Renovation Next Steps (before submitting the permit application)

Renovation Next Steps (before submitting the permit application)

Permit Submission

The budget has been set, the questions have been asked and you have designs and blueprints ready to go. Now you have to submit your application to your local municipality (for the purpose of this article, we will be referring to the City of Vancouver).

To find all the checklists and application forms for the City of Vancouver, visit their website here. Remember, your Architect, Architectural Technologist or Designer, is there to help make sure you have all the documents you need to submit your Building Permit Application and to make sure they are filled out accurately and completely. (Best case scenario is have your designer apply as your agent, you have to print and sign this document and present the original signed copy along with rest of documents)

To help get you started, print off the checklist that the City of Vancouver has provided and then sit down with your Designer and go over the list.

Survey Engineer

Are you planning to add a deck or garage? Would you like to building a laneway house? Have you decided to extend the main floor of your house into your back yard?

The City requires a survey drawing provided by a certified land survey created within the last six months before you submit your application.

Home Energy Audit

What is a Home Energy Audit?

Are your utility bills running high in the winter time? Is your air-conditioning on, but it’s still warm inside your home during the summer? According to BC Hydro, “a home energy audit … is the first step to improving the overall efficiency of your home. An audit will help you identify ways to improve your home’s overall comfort and efficiency, which will save you money on your utility bills.” Your architect/ designer will help you to find a certified company. The EA company needs a copy of your blueprint so he can review and offer his/her recommendations.

The city will not the process without the EA report.

Do you need a Home Energy Audit?

According to the City of Vancouver’s website, you will need an audit if you are doing work over that is worth over $5,000 in renovations. If you are doing over $25,000 in renovations, you will need to add “air sealing” and if you are doing over $50,000 in renovations, you will need “air sealing” as well as “improve attic insulation”.

Did you know? You could qualify for a grant, rebate or other incentives. Check out for more information.

Arbourist report

Most municipalities have tree bylaws. This is to help protect species that are rare or endangered and to maintain a certain number of trees.

Depending on the type of renovation, trees will have to be protected and should be indicated on the blueprint provided by your designer. This should also include details of how the trees will be protected.

In some cases, a report by an arborist may need to be provided. In it will be details on the condition of all trees. Additionally, if the neighbour’s tree(s) is too close to the renovation area, it will need to be protected too.

Structure engineer

Are you planning to remove an existing wall or will engineered lumber be used during your renovation?

The City requires that a Structural Engineer will need to be hired for the project. The Structural Engineer should provide a Schedule B and proof of insurance.

Fill the building permit application form

When everything is ready, you need to download the building permit application form and submit it along with the all of your documents.

After all documents are ready, you need to download the building permit application form and submit it along with the rest of documents.

Remember, when you hire we will take care of all the steps for you.

We act as your agent to help you to fill out the forms, hire the required engineers and contractors, and even line up at the permit counter at City Hall. We will take care of all necessary follow ups until your permit has been issued and is ready for pick up.

If you are applying for a building permit in another municipality within the Lower Mainland, please contact us and we will send you the links for your municipality.



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