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Apply for permit fee assistance for your cultural space construction and renovation permits

When you need a permit

Projects that don't require a permit

Many small projects and repairs do not require a permit.  These include:

  • Replacing fixtures, cabinets, or flooring
  • Carry out non-structural maintenance or minor repairs to the exterior of your home
  • Painting
  • Unclogging drains
  • Replacing an existing electric powered hot water tank
  • Replacing defective fuses, receptacles, or switches
  • Installing roofing, gutters or drain-pipes

Generally, you will be required to have a permit to begin construction, such as:

  • Any new construction (new buildings and/or renovations to existing buildings that create a new area)
  • Changing the land use of an existing commercial space
  • Adding a secondary suite to an existing house
  • Renovation projects that include moving interior walls and/or existing plumbing, electrical, or gas lines
  • Structural repairs
  • Drywall repairs to fire separations in multi-unit residential buildings
  • Building a garage or garden shed
  • Renovating or tenant improvements for a new or existing commercial space

Not sure if you need a permit? When in doubt, please contact the Development and Building Services Centre to determine if you are required to have a permit for your particular project.

 You may get a partial application fee refund when you withdraw your permit application (if the fee is refundable in its applicable by-law). Please note that an $85 administration fee will be required to process your refund request.

Risks of working without a permit when it is required

If you or your contractor do not have a permit for work that has already started, and it turns out you need a permit for that work, you could face serious – and potentially costly – consequences, including:

  • A “work without permit” penalty (This is typically double the original permit fee.)
  • A delay while your permit application is processed (All work must stop during this time and the original timeline and fees to process an application still apply.)
  • A potential to remove work that was already commenced prior to obtaining a permit
  • A potential to do more work than you had originally planned and budgeted for, such as adding fire sprinklers or making seismic upgrades
  • Potential for future legal and/or financial issues when selling your property or filing an insurance claim

 As the homeowner, you are responsible for paying these fees or penalties yourself even if you have hired a contractor who assured you that permits were not needed.

Contact the Development and Building Services Centre

Phone: 604-873-7611

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

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

Tuesday, Thursday
8:30am-4pm

See when your queue number is called

Transit nearby

  • Broadway-City Hall SkyTrain Station
  • 99 B-line, #15, and #9 buses

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