This page provides answers to various questions that our residential permit staff encounter everyday. The questions proposed are in a generic form, and are not related to any specific project, nor should they be used as official interpretations of the National Building Code of Canada. These questions are meant to be used as a guide only, and for more detailed answers or to discuss your specific question, please contact Building Standards.
The Frequently Asked Questions section is divided up into the following categories:
- When Do I Need a Permit?
- Permits, Submissions, and Costs
- What Can I Build On My Property?
- Code-Related FAQ's and Other Information
When Do I Need a Permit?
Q. Do I need a permit to build a shed?
A. Yes, if it is over 10 sq m (107 sq ft) in building area. There will be side yard and lot coverage requirements also. As well, even if one shed does not require a permit, the addition of multiple sheds will require a permit, regardless of the size of them.
Q. Do I need a permit to build a fence?
A. No, unless it encloses a swimming pool.
Q. Do I need a permit to develop my basement?
Q. Do I need a permit to build or widen my driveway?
A. No, however a curb crossing permit is required from Infrastructure Services if the driveway will alter City curbs or sidewalks.
Permits, Submissions and Costs
Q. What do I need to submit to get a permit to build a new house?
A. You will require one complete set of drawings (including a site plan and a ventilation design). Shop drawings are required to be on site for the framing inspection. Also, please see Residential Drawing Requirements.
Q. What do I need to submit to get a permit to build an addition to my house?
A. You require one complete set of drawings (including site plan or surveyors certificate, if available).
Q. Do I need to have an engineer/architect involved?
A. You will be required to provide plans bearing the signature and seal of an architect or engineer licensed to practice in the Province of Saskatchewan if the design involves a pile and grade beam style foundation or involves any other type of construction that falls outside the scope of Part 9 of the current National Building Code of Canada.
Q. What do I need to submit to get a permit to build a garage?
A. You require a site plan or surveyors certificate, if available, as well as a list of materials being used.
Q. Where/how do I get a permit for electrical work? How much does it cost?
A. Please contact SaskPower.
Q. Where/how do I get a permit for plumbing work? How much does it cost?
A. Refer to the Plumbing Permit page.
Q. What do I need to include in a site plan?
A. Refer to the Site Plan section on Residential Drawing Requirements.
Q. How close can I build my house to the property line? My carport? Garage? Shed?
A. How close you can build your house to the property line depends on the Zoning District (refer to the Zoning Bylaw) and Residential Side yard Requirements. Also, for garages and sheds, you can refer to the Garages/Accessory Buildings handout for more information.
Q. Can a bay window encroach into the required side yard or front yard setback?
Q. Can a fireplace encroach into the required side yard or front yard setback?
A. Yes (refer to the Planning & Development Branch for more information).
Q. How much does a building permit cost?
A. The residential permit fee is based on the square footage of the project, as noted in the fee schedule. The Minimum RESIDENTIAL permit fee is $100.00, which apply in all cases.
Q. I have submitted a building permit application, but have decided not to proceed with the project. Should I contact Building Standards?
A. Yes. Submit a letter to Building Standards (click here for contact info) requesting that the application be cancelled. Please ensure the address of the project and the type of project (deck, detached garage, basement development, addition, etc) are noted on the letter.
What Can I Build on my Property?
Q. Can I build a greenhouse on my property?
A. Yes, but only for personal use (not commercial use). Refer to the pamphlet on Detached Accessory Buildings.
Q. Can I build a two storey detached garage?
Q. Can I build a suite above my detached garage?
Q. What is the maximum size I can build a detached garage?
A. Your detached garage cannot be larger than the main floor of the house. As well, the area of all detached accessory buildings cannot exceed 30% to 50% of the rear yard nor 87 sq m (refer to the Planning & Development Branch).
Q. What is the maximum height for a detached garage?
A. Walls cannot be higher than 4.0m (13 feet), and the height of the peak of the roof cannot exceed 5.0m (16.4 feet).
Q. Can I get a list of building permits that have been issued on a particular property?
A. Yes, but you must be the owner of the property or have written permission from the owner. See Plans and Records for more information.
Code-Related FAQ's and Other Information
Q. What are the general requirements for a guardrail on a residential (one- or two-unit dwelling) deck?
A. Guards on a residential deck are required to be not less than 900mm (36") high if the difference in elevation between the deck and ground level is greater than 600mm (2 feet), and are required to be not less than 1070mm (42") high if the difference in elevation between the deck and ground level is greater than 1800mm (6 feet). As well, guards on residential decks are to be non-climbable and have no openings that will permit the passage of a 100mm sphere (openings to be less than 4" wide).
Q. What are the general requirements for bedroom windows in one and two unit dwellings?
A. Bedroom windows are required to be openable, with an unobstructed area (no obstructing hardware) of not less than 0.35 sq m (3.8 sq ft) and no dimension less than 380mm (15"). All windows serving bedrooms must meet these requirements unless the bedroom and building being served is sprinklered.
Q. Who should be contacted to locate utility lines and services underground?
A. To avoid serious injury or disruption of utility services, you should contact the following utility agencies at least 48 hours prior to digging, so that all utility lines can be properly located. There is no fee for this service (Phone numbers are subject to change).