Building an addition in Toronto
Last modified: 2018/12/21 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
Building an extension on your home can add some serious value while welcoming space for additional family members or loved ones. Of course, a home addition or added room is a huge renovation to take on, as plenty of planning, preparation and skilled labour must take place to complete the job.
But before you start doing research regarding local contractors to work with, or you grab the hammer and nails to build the addition yourself, it is important that you consider local rules regarding adding rooms or floors onto your home. If you are living in the city of Toronto, there are specific regulations in place for all construction projects.
Exterior renovations don’t only affect the well-being of yourself and your family, but they also impact your neighbours and community. As a homeowner, you are responsible for providing a safe and professional space for those working on your home, and in turn, maintaining a considerate environment for the homes surrounding your own. If you’re living in the city of Toronto and are interested in a home extension, read on for all the vital details.
Here's everything to know about building an extension in Toronto
A home extension: the basics
A home extension doesn’t only consist of building another level to your house. There are several types of home additions, and these include the following:
- Building a deck or balcony on the façade of your home.
- Constructing a second story or a sunroom.
- Building a new garage attached to or in addition to your home.
Since you'll be building or adding onto the exterior of your home, it is important to keep your neighbours informed. Especially if you’re living in a close-knit Toronto community, it's recommended that you let your neighbours know about your planned work by either writing to them or popping by for a visit.
If you are working with a contractor, make sure you have discussed the length of time it will take for the addition to be completed. This way, you can let your neighbours know how long this project will take. Further, provide your neighbours with a way to get in touch with you if necessary. If your neighbours are well informed, it is more likely they will be understanding towards noise or any disturbances created by your renovation.
Speaking of noise, in the city of Toronto there is a Noise Bylaw that permits the operation of construction equipment between Monday and Friday and during the hours of 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM only.
This Bylaw also states that you are not allowed to make noise on Sundays or during statutory holidays. Even during the hours when construction is allowed, the noise levels should be kept to a minimum as a considerate effort. Take this into consideration when you are thinking about the length of the entire renovation.
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Toronto home addition permits, rules and regulations
Under the City of Toronto’s Building Code Act, you are required to get a building permit for any construction or demolition of a building, an addition or material alteration. Further, there are many municipal regulations in place, and therefore, building an addition will have to comply with zoning as well as plumbing and electrical systems rules. It is important that you consider how the zoning, plumbing or electricity will be affected in relation to your home renovation project before you start.
When submitting a permit application for an addition, extension, top floor and so on, you must include a set of drawings which aptly detail the dimensions and layout of the work you plan on doing.
This will need to be in the shape of a detailed site plan as well as a floor plan. If you don’t feel artistic enough to complete these drawings or the renovation plan, and you choose to hire a designer, make sure to include their name, registration number, qualification identification number, as well as their signature and a statement detailing that they have agreed to take responsibility for the design.
As we mentioned, if your addition interferes with or requires additional plumbing, a drain or water services, you will need to apply for another permit. However, drawings are not necessary for this part of the application. For the specifics of what is required with your permit application, you can check here.
Building an addition over relocation: a growing Toronto trend
Canada’s rising home prices are a wake-up call, especially for many of the residents of Toronto. A growing trend in the city of Toronto, as well as the GTA, is to purchase a home as a long-term investment, as prices and taxes for land transfers continue to increase. This is leading home-buyers and owners to renovate, adding additions, garages and rooms to pre-existing properties rather than moving.
Your financial map will change over time, alongside your family structure and size, your wants and needs and even potentially market and home renovation trends. These reasons alone could have you expanding and adding an addition to your home, instead of packing up and looking for the next place.
Further, if you were ultimately unhappy with the neighbourhood or additional factors, renovating your home can greatly increase its resale value. Completing a home renovation could pay off in the long run.
Looking to find out more about home additions and other types of extensions? Check out the following articles on our renovation blog:
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