Friday, December 16, 2011

Get your building permit before January 1st 2012

Get your building permit before January 1st 2012
If you are in the process of having a house designed, interviewing builders or you are ready to build but have decided to wait until spring to start construction then you should submit your plans for a permit NOW! If you wait until the New Year your house will cost you more money!
The reason for this is because the Ontario Building code is going through some large changes that will affect you. They have decided to raise the energy efficiency on all new houses. There are going to be certain things that your contractor doesn’t do now that they will be forced to do in the New Year.
The system that is coming out is a columned system. Which means that you pick a column from A to M and you have to follow it through the constructing of the building. This means that if you deviate from the column you will fail your final inspection with the building department.
This new system has to be agreed too when the designer is drawing up the plans. There is a lot of paperwork that the architect will have to prepare for the house plans. If the paperwork isn’t done properly then the building department will not issue a permit for the building.
So any house plans that have been drawn up in 2011 and submitted in 2012 will not be approved. All 2011 plans will have to be completely revised to meet the new code standards. Also the plans will have to be revised showing the column you have decided on.
Another thing that will happen is that you will have less room to change your mind about certain things as the build process progresses. The minimum standards in a lot of areas in the new code are close to the maximum standards in the old code. So in 2011 you were able to pick and choose where you wanted to spend your money, in the new code you will basically only have the choice of spending more money or sticking with the minimum code of 2012. This will probably end up costing you about 20 to 30% more across the board for insulation and heating equipment.
If you want to avoid all of these hassles, you should submit your building plans now before the New Year rolls around. Your plans don’t have to be approved this year; they just have to be submitted so that they are in the system as 2011 submissions. The design costs you save alone will be worth it.
Another major concern is that because the code is changing, the building departments have to relearn all the things that they are looking for in building plans. This means that you will have delays in getting your building plans approved in a timely manner. With a large number of people trying to beat the January 1st deadline with their plans, the building departments will be overloaded. So if you want to start your build in the winter months and you don’t submit your plans until after the New Year you will be waiting a lot longer for approvals. The building department will have to clear the 2011 permit applications before they even start looking at the 2012 applications. Since the 2012 applications are all under the new rules there is bound to be a lot of confusion with what exactly the rules are going to be and how they should be instituted. You could be looking at least a month delay just to get your plans approved by your local township. This doesn’t take into consideration if you have to deal with a conservation authority or a commission who will be even less knowledgeable about the new code changes.
So do yourself a favour and submit your building plans now before the January 1st 2012 deadline. It will save you money from the design end all the way to the finished building.
Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc

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