Home Renovations Continued…

homerenohouse - Home Renovations Continued...

Home Renovations Burlington

Todays blog continues our discussion on Home Renovations in Burlington. In the last article we discussed the real estate market and desirability of doing a home renovation in Burlington. This article starts to discuss the permit application process….

With over 70,000 households, and many of them aging to the point where homeowners are considering a substantial renovation, this blog will serve as a checklist and hopefully assist in the technical process of doing a Home Renovation in Burlington.

Can I add space?

Before delving too far into the thought process of a renovation and spending time with your “bucket list” of must haves for your home, it’s a good idea to find out what the limitations are. This comment generally applies to adding to the footprint of your home. (If you aren’t adding to the footprint then skip to the next paragraph.) The zoning bylaw controls the square footage of your home renovation and what the setbacks are. If you wish to add square footage its advisable to find out if its feasible. A visit to the City of Burlington and a discussion with a planner can get you the answers you need before embarking the expense of a detailed design of your addition. If the addition you want to do just puts you slightly over the limits of what the zoning bylaw allows you need to apply for a Minor Variance.

For a Home Renovation in Burlington a “Committee of Adjustment” meeting is held periodically where applications are reviewed and a meeting is held, and it’s open to public input. For the minor variance application some preparation is necessary. At a minimum, a basic floor layout and exterior elevations to show the planners and committee what the addition looks like is mandatory. If the project is more complex then detailed studies may be required and studies such as sun shadows etc. may need to be presented. If you need to apply for a minor variance we recommend visiting the neighbours and discussing it with them. The Committee members will generally take the neighbours concerns very seriously, so being prepared, discussing with your neighbours and having a “pre-negotiated” solution can pay dividends in front of the committee. If your home renovation becomes a bone of contention, professional representation at the committee may be necessary. As soon as either, your project falls within the bylaws’ constraints or you have secured the Committee approval you then begin the detailed process of working drawings. If you are within a historically preserved area, a flood plane or a conservation zone you may need to make other separate applications (not discussed here)

With Zoning and the other hurdles mentioned above cleared, you are ready to proceed to the next stage and begin detailed drawings for your home renovation. Burlington’s building Department is similar to many others in that it issues permits under the auspices of the Ontario Building Code. Despite what you hear there is no “alchemy” to obtaining a permit. Once the drawings are complete the review is simply  based on the building code requirements. Having the drawings properly prepared is invaluable. As a home owner you have the right to prepare your own drawings, professionals need a minimum BCIN certification which confirms their skills and insurance.

Besides the obvious advantages of a great design (which we aren’t discussing specifically here) drawings must detail all the technicalities required for the plans reviewer to understand what comprises your Home renovation. Burlington has a permit process where plans can be expedited for an additional fee securing a permit, normally much earlier than the normal processing time. This can be a desirable alternative when up against tight timelines!

We’ll break off at this point for the sake of brevity but will return to discussing home renovations in Burlington. If you are interested in speaking to a professional about your renovation call us at Chatsworth fine homes, we’d be glad to help!