Building Permits


building permit

Your Guide to Building Permits

The Ontario Building Code is a regulation made under the Building Code Act. The Code is essentially a set of minimum provisions respecting the safety of buildings with reference to public health, fire protection and structural sufficiency. It is not intended to be a textbook on building design, advice on which should be sought from professional sources. Its primary purpose is the promotion of public safety through the application of appropriate uniform building standards. The provisions in this Code are intended to provide a minimum acceptable level of public safety and building integrity. They are not intended to be applied to voluntary installations unless specified in the Code.


means a structure occupying an area greater than ten square metres consisting of a wall, roof and floor or any of them or a structural system serving the function thereof including all plumbing, works, fixtures and service systems appurtenant thereto;
a structure occupying an area of ten square metres or less that contains plumbing, including the plumbing appurtenant thereto,
plumbing not located in a structure,
a sewage system; or 
means to do anything in the erection, installation, extension or material alteration or repair of a building and includes the installation of a building unit fabricated or moved from elsewhere and;
has a corresponding meaning; ("construire", "construction", "travaux de construction")
A building permit is your formal permission to begin construction or demolition. It means that the Town of Hanover has approved plans for any new structure, addition or renovation. Approved plans must comply with the Ontario Building Code, local zoning by-laws, and other applicable laws and regulations. Building permits regulate types of construction allowed in the community and ensure that building standards are met. The building permit process protects each homeowner’s interests, as well as those of the community at large, and provides for the erection of safe structures. Permits help ensure that any structural change is safe, legal and sound.
You need a building permit if you plan to:

  • construct a new building
  • renovate, repair or add to a building (ie. finishing a basement, replacement of brick veneer, dormers or finishing of attic space,
  • additions to existing buildings, insulating of exterior walls when exterior or interior cladding is removed)
  • demolish a portion of a building
  • change a building’s use
  • install, change or remove partitions and load-bearing walls (ie. adding or removing most walls, creating different room sizes and/or uses)
  • install new or make structural alterations to windows or doors
  • build a garage, balcony or deck (ie. attached or detached garages, sheds, carports, porches, sunrooms, solariums)
  • excavate a basement or construct a foundation
  • install or modify heating, plumbing, air conditioning systems or fireplaces (ie. furnace and ductwork replacements, new fireplaces,
  • completion of roughed-in fireplaces, installation of wood-burning systems, installation of cleanouts, installation of any water backflow prevention devices)
  • reconstruct a chimney (ie. replacement of masonry chimney below roofline)
  • installation, repair of storm, sanitary and water service (ie. conversion from septic to sanitary sewer, plumbing and/or drains)
  • installation of an in-ground or permanent pool
  • decks requiring guards and railings
You do not need a building permit to:

  • replace existing, same-size doors and windows, subject to distance from property lines
  • install siding on small residential buildings, subject to distance from property lines
  • build a uncovered deck under two feet (0.61 metres) above grade
  • build a utility shed under 161 square feet (15 square metres)
  • erect a fence (except for swimming pools – outside pools require permits)
  • reshingle a roof, provided there is no structural work
  • install eavestroughs, provided that drainage is contained on your property
  • replace or increase insulation, dry-wall or plaster
  • damp-proof basements
  • replace existing forced-air furnace, provided there are not structural changes
  • air conditioning units or heat pumps added to existing forced-air systems
  • electrical work (the Electrical Safety Authority, however must inspect electrical installations.)
  • paint or decorate
  • install kitchen or bathroom cupboards without plumbing
  • pool heaters
  • landscaping
  • free-standing satellite dishes
  • replace a plumbing fixture only
Before you start to prepare your drawings, you should check that your proposal will comply with the Town's Zoning By-laws. The Zoning By-laws specify minimum setbacks from property lines, maximum coverage and other zoning standards that may limit your proposal. It's best to find out if these limits will affect your project before you start preparing your drawings. Zoning information may be obtained from the Planning Department at 519.364.2780 x 222.
Prepare drawings which accurately and to scale describe the construction you propose. The drawings submitted with the permit application need to be detailed enough so that anyone using them would be able to construct your project. If questions remain regarding how construction will occur, the drawings are not detailed enough. Standard technical details are available at the Municipal Offices to assist in the preparation of your plans.

Beginning July 1, 2005, a number of changes in the Building Code Act, 1992 and Building Code include mandatory qualification requirements for individual building officials, designers and staff of registered code agencies and also mandatory registration requirements for design firms, septic installers and registered code agencies. Under the new legislation, designers may need to be qualified. A municipality may not issue a building permit if the designer is not appropriately qualified and/or registered. The Building Code has been further amended to recognize a parallel system to evaluate Building Code knowledge as prepared by the Ontario Association of Architects'. A standard permit application is being used across Ontario and the new permit application requires the designer’s Building Code Identification Number (BCIN or Ontario Association of Architects' BCDS) and if applicable, the BCIN for the registered firm.

Step 1: Visit the Building Department at the Municipal Office, 341 10th Street, Hanover, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. An application for a Building Permit along with other related information will be given to you at this time.
Phone the Building Department at 519.364.2780 x 1222 and an application for a Building Permit will be mailed to you.
Visit us online at and complete the required application.

Step 2: Submit application…
In addition to the Ministry’s standard Permit Application, additional permit forms requiring information about the construction project such as “who” will perform the work, “what” work will be done, “where” the work will be done, “when” the work will be done, and “how” the work will be done. Scaled drawings, plans or other documentation of the proposed work will have to be submitted for review. If required, the application form may have to be accompanied by the following:

  • two sets of building plans (floor plans, elevations and cross-sections and plumbing and heating, as appropriate);
  • two copies of your property survey or site plan;
  • if your project has a floor system or a truss roof system, Engineered Stamped Specifications will be required prior to construction commencing;
  • if your property is currently not serviced with municipal sanitary sewers, then an On-Site Sanitary Sewage System Application must be completed for septic approval.

Step 3: Submit fee…
A Building Permit Fee is payable in full at the time of application by cash, debit, cheque (payable to “Town of Hanover”) by mail or in person. Please contact the Town of Hanover Building Department at 519.364.2780 x 1222 for the updated fee schedule of the Building By-Law. The minimum permit fee is currently $60.00 for residential construction and $100.00 for Commercial/Industrial/Institutional construction. The building permit will not be issued until full payment has been received. (Additional fees such as site plan control charges may apply to your project.)

Timeframes have been established for the review of a building permit application. Principal authorities have prescribed time limits to review a building permit application, and decide whether to issue or refuse the application and permit. To obtain additional information, contact the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing at 416.585.6666 or visit MMAH online at
Each major phase of construction must be inspected by our Building Official/Inspector to make certain the work conforms to the Ontario Building Code, the building permit and the approved plans. The Building Permit Holder must call for inspections when they are required. The mandatory inspections required for your project will be indicated on the permit. Inspections do not happen automatically. It is a violation to proceed without calling for an inspection when one is required. Failure to call for a required inspection may result in completed works having to be removed in order to approve work that is hidden, which can cost the owner both time and money.

The Owner, Contractor or Authorized Agent must notify the Building Department at least two full regular business days in advance of requesting an inspection.

To arrange for an inspection as required above, please contact the Building Department at 519.364.2780 x 1222.

Please remember to work safely!

A Site Plan is a drawing showing the complete property and identifying all structures in relation to the property boundaries.
The site plan should include the following:

  • Width of Road Allowance
  • Name of Street
  • Frontage of Lot on the Street
  • Depth of Lot
  • If irregular shape, all dimensions
  • Location of Sewer Line or Septic System
  • Location of Waterline or Well
  • Location of any underground services (Hydro, Gas, Cable, Telephone, etc.)
  • Location of Existing Buildings in relation to all Lot lines, including neighboring properties
  • Dimensions and Locations of Proposed Building or Addition
  • Location of Driveway
  • North to be indicated
  • Location of Existing Swimming Pools, ponds, lakes and rivers and any other pertinent topographical features (swamps, steep slopes, etc.)
  • Drawings to be done to scale, with the scale indicated, if Metric or Imperial
  • On-site Sanitary Sewage Systems:
  • Details of Proposed Sewage system including size, design and location of septic tank and leaching bed components. Distance from all buildings, well or waterline (include adjacent property location and type of water service).
  • Length of Absorption Trench (Maximum 30m)
  • Distance to Surface Water (Minimum 15m)


  • Location of sign on Property
  • Minimum clear Height and Maximum Height of Sign
  • Location and Size of other signs on Property and within vicinity of Property
A Floor Plan is a drawing of the structure as seen as if it is cut horizontally a few feet above the floor lines. One floor plan is required for every floor of the house which is affected by the new construction. Each plan shows the interior layout in question as well as providing the structural framing information for the floor or roof above.
Floor plans should include:

  • Scale
  • Use of rooms and spaces
  • Dimensions
  • Extent of new construction including new work within existing building
  • Size, type and location of exterior and interior walls and partitions
  • Widths, locations and lintel sizes of all openings
  • Location, dimensions and direction of stairs
  • Sectional arrows
  • References to detailed drawings
  • Material specifications or notes
  • Heating details and calculations
Elevations show the exterior view of each side of the house. Each elevation is identified by the direction it is facing and should include:

  • Scale
  • Extent of new and existing construction
  • Vertical dimensions of walls, windows and doors
  • Grade level
  • Exterior wall cladding, finishes and flashing
  • Overhang dimensions
  • Roof shape, slope and finish
  • Rainwater leader and eavestrough
A section represents a view of the house along an imaginary line at a particular location and illustrates construction details. The extent of the sections should correspond with the sectional arrows shown on the plans. Sections should indicate the following:

  • Scale
  • Details of footings, foundations, walls, floors and the roof
  • Distance from grade to floor and underside of footing
  • Attic and crawl space ventilation
Mechanical drawings are required to ensure the furnace selected has the capacity to heat or cool your house. This requires heat loss and heat gain calculations to determine the capacity of the furnace required and drawings of the duct design and layout (by a qualified designer). This information is generally available from the mechanical/heating contractor.
To demolish any structure occupying an area greater than 10 square metres (107 square feet) or part of such a structure, you require a building permit.

The applicant for a demolition permit shall retain a professional engineer to undertake the general review of the project during demolition, if,

  • the building exceeds 3 storeys in building height or 600 m² in building area
  • the building structure includes pre-tensioned or post-tensioned members
  • it is proposed that the demolition will extend below the level of the footings of any adjacent building and occur within the angle of
  • repose of the soil, drawn from the bottom of such footings
  • explosives or a laser are to be used during the course of demolition

The Building Department is responsible for issuing Sign Permits regulating permanent and portable signs and other advertising devices, and awnings or marquees which project over a street. Sign Permits ensure that sign structures within the Town of Hanover meet the standards set out in the Ontario Building Code, the Zoning By-Law and Sign By-Law for the Town of Hanover and other applicable legislation.

No temporary or permanent sign, announcement, advertisement, sandwich board sign, notice, portable sign, bicycle stand, vending machine, weigh scales, newsstand, dodgers, hand bill, or similar device for whatever purpose shall be permitted to project over or extend across or be placed upon any public highway, or in any manner be located on any curb, boulevard, sidewalk, tree, hydrant, lamp or utility pole, parking meter or bridge pier, or any other structure within the limits of any street within the Town of Hanover, without the written permission of the Town of Hanover.

You do not need a sign permit for:

  • signs or other advertising devices posted on the interior surface of any window or glass door in any building
  • any sign or other advertising device erected in the interior of any building
  • municipal addresses mounted on buildings or on free-standing signs on any lot
  • signs installed by the Town of Hanover for the control of traffic and parking; or for street names and direction
  • signs permitted by an Elections Act or municipal election signs
  • temporary signs placed by Funeral Directors for organized parking, before, during and after a funeral

How to apply for a sign permit
If required, the Ministry’s Standard Permit Application and the “Sign Permit” form may have to be accompanied by the following:

  • construction value for the sign
  • structural details of the sign and its installation
  • contractor’s/installer’s name and address, and
  • a site plan or an Ontario Land Surveyor’s plan of survey reflecting all buildings situate on the property and indicative of proposed sign installation

To obtain additional information or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Building Department.

The Town of Hanover requires that a permit be obtained for all privately-owned in-ground or permanent swimming pools. The installation of a swimming pool requires consideration of other Town by-laws or policies such as grading, zoning, including fences, etc. The Building Department will assist you on permit issuance and site inspections. A permit is not required to install a hydro-massage pool provided that a secure cover of rigid materials is placed over the entire opening of the hydro-massage pool and is locked in place, in order to prevent access to unauthorized persons, when the hydro-massage pool is not in use.

In accordance with the Town of Hanover Fence By-Law No. 1762-90, an in-ground or permanent swimming pool must be enclosed by a fence not less than 1.5 metres (4’ 11”) in height; all horizontal members must be 1.1 m (3’ 7”) apart and on the pool side of the fence; and, each gate must be equipped with a lock and kept secured when the pool is not in use.

If you are planning to install a masonry or factory-built fireplace, a wood stove or chimney, a building permit is required

Apply for a building permit online:  

The Town of Hanover uses cloud-based software Cloudpermit so you can complete the entire building permit process online on any mobile device. With Cloudpermit, you can:  

  • Apply for building permits at any time, from anywhere 
  • Check the status of your building permit or building inspection (when your application status changes, you’ll automatically receive an email letting you know) 
  • Schedule or cancel building inspections 
  • Communicate with your building department with time-stamped messages 
  • Pay for your building permit (in person, by mail or online options accepted) 
  • Request and submit changes to an existing building permit  

How to get started:  

To start, create your Cloudpermit account by visiting Cloudpermit currently supports Firefox, Google, and Safari browsers. Once registered, you can apply for building permits and track their progress online. 

How-to videos and support materials: 
Cloudpermit has a variety of resources to help you – check out Cloudpermit Support for instructions on the basics and watch the instructional videos below to learn how to use the software (watch more here):  

Let us know if you have any questions – we’re happy to help.  


Cloudpermit is a SaaS (software-as-a-service) company that provides local governments with cloud-based software solutions for community development. Cloudpermit was founded over ten years ago and delivers online land management processes to local governments across North America and Europe. Cloudpermit is committed to efficient, user-friendly, and accessible software solutions that benefit building and planning departments, development communities, and the public. Please visit for additional information.