Getting a Building Permit

It always feels good when I walk out of city hall with a building permit.

In this case, I was originally asked to create permit drawings to repair fire damage to the roof of a semi-detached house that had been converted into rental apartments.  The client had opted to have the contractor apply for a building permit in an attempt to keep his costs down.

There was a problem though; the building had three (3) dwelling units in it, and it was only zoned as a single family dwelling.  What's more, the insured's policy didn't have by-law upgrade coverage.

After 3 months of the contractor trying to submit their permit application, but getting turned away due to the zoning issue, and without knowing what else to do, the client came to me and asked me to see what I could do to expedite the situation.

I was able to help my client by submitting a permit application for a 'conditional permit'.  This means that we should get a permit to repair the fire damage on the condition that the zoning is addressed before the permit is closed.  By taking this approach, we can get on with repairing the structure ASAP, neatly side-stepping the problem with the zoning until the insured is able to address it.

This could save my client from having his file sitting open for months, or even years, while the zoning is sorted out by the insured; more importantly, it will save them the additional repair costs they could incur by leaving the building sitting un-heated or maintained, and open to the environment, while everything is sorted out.