Does remodeling a Condo in North Vancouver require a permit?

June 3, 2020

Do you have a condo in North Vancouver? Wish to renovate? Whether you are remodeling the exteriors or interiors of your condominium in North Vancouver, there are specific factors that you need to consider down the lane. Right from selecting the right contractor to knowing about the permit status, when you are aware of the right prerequisites, you can look forward to executing a smooth revamping project for your apartment.

Before you start over with a renovation project, it is imperative to know that you might be required to obtain a proper renovation permit –even when you might be completing the work on your own. Before starting over with any renovation project in North Vancouver, it is important to plan out the exact steps needed to complete the given renovation project. Then, you should estimate the total costs associated with the procurement of the necessary materials.

You should also aim at comparing the given costs with that of the services provided by some contractor in your region. However, out of all such concerns, checking whether or not you would require a proper permit to start over with the given renovation project, is a vital concern.

Why Get a Permit for a Renovation Project in BC and Lower Mainland?

When you are undertaking any real estate project in BC Canada – for instance, selling your condo for sale in North Vancouver, buying, or renovating a house, it is important to remain clear with the current & updated information of the local Metro Vancouver real estate market. The fact is that renovation permits have been planned out such that everyone is able to keep up with the latest health as well as safety standards.

At the same time, the generation of renovation permits also offers the assurance that the respective jobs are done perfectly while preventing you from paying hefty fines. If any disaster occurs, the respective insurance company will be aware of the condition in which the home was after the renovation project. As such, the respective insurance policy will be capable of dealing with the issue accordingly. In case the time arrives for you to sell the house, the respective changes that you have implemented in the house will also receive support from the valid renovation permits.

In case you fail to obtain renovation permits for your townhome, the overall value of the property would fall significantly –especially if there are some safety issues to address. At its worst, you might be even fined at the given point and might have to pay additionally for the fixes that you will be bound to make.

When Do You Need a Permit in North Vancouver?

In general terms, you might have to obtain a proper permit to get involved in a real estate transaction in North Vancouver in the following conditions:

  • Any new project on construction –including the construction of new buildings, or renovations to the existing buildings for creating a new area
  • Adding some secondary suite to the existing house or property
  • Changing the land utilization of the given commercial property
  • Renovation projects including the movement of the interior walls or the existing gas lines, walls, electrical, and plumbing appliances
  • Structural repairs
  • Renovation or improvements in the tenanted property for the existing or new commercial property
  • Drywall repairs and fire separations in multi-unit commercial as well as residential buildings
  • Construction of a garage area or the garage shed

If you are not sure whether or not you need a permit, you can reach out to the local building center. This can help in determining whether or not you are required to have the permit for a particular renovation or construction project.

You should also note that you can get a partial fee for your application as the refund when you would withdraw the permit application. At the same time, some administration fees (around $85) will be needed towards processing the refund request.

What can Happen When You Do Not Obtain a Permit for the Renovation Project?

In case you or the respective contractors do not have the required permit for the renovation work of the townhome, and it is realized that permit was required on legal grounds for the given project, you could face serious consequences. Moreover, it might turn out potentially expenses at the same time. Some of the additional consequences that could result into are:

  • A penalty of “work without permit” –this fee is typically double the fee for the original permit
  • A chance to get the work removed or canceled altogether that might have commenced before obtaining the permit
  • A delay in the project’s permit application. During this time, all work would be stopped while the original timeline and the overall cost for processing the fees continue to apply.
  • A potential to carry out more work than what you had planned or budgeted originally –like ensuring seismic upgrades or adding fire sprinklers in the property
  • A chance for legal or financial issues in the future while selling your property or filing for the insurance claim

New Westminster Apartments Also Requires a permit

If you own a condo in New Westminster you may also require a permit. The Royal City next to the Fraser River is extending its permit requirements to match that of the North Shore. This is especially the case if you are located near Douglas University and between these points of interest:

 • Port Royal

• Renaissance Square

• Uptown nw

• Downtown nw

Take a look at ideas at this New West blog in BC as it has many new westminster condos for sale for the avid developments in New Westminster and nearby cities like Burnaby, Surrey and Coquitlam.

As a homeowner, you are required to pay the respective penalties or fees –all by yourself. This applies even when you have hired a contractor who might have given the assurance that permits might not be required in the given project.

Projects in Canada That Do Not Require a Permit

There are several small-sized projects or repairs that might not require a proper permit. Some of the given projects would include:

  • Replacement of the fixtures, flooring, or cabinets
  • Painting
  • Carrying out non-structural maintenance as well as minor repairs to the exteriors or interiors of your home
  • Unclogging drains
  • Replacement of some existing electric hot water tank
  • Installation of roofing materials, drain pipes, or gutters
  • Replacement of defective switches, fuses, and receptacles


Legal permits from the local authorities for carrying out renovation or construction projects in North Vancouver are vital. You should look forward to getting in-depth knowledge about the local real estate market while analyzing the after-effects of whether or not you opt for the permit. Make the most of the professional assistance by a reliable real estate agent in your area.

Tatjana Faplo
I am a professional writer and editor with a rich history of writing experiences. In the past, I've worked for glossy magazines, branding agencies, creative institutions, architectural and design firms, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and health foundations.

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