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Building Permits & Inspections


Do you need a Building Permit?

For your safety and the safety of the community, certain kinds of construction and renovation projects require a permit. The main purpose of a building permit is to ensure that all buildings comply with health, safety and zoning requirements as established by the Province and the Municipality. You’ll need a building permit to carry out any of the following:

  • Construction of any new building or structure over 10 square metres (108 square feet)
  • Structural repair, alterations or additions to an existing building
  • Alterations or additions to plumbing systems
  • Retaining walls over 1.5 metres (5 feet) in height above grade
  • Enclosing decks, carports or porches
  • Moving, adding or removing interior structural walls
  • Installing a woodstove or other wood burning appliance
  • Siting a mobile or modular home or structure
  • Placing a temporary building on any property (such as a construction office)
  • Demolition of any building requires a Demolition Permit
  • Changing the Occupancy or use of any structure or space
  • Moving a building to a different foundation or property

Building Permits are not required for:

  • Plumbing repairs (leaks, valves, blockages, fixtures, hot water tanks, etc.);
  • Exterior renovations including roofing, asphalt or concrete surfaces;
  • Interior renovations, finishes, cabinetry and replacement of plumbing fixtures.

Per the British Columbia Building Code, as of December 19, 2014, exterior renovations (siding, window/door replacements of same size) now require a permit.

Any additions or alterations to electrical and gas systems will require a permit from the BC Safety Authority. Check here to link to their website for more details.

Application process

Building Permit applications may be obtained at the District Office during regular office hours or by clicking the links below.

To help make sure that the application process goes smoothly, read the application form and guidelines carefully, and contact the Building Inspector if you have any questions.

The Building Inspector can help you navigate the application process and ensure that you’re aware of relevant restrictions, zoning matters, standards, and more.

The Building Inspector is available Monday through Friday each week from 8:30 am to 4:45 pm and can be contacted at 250-845-2238 or by email.

Building Forms, Guides and Resources

Snow Loads

The following are the snow loads for the District of Houston, determined by the following formula:

S = (Cb x Ss) + Sr

Roof Width of less than 4.3m Roof Width of 4.3m or greater
CB = 0.45 CB = 0.55
Ss = 3.4 kPa Ss = 3.4 kPa
Sr = 0.2 kPa Sr = 0.2 kPa
S = 1.73 KPa S = 2.07 KPa

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