Planning to Build or Renovate

If you are planning on doing any construction or demolition work, you must understand and follow the process, procedures and requirements. This will save you time and money. You will also avoid receiving an Order to Comply due to unauthorized work.

Tips for planning and renovating

  • Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time.
  • Make sure you hire a licensed contractor and always get three written estimates.
  • You need a Building Permit for most construction projects.
  • Most Building Permit applications require design drawings, so you may need to hire a qualified designer or professional.

Things you will need to do when you are renovating your home:

New construction or renovations must comply with Hamilton's Zoning By-laws for things like size, setback and location. Your Building Permit will not be approved if the work does not comply with zoning by-laws.

Contact Building at 905-546-2720 when you are planning your project to determine the specific zoning requirements for your property; do not wait until the last minute. You may need additional approvals or time to get all of the necessary information.

If your project does not comply with the Zoning By-Law, you may apply for a minor variance

Most projects require a Building Permit. Do not start construction until you have a Building Permit.

Call to schedule inspections at the required stages. You need to arrange an inspection for the following work:

  • Footings
  • Foundation drains
  • Framing/structural
  • Plumbing
  • Heating/ventilation
  • Insulation/vapour barrier
  • Fire separation
  • Exits
  • Fire protection systems
  • Occupancy
  • Final, when the project is complete

Wait for each stage to be approved by the building inspectors before proceeding. We can usually inspect the same day you call.

Submit your own drawings

You can submit your own drawings when you apply for your Building Permit but you may have to hire a Qualified Designer to prepare your drawings if your project is complex or beyond your design capabilities.

If you are hiring a contractor, make sure they have a valid Trade Licence from the City. Check by calling Municipal Law Enforcement at 905-546-2782 and choose option 3 for Licensing.

Before you dig call 1-800-400-2255 to locate any underground services.

As a courtesy, tell neighbours about your renovation project. You should tell them:

  • when the project will start
  • when it is expected to finish
  • what they can expect for deliveries, garbage, disruptions and noise

Follow all Hamilton Noise By-law No. 11-285 regulations during renovation.

Contact us

Building Division
City Hall, 3rd floor
Phone: 905-546-2720
Email: building@hamilton.ca