation work is done safely, and complies with relevant bylaws.

Learn about inspections

Get details about the permit you need

Contractor on a site

Building permit

Building permits in Vancouver are usually required for building or renovating. Read the requirements, learn about the bylaw, and download the application.

Home under construction

Development-building permit (combined permit)

Simpler projects that need both development and building permits may qualify for a combined permit. View the requirements and download the application.