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Building Permits

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Building and Development Permits are required and inspections are performed, to ensure buildings provide the necessary life safety and fire safety requirements. A Building and Development Permit Application includes both development and building review. Development review is completed in accordance with requirements of the Zoning Bylaw.  The Building Permit review and corresponding inspections are administered under the regulations contained in the Building Bylaw, the Swimming Pool Bylaw, the Uniform Building and Accessibility Standards Act and the National Building Code of Canada. 

Please contact Building Standards if you require clarification or further details regarding your specific scope of work as the lists below regarding "when a building permit is required" or "when a building permit is not required" are not comprehensive. Electrical and plumbing permits are to be obtained through the appropriate Authority Having Jurisdiction.

When is a Building and Development Permit Required?

A building and development permit is required for any construction which involves:

  • New residential and/or commercial construction
    • New decks require a permit, for exceptions see further detail below
  • Additions - residential or commercial
  • Demolitions
Repairs
  • Repair due to fire damage
  • Repair due to water damage or
  • Repair to the building as a result of damage from vehicle(s)

Relocation (including mobile homes)
  • Relocate any building within or onto a site or
  • Remove a building from a site

Alterations (changes) to an existing building or structure
  • changes to walls (structural or non-structural)
  • installing bay, bow, or box windows in new or existing openings
  • interior tenant developments
  • Basement development in existing buildings
  • decks (existing decks if the deck has more than 3 risers. 
  • substantial changes to existing engineered life safety systems

Change of occupancy or use of an existing building or tenant space
  • Change of occupancy (one example: office changing to a retail space)
  • Change of use of a:
    • warehouse changing to an auto repair garage
    • place of worship to a recreation facility
    • room in a home to a bedroom or bathroom 

Construction increasing the roof top loading
  • Solar panels
  • Roof top equipment
  • Green roofs
  • Roofing with different or additional materials

The registered property owner is responsible for completed or partially completed work on their building. For information on building inspections and enforcement visit the Inspections page. The registered property owner is also responsible for acquiring all other required permits that may be required such as a Curb, Side and Ditch Crossing Permit for driveways.

When is a Building and Development Permit Not Required?

A building and development permit is not required for:

  • Fences, landscape stairs or retaining walls not attached to a building
  • Driveways and sidewalks
  • A single storey accessory building not more than 10m2 (limited to one per site as per Zoning Bylaw 8770)
  • cosmetic repairs such as painting, patching drywall, laying carpet and other similar minor repairs of interior and exterior finishes
  • Replacing kitchen cabinets provided the clearances of the National Building Code are met - {See Building Standards and Licensing Advisory for Clearance Above Cooktops}
  • Replacement/repair of roofing of exactly the same roofing material (above decking) as per most recent approved building plans, where available
  • Replacing siding on a 1 to 4 unit residential building with the exact same material 
  • Replacing/repairing a portion of existing siding with exact same material, but not a full wall
  • Replacing doors and windows in existing openings, as long as the outside dimension of the window or door does not change and the opening area of the window is not changing
  • Decks/landings that meet either of the following:
    • less than or equal to 200mm (8 inches above grade or
    • less than or equal to 2.25m2 (25ft2) and less than or equal to 600mm (24 inches) above grade and serves only one dwelling unit*

Note: all new and existing decks will require a permit if the deck has more than 3 risers even if the deck meets the dimensional criteria above.

Residential Building and Development Permits

 What you can expect from us

  1. Residential Type A Projects are All projects related to One and Two Unit Dwellings 
  2. Residential Type B Projects are all projects related to Apartments, Alternative Family Care Homes, Row houses / Town houses and One and Two Unit Dwellings that are located on group dwelling sites or condominium sites. 

 How you can help us

  1. Residential Type A Projects - Complete and submit the residential building and development application form (page 1 and page 2) along with the required drawings. 
  2. Residential Type B Projects - Complete and submit the residential building and development application form (page 1 and page 2) along with the required drawings. 
  3. If you are preparing to submit for a residential project that has mixed occupancies contained within it, the commercial building and development form (page 1 and 3) will be required to be submitted.

Some examples of Residential Type A projects that require residential building and development permit applications are one or two unit dwellings and the following that are located within or serve one and two unit dwellings:

   
  • decks over 200mm (8 inches) above grade
  • garages
  • carports
  • garden and garage suites                 
  • secondary suites
 
  • basement developments
  • swimming pools
  • accessory buildings (larger than 10m2)
  • and other related residential buildings

Some examples of Residential Type B projects that require residential building and development permit applications are Apartments, Alternative Family Care Homes (AFCH) (previously referred to as residential care homes), Row houses, Town houses, One and Two Unit Dwellings located on group dwelling sites or condominium sites, and other buildings/construction associated with these examples. 

How to apply for a Residential Building Permit

Obtain a Designer

We recommend customers obtain the services of a design professional to assist with their construction or renovation projects.  A professional architect or engineer is required for projects outside the scope of Part 9 of the National Building Code. For more information, please refer to Requirement for a Design Professional.

Application Process

  1. Complete the Residential Building and Development Permit Application and applicable forms listed on the residential application form. 
  2. Include one complete set of plans. Please see the drawing requirements handout or the guide to residential building permits handout for details.
  3. Include a ventilation design sheet (required for new homes, new secondary suites, and substantial renovations). Refer to the Residential Forms drop down list on the Forms and Brochures page for this information.
  4. Complete the Asbestos Removal Notification Form. Required to be submitted for all buildings constructed before 1983. The Asbestos Removal Notification Form indicates if any asbestos will be disturbed or removed during work. For more information on asbestos, visit the City of Saskatoon Asbestos Awareness page. 

Submission

Option 1: Submit hard copies of application form(s), information sheets, and all appropriate supporting materials to Building Standards, 222-3rd Avenue North, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J5.

Option 2 (NEW): You may now submit Residential Type A Building and Development Application Forms online by clicking on the following button

 Submit a Residential (Type A) Building & Development Permit Application  

Residential Building Permit Review Process

 What you can expect from us

Residential Type A Building and Development Permit Applications

Applications are reviewed in the order of which they are received. Once a Residential Type A Building and Development Application is received, it is given an application number and circulated for Building Standards review. Depending on project type and scope, an application may also be circulated to the following divisions for review:

  • Planning and Development (Zoning Review)
  • Saskatoon Land
  • Saskatoon Light and Power

Not all applications are required to be reviewed by all Divisions listed above. Circulation is determined based on the scope of work and the type of project. Please contact Building Standards if you have questions regarding your specific project. Processing time for your application may be delayed if required information is missing from plans, the plans are inaccurate or incomplete.

Turnaround Time?

  • Average turnaround time for residential building permit applications is five business days from the date of application.
  • Average turnaround time for applications requiring circulation to other divisions (in addition to Building Standards) is seven business days from the date of application.

Residential Type B Building and Development Permit Applications

Applications are reviewed in the order of which they are received. Once an Residential Type B Building and Development Application is received, it is given an application number and circulated for review to the following divisions:

  • Building Standards
  • Planning and Development (Zoning Review)

Depending on project type and scope, an application may also be circulated to the following divisions for review:

  • Saskatoon Light & Power
  • Transportation Division
  • Construction & Design Division
  • Fire Department
  • Saskatoon Health Region

Not all applications are required to be reviewed by all Divisions listed above. Circulation is determined based on the scope of work and the type of project. Please contact Building Standards if you have questions regarding your specific project. Processing time for your application may be delayed if required information is missing from plans, the plans are inaccurate or incomplete.

Turnaround Time?

  • Average turnaround time for Residential Type B Building and Development Applications is a minimum of four to six weeks from the date of application. Please contact Building Standards directly at 306-975-7639 for the most current turnaround time.
  • Turnaround time will increase depending on project type and the departments that may be required to review the project.
  • Turnaround time will increase in the busy construction season.

 How you can help us?

  • Double check your application to ensure all forms, supporting material, and drawings are complete and accurate. Incomplete application packages will not be accepted. 

Notes on Side Yards for Buildings where not more than one dwelling unit is above another dwelling unit

NOTE: Please pay attention to the National Building Code for requirements for distance between buildings and property lines. There may be requirements for fire resistant materials, proximity of windows to property lines, and the size and number of windows allowable on buildings close to a property line.​ Where an exterior wall of a building is facing a street or lane the distances may be measured to the center of the street or lane.

  1. Where a portion of a wall extends to less than 600mm (2 feet) from the property line, that portion of the wall must have non-combustible cladding.
  2. Windows (glazed openings) are not permitted where the window is less than 1.2m (4 feet) from a property line unless the property line is adjacent to a street or lane. Note: The limiting distance is permitted to be measured perpendicular to the glazed opening where the glazed opening is at an angle to the property line.
  3. Walls less than 1.2m (4 feet) from the property line require a ¾ hour fire resistance rating. If any portion of the wall requires the ¾ hour rating, the entire wall shall be rated. 
  4. Table 9.10.15.4 for Maximum Area of Glazed Openings in Exterior Walls of Houses specifies the permitted glazed openings in a wall. For example:

 7% glazed openings is permitted for a wall with an exposing building face area of 30 sq m that is 1.2m from the property line, or 9% glazed openings is permitted for a wall with an  exposing building face area of 30 sq m that is 1.5m from the property line.

The above requirements do not eliminate or reduce the additional requirements for windows in bedrooms and living spaces so attention to your layout must be provided in designing your home. 

The Zoning Bylaw, as administered by Development Services, also indicates requirements for setbacks on a site. Please review the Zoning Bylaw for setback requirements when preparing your drawings.  

Commercial Building and Development Permits

Some examples of construction projects that require commercial building and development permit applications are:

   
  • restaurants
  • schools
  • warehouses and industrial buildings         
  • hospitals and other care facilities
 
  • residential mixed occupancy (hotels, motels, apartments with other occupancies contained within)
  • office buildings
  • accessory buildings adjacent to or associated with commercial buildings
  • strip malls or shopping centres 

Appendix Sentence A-3.1.2.1(1) of the National Building Code provides an expanded list of what Building Standards considers as commercial-type buildings. 

How to apply for a Commercial Building Permit

Obtain a Designer

We recommend customers obtain the services of a design professional to assist with their construction or renovation projects.  A professional architect or engineer is required for projects outside the scope of Part 9 of the National Building Code of Canada (NBC). For more information, please refer to Requirement for a Design Professional.

Application Process

  1. Complete the Commercial Building and Development Permit Application and applicable forms listed on the commercial application form. For more information on which forms to complete, please refer to the Submission Checklists drop down list on the Forms and Brochures page or contact Building Standards where one of our staff will be happy to assist you.
  2. Include two complete hard copy sets of drawings. All drawings are to be prepared to professional drafting standards. Please see drawing requirements for more information. Plans must be to scale and have dimensions. Pencil drawings or drawings on graph paper will not be accepted. Drawings marked “preliminary only” or “not for construction” will not be accepted.
  3. Complete the Asbestos Removal Notification Form. Required to be submitted for all buildings constructed before 1983. The Asbestos Removal Notification Form indicates if any asbestos will be disturbed or removed during work. For more information on asbestos, visit the City of Saskatoon Asbestos Awareness page. 

Submission

Submit hard copies of the required application form(s) and information sheets, and all appropriate supporting materials to Building Standards, 222-3rd Avenue North, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J5.

Commercial Building Permit Review Process

 

 What you can expect from us

Applications are reviewed in the order of which they are received. Once an application is received, it is given an application number and circulated for review to the following divisions:

  • Building Standards
  • Planning and Development (Zoning Review)

Depending on project type and scope, an application may also be circulated to the following divisions for review:

  • Saskatoon Light & Power
  • Transportation Division
  • Construction & Design Division
  • Fire Department
  • Saskatoon Health Region

Not all applications are required to be reviewed by all Divisions listed above. Circulation is determined based on the scope of work and the type of project. Please contact Building Standards if you have questions regarding your specific project. Processing time for your application may be delayed if required information is missing from plans, the plans are inaccurate or incomplete.

Turnaround Time?

  • Estimated Turnaround time for Commercial Building and Development Permit Applications are based on the following project scopes:

Project Scope

Turnaround Time

New Building

5 to 10 weeks

Additions

4 to 8 weeks

Alterations

3 to 6 weeks

  • An application may be circulated internally for review by up to 7 different Divisions to coordinate civic requirements related to the construction.
  • Timelines times will be closer to the high end of the range for complex projects with multiple review divisions. Small projects with limited review departments will be closer to the low end of the range.
  • Timelines will increase in the busy construction season.
  • Turnaround times include permit processing, review and circulation time. Please note turnaround times do not include time associated with stalled permits.

  How you can help us

  • Apply early and before applying, contact Building Standards for our most up to date turnaround times for your specific project.
  • Double check your application to ensure all forms, supporting material, and drawings are complete and accurate. Incomplete application packages will not be accepted. 

Building Permit Fees

Payment

Payment of building and development permit fees can be made when the permit is approved and picked up.  We accept cash, cheque, Interac, MasterCard, Visa or American Express. Please note, payment cannot be processed over the phone. The building permit fee plus the development permit fee equals the total Building and Development Permit fee that will be charged. To determine the Development Permit Fee for your project please see Section 4.7 of the Zoning Bylaw for details.

 

Building Permit Fee Schedule

One- and Two-Unit Dwellings, Townhouses

All floor levels excluding basement $0.70/ft2
Basement development or alterations to any floor area $0.24/ft2
Garage/Accessory building (attached or detached) $0.21/ft2
Addition of deck to existing construction $0.10/ft2
Roof over decks and carports $0.10/ft2

Apartments (New Construction Only) — for those that fall under Part 9 of the National Building Code (NBC)

All floor levels including basement $0.70/ft2
Addition of decks or balconies to existing construction $0.10/ft2
Garage/Accessory building (attached or detached) $0.21/ft2

All Other Construction Not Noted Above

Fee per $1,000 of construction value $7.50

Note: minimum building permit fee: $100; re-inspection fee: $100