If you are considering a summer renovation or maybe adding a deck to soak up the sun this summer, you need to be aware of the building permits that may be required.

"For building permits in the City of Estevan," explained Justin Charron, Estevan's Building Official, "we require building permits for any new single-family dwelling construction, any additions, garages attached or detached, decks, for the most part, do need permits."

"For renovations and repairs, anything structural needs a building permit. If you're going to be doing any basement development those as well need a building permit."

"Things that don't need a building permit are fences, private sidewalks and driveways, planters, painting and cabinet work, bathrooms, kitchen work and any accessory building structure that is under 10 square meters, so 108 square feet, does not need a building permit although there are some tight regulations that have to be met with that."

"Big or small, we need to educate the public as to what they need building permits for and what they're not required for."

"One call we do get on a daily basis is the requirement for what's needed to put up a fence. For fences, the maximum height for your side and rear yard is 6'6". And from the front face of your house to the front of your property, it's 4' tall. If you're on a corner lot, there are some sight triangles that have to be maintained for line of sight."

If you are unsure whether or not your project needs a permit, you can call Charron directly at City Hall at 306-634-1819.

"We also have a Land Development Manager, Richard Neufeld. Some commercial projects and bigger industrial projects and subdivisions require a development permit and those go through Richard."

Building permit applications can be found on the City's website

"There's a little package that needs to be filled out just to give a brief site plan and construction details on what you're planning on building. Once that's submitted, typically, depending on timelines, it can be about a week to two weeks. Once that's reviewed and approved, I contact the applicant and they can come in and pick up their building permit."

"The fees for building permits is $6 for every $1,000 of total construction value. That's labour and materials included."

He did note that the demand for building permits has been decreasing. 

"It's been steadily declining but it's kind of hit an average. Some years are going to be a little bit higher than others, some years will be lower. But there's a constant flow of building permits coming in right now. People have been very proactive with their inspections as well."

 

He mentioned that in the last year, they implemented a new requirement for performance deposits on building permits.

"It's an encouragement to get people to finish projects in a timely manner and follow building regulations. So what that is, is 5% of the total construction value is to be added to the building permit cost and upon completion and final inspection, that performance deposit is then returned to the applicant." 

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