Permit Q & As


  1. When do I need a building permit?

    You need a building permit for all new buildings over 10 sq m (107 sq ft).  You also need one if you want to alter, reconstruct, demolish, deconstruct, remove or relocate an existing building. (Saanich Building Bylaw [PDF - 83 KB]

  2. How can I ensure my plans meet municipal bylaw requirements?

    Staff in the Planning Department will interpret the Zoning Bylaw [PDF - 21 MB] and Inspection Services will interpret the Building Code.

  3. How do I apply for a building permit?

    You can get building permit application forms at the Municipal Hall or on-line.  All submission requirements are listed.  We don’t accept incomplete applications. 

  4. Why do the building permit application forms ask for so much information?

    In order to process your application in a timely manner, staff need adequate and complete information so they can ensure it complies with regulatory requirements.  If it’s incomplete, it will take longer to get your permit.

  5. How do I deal with roof and ground storm water?

    We recommend you contact Engineering to find out what storm and sanitary sewer connections currently exist for the property.  They can also share if you need­­ any upgrades or connections.  Call 250-475-5570.

  6. Once I start construction, what building inspections do I need and how do I manage them?

    We outline the inspections you need on your permit.  Book them by calling the Inspections Booking Clerk at 250-475-5458, 48 hours in advance. 

  7. What is HPO and why do I need it?

    HPO is the Homeowners Protection Office (which has now merged with BC Housing).  Provincial legislation requires a third party warranty for all new dwelling units.  For more information, call BC Housing at 1-800-407-7757 or visit their website at

  8. How much will a building permit cost?

    We base fee charges [PDF - 76 KB] on the value of construction, as determined by the Manager of Inspection Services.

    Non-refundable application fee:

    • 25% of the building permit fee (forms part of, not in addition to, the building permit fee).

    Final building permit fees:

    • For permits $1,000 or less in value: $100
    • For permits greater than $1,000: $100 for the first thousand plus $13 per thousand or part for the next $499,000, plus $10 per thousand or part for all the value greater than $500,000.

    Building Permit Renewal fee (for a one-year extension):

    • 10% of the original building permit fee (minimum $100)
  9. Will I need additional fees or permits?

    Yes, you could need additional permits and fees.  These could include plumbing, fireplace, chimney and wood burning appliance permits.  Additional fees could include water meter fees, service hookup fees including storm water and sanitary sewer connections.  To find out if any of these fees will apply please contact the Inspections Department at 250-475-5457. 

  10. Will I be charged a surety deposit?

    Yes.  Surety deposits are paid at the time of issuance of Building Permits.

    • $1,000 - Single Family Dwelling addition, alteration, renovation, demolition (including renovation and additions to Townhouses)
    • $1,000 - New Accessory Building
    • $2,000 - New Single Family Dwellings and Simple Buildings
    • $10,000 - New Complex Buildings

    You’ll receive a refund after final inspection and issuance of any occupancy permit, providing there is no damage to public property.

  11. Can I cut down trees or trim them before I get a building permit?

    No. You may need a tree permit under the Tree Preservation Bylaw [PDF - 214 KB].  Read the bylaw and a Q & A information brochure, "Trees and Construction in Saanich" on-line or by request.  Call the Parks Department at 250-475-5522 with all tree questions.

  12. How can I find out if my lot has any covenants, easements or rights-of-way registered against it?

    You’ll need to submit a certificate of title from the Land Title Office as part of your building permit application package.  This certificate will identify any encumbrances listed against your property.  Saanich staff can give you information and clarification on information registered against title.  It is your responsibility to be aware of any that could affect any planned building designs.

    Note:  Saanich does not enforce any private covenants registered against the property.