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, for most large projects you will be required to have a permit to begin construction, such as:

  • Building a new house or laneway house
  • Creating a secondary suite
  • Renovating a house where you:
    • Move interior walls and partitions, moving existing plumbing, electrical, or gas lines
    • Install new plumbing, electrical, or gas lines
    • Make structural repairs or changes that are specifically allowed by your zoning
    • Build a garage, carport, garden shed etc. that are specifically allowed by your zoning
    • Build a fence or retaining wall

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.

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

 The Services Centre and Phone Centre will close for the Christmas holidays at 3pm on Monday, December 24 and will reopen at 8:30am on Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Phone: 604-873-7611

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

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

Tuesday, Thursday
8:30am to 4pm

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