Building permit requirements

Building permits are required for all types of construction (building, renovating, demolishing or relocating).

Contact the Building Services before starting your project to determine if your project is permitted and which type of requirements must be followed prior to development. Business hours are Monday – Friday, between 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

To make an appointment with a building inspector, please call 902-769-2031.

What could I possibly need before applying for a building permit?

  • On-site sewage system approval from the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change
  • Driveway permit from the Nova Scotia Department of Public Works
  • A set of building plans with details on foundation, footings, columns, carrying beams, floor joists, bearing walls and roof trusses/rafters
  • Site plan indicating distances to the property lines from the house on the drawing, lot dimensions, location of driveway, watercourses (i.e. lakes, streams or brooks), and lot identification.

When are inspections required?

Provincial Building Code Regulations require a total of five mandatory inspections. It is your responsibility to notify (24 hours in advance) the Building Services that you are ready for the appropriate inspection.

The Building Inspector will inspect the following stages of construction:

  1. When footings are in place (before placement of concrete).
  2. a) When the foundation is in place and before backfilling.
    b) Underground plumbing.
  3. When the framing, roof, plumbing and mechanical are in place (must remain exposed for inspection).
  4. When the insulation and vapour barrier has been installed (must remain exposed for inspection).
  5. Before occupancy of the building.

Before moving into the new building, and occupancy permit is required to ensure that all work completed complies with the Building Code and no unsafe conditions exist (this is mandatory!). Contact the Building Services to obtain an occupancy permit.

The following require Building and/or Development Permits

  • Construction of a new building
  • Structural change
  • Building demolition
  • Building relocation
  • Change of use
  • Residential accessory buildings over 144 square feet (12’ x 12’)
  • Decks and stairs
  • Roof enclosure over an existing or new deck
  • Non-structural alterations/renovations valued over $10,000 for commercial properties (under the scope of Part 3 of the Building Code)

Note: Any work not included in the approved Building Permit such as decks or finished basements will require a separate permit.

The following DO NOT require Building and/or Development Permits

  • Fences
  • Cosmetic repairs such as painting
  • Change of occupant with same use
  • Residential accessory buildings under 144 square feet (12’ x 12’)
  • Removing and replacing roofing with similar materials
  • Replacing windows or doors provided there is no change in location orsize of the window or door and the structural support for the opening is not affected
  • Installation or replacement of cabinets, shelving, millwork or flooring
  • Installation of additional insulation or replacement of insulation
  • Removing and replacing cladding with similar materials
  • repolacing or repairing drywall or other interior finish
  • Replacing a furnace or boiler
  • Installation or replacement of an air-conditioning unit or heat pump
  • Waterporoofing or damp proofing of foundation walls or repair/replacement of foundation drainage
  • Non-structural work value less than $10,000 for commercial properties (under the scope of Part 3 of the Building Code)

The Building Services will need the following information when you apply for a permit

  • Complete set of building plans/construction drawings
  • Value of construction
  • Permit fee
  • Names of the contractors, general contractors, licensed plumber, licensed electrician, mason, etc.
  • Site plan with dimensions from building(s) to property lines, any water source or road.

Note: It is the responsibility of the owner and the contractor to ensure all work carried out is in accordance with the Building Code and the Land Use By-Law, even if a permit is not required

Building permit fees

It shall be a policy of the Council of the Municipality of the District of Clare that fees for building permits shall be as follows:

  1. A minimum permit fee of no less than $25.00 shall apply in all instances.
  2. Structural repairs, alterations, relocation and new foundations:
    • Permit fees for structural repairs and alterations:
      • 25.00 plus $ 1.00 per $1,000 of estimated value of construction
    • Relocation permits:
    • Accessory buildings
      • $25.00 if from within municipal boundaries
      • $0.12 per square foot if from outside municipal boundaries
    • Buildings for commercial use
      • $0.17 per square foot
    • All other buildings
      • $0.15 per square foot
    • New foundations: $50.00
  3. New construction and additions:
    • Residential: $0.15 per square foot of living area;
    • Barns, garages and sheds:
      • One story: $0.12 per square foot
      • Two stories: $0.12 per square foot for first level, $0.10 per square foot for second level or more.
    • Commercial and all other non-residential uses not provided for herein: $0.17 per square foot.
    • All non-covered decks: $25.00
  4. Building permit renewal fee: $25.00

Drawing requirements for new buildings/additions

One complete set of construction drawings is required. These drawings must be drawn to scale and should include the following:

  • Site Plan: property and building dimensions and distances to property lines.
  • Structural Drawings: foundation plan (type, size & dimensions), floor plans, columns, bearing walls, stairs, ramps, roof plan and structural details.
  • Building Elevations: exterior finishes (all views), finished grade level, windows, doors, chimneys, stairs, etc.
  • Floor Plans: every room dimensions, wall types, window and door schedules and room finish schedules.
  • Sections: building and wall sections (all construction materials), grade level, floor heights, and stair sections.