Who needs a permit?
A building permit is required for all types of construction: building, renovating, demolishing or relocating.
What is the first step?
Call or visit the Building Inspector’s Office ahead of time to find out if the project is permitted and what the requirements are prior to development.
We are open from Monday – Friday, between 8:30, am and 4:30 pm. For information phone (902) 637-2421 or by email at
What do I potentially need before I apply?
- Approval from the Department of Environment for the on-site sewage system
- Driveway permit from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal
- Easement from NS Power for electrical connection.
- Set of building plans with details on foundation, footings, columns, carrying beams, floor joists, bearing walls and roof trusses/rafters
- Diagram with setbacks and distances from any adjacent properties, other structures on the lot and street lines
- Review our Land Use By-Laws to ensure that your development is appropriate in the zone.
How do I get approved?
After your application is completed and all of the above-required information and approvals are submitted, it will be reviewed by the appropriate staff to make sure that your proposed project complies with land use and the Building Code.
When will my permit be issued?
When all of the required approvals and plans are submitted to the Building Inspection Department, your permit will be reviewed and approved, if found satisfactory. Your permit will expire after one year from the date the permit was issued and may be renewed for another year at no charge.
When do I need an inspection?
Provincial Building Code Regulations require a total of six (6) mandatory inspections. It is your responsibility to notify the Building Inspection Department that you are ready for the appropriate inspection, 24 hours in advance.
The Building Inspector will inspect during the following stages of construction:
- When footings are in place.
- a) When the foundation is in place and before the backfilling has taken place.
- b) Underground plumbing.
- Under slab inspection.
- When the framing, roof, plumbing and mechanical are in place but exposed for inspection.
- When the insulation and vapour barrier has been installed and remains exposed for inspection.
- Before occupancy of the building.
Before you move into the new building you are required to call the Building Inspection Department for an occupancy inspection to ensure that all work completed complies with the Building Code and no unsafe conditions exist. This is mandatory!
What is a Building and/or Development Permit required for?
- New building construction
- Structural change
- Building demolition
- Building relocation
- Change of use
- All sheds, garages, and accessory structures
- Decks and stairs
- Roof enclosure over an existing or new deck
- Alterations/Renovations valued over $5,000
Note: Any work not included in the approved Building Permit such as decks or finished basements will require a separate permit.
What is a Building and/or Development Permit NOT required for?
- Cosmetic repairs such as painting
- Change of occupant with the same use
- Replacing doors and windows in existing openings; unless the structure is altered
- Replacing roofing; unless the structure is altered
- Non-structural work value less than $5000
Note: It is the responsibility of the owner to obtain required permits prior to starting construction.
What should you bring when obtaining a permit?
- Complete set of building plans/construction drawings
- Value of construction
- Permit fee
- Names of the contractors, general contractors, licensed plumber, licensed electrician, mason, etc.
- Site plan with dimensions from building(s) to property lines
Note: It is the responsibility of the owner and the contractor to ensure all work carried out is in accordance with the Building Code and the Land Use By-Law even if a permit is not required
During what stages of construction are inspections required?
- Sewer connections before filling in the trench
- Footings before pouring foundation walls.
- Before backfilling the foundation.
- Framing, roof tight, rough plumbing, and mechanical
- Insulation/Vapour Barrier before covering interior walls and ceilings.
- Final Inspection prior to any use or occupancy of a building.
Note: An occupancy permit is required prior to occupancy of the building.
What are the building and development permit fees?
- Residential, Community Centers and Churches: $15.00 plus $0.10/sq. ft.
- Sheds, Garages, Barns and Farm Buildings: $15.00 plus $0.05/sq. ft.
- Other non-residential uses, such as Commercial and Industrial Buildings: $15.00 plus $0.15/sq. ft.
- Alterations and Repairs (Residential): $15.00 plus $1.00 per $1000 estimated value
- Alterations and Repairs (Non residential) : $15.00 plus $1.50 per $1000 estimated value
- Mobile Homes - $25.00
- Demolition Permit: $20.00
- Development Permit: $15.00
What are the drawing requirements for new buildings/additions?
One complete set of construction drawings is required. These drawings must be drawn to scale and should include the following:
Showing property and building dimensions and distances to property lines.
Showing foundation plan (type, size & dimensions), floor plans, columns, bearing walls, stairs, ramps, roof plan and structural details.
Showing exterior finishes (all views), finished grade level, windows, doors, chimneys, stairs, etc.
Showing all room dimensions, wall types, window and door schedules and room finish schedules.
Showing building and wall sections (all construction materials), grade level, floor heights, and stair sections.