Does your project require a PERMIT?
So, it’s happening. Downtown Revitalization is occurring all around us and businesses are getting ready to meet the demands of more customers enjoying the increasing number of shops and restaurants Downtown. Many businesses have been waiting for this opportunity, while others are moving Downtown with the promise of even more opportunities for new businesses to establish and grow. With growth and development knowledge of the established rules and regulations are essential to ensure a healthy, safe and vibrant environment for us all to live, work, dine, shop and play in our Downtown.
In recent years, Macdonald Zuberec Ensslen Architects has noticed that many business owners are not fully aware of the rules and regulations that pertain to building renovations, change of use and expansion. All too often, the excitement of growth and investment turns into a stop work order when the planning / zoning / bylaw / fire departments discovers that the proper approvals and permits have not been satisfied. Well, this is when your local Architect can be of assistance. Actually, before you start tearing out those walls, converting that second floor into loft apartments, or adding that balcony, you should consider engaging an Architect to review your needs, confirm the possibilities and establish the requirements. Time is money and when your local qualified General Contractor is stopped part way through construction because the proper permits were not issued, then you will learn the hard way of the benefits of proper project design and planning before committing to that scope of work.
Some good advice would be to assume that you require a permit for everything related to altering your building to accommodate your growing business. Call the City to confirm, or ask a local Architect. If you own a commercial property or a multi-unit residential building and are planning to alter the layout, change the use or expand the floor area. You will require a permit. You should also know that there are professional Architects close-by who can advise you of the design and construction process and offer time-saving and cost-saving design solutions to plan and budget for, before you commit to the project. Seeking the professional guidance of an Architect is not a free service, but can be a financially wise investment to determine what is realistically entailed in achieving your business goals. Most importantly, an Architect will identify what is required to properly satisfy the conditions of the applicable rules and regulations, as defined locally by the Zoning bylaws and provincially by the Planning Act and Ontario Building Code. The input of an Architect will facilitate the progress of your project and enable it to be completed on time and on budget. Expand your business by first being informed, having a plan, literally, and working within the rules…ask an Architect.