When do I need a Building Permit?

For all new construction or structural repairs, alterations or renovations to existing structures, including accessory buildings, retaining walls, solid fuel fired appliances and chimneys; placing a mobile home or factory built house, demolishing a building or structure; change of use or occupancy of an existing building (ex. carport to garage/garage to living area/garage to business such as winery or hairdresser); installation of plumbing systems.

When is a Building Permit Not Required?

  • Farm buildings located on land classed as “farm” under the Assessment Act and that are designed for “low human occupancy” (no more than 1 person per every 40 m2 of area).  An application for farm building exemption must be made. 
  • Non-structural alterations and repairs to single and two-family residential dwellings which alterations do not affect the building envelope, including: recovering existing roofs; replacing siding; repainting; the repair or replacement of a valve, faucet, fixture or sprinkler head in a plumbing system if no change in piping is required; re-covering existing floors; replacing windows and doors in existing openings (as long as size does not change);
  • Buildings or structures on a mine site, other than buildings used or intended to be used for residential occupancy and buildings accommodating cooking or sleeping facilities;
  • Retaining walls 1.2 metres (4 ft) or less in height; Retaining wall information sheet
  • Game fences of any height on land classed as farm under the Assessment Act or fences 1.83 metres or less in height with the exception of pool fencing;
  • Signs with less than 4 square metres of total sign area;
  • The matters exempted by Part 1 of the Building Code including but not limited to:
  • Accessory buildings less than 10 square metres (107 sq. ft) in building area that do not create a hazard;
  • Temporary buildings such as construction site offices and special events facilities and similar structures with the permission of the Authority having jurisdiction.

Is a Permit required for interior renovations?

In all structures other than single or two family residential buildings, a permit is required for interior renovations, alterations or change of use.  In single or two family residential buildings a permit is required if the alterations affect the building envelope.  For example, upgrading insulation or any renovation which insulation is exposed.

Construction Site Health & Safety information sheet

Is a Building Permit required for a wood burning stove or fireplace insert?

Yes, a permit is required for constructing a masonry fireplace or installing a solid fuel fired appliance or chimney.

Is a Building Permit required for a swimming pool?

A permit is required for a swimming pool. A swimming pool is defined as any artificial body of water intended for recreational use and having a surface area exceeding 12 square metres in which the depth of water could attain at least 60 centimetres.

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How do I obtain a Building Permit?

By applying in person or otherwise providing a complete application to the Building Inspection Department at the RDOS office on 101 Martin Street, in Penticton, B.C.
See "To Obtain a Building Permit".

Electrical / Gas Permits

Rewiring, installing a propane heater or doing renovations that involve gas or electricity require a permit.

Permits and inspections for electrical and gas are administrated by Technical Safety BC.

Contact them toll-free: 1-866-566-7233 (7am-8pm)  www.technicalsafetybc.ca

Must plans be professionally drawn?

If the project is a relatively small project, such as a deck, garage/workshop or a small addition to existing structure, the plans do not need to be professionally drawn but they must be drawn to scale and should be as complete as possible to reflect the scope of construction and consistent with current BC Building Code requirements. See "To Obtain a Building Permit".

Larger projects must be drawn by a qualified designer and may require architectural involvement.

How much does a Building Permit cost?

The cost of a Building Permit is based on the estimated value of construction calculated according to square footage of the project (Table A-1 of Schedule 2). There is a non-refundable plan processing fee of $150 or $500 (projects valued over $100,000) which must be received at the time the application is made and which is applied towards the permit cost.

Permit fees are:

$12 for each $1,000 (1.2%) of construction value up to $500,000;

$10 for each $1,000 (1%) of construction value between $500,001 and $1,000,000;

$6 for each $1,000 of construction value after $1,000,001.


Mobile/modular/manufactured homes are calculated at 50% or 70% of the value in Table A-1 of Schedule 2 (below).

Demolition Permit is $150.

Plumbing Permit is $10 per fixture plus $100 fee when issued separately from a building permit.

Solid Fuel Burning Appliances are $100 per appliance.

Building Permit Fees are as set out in Fees & Charges Bylaw 2787.

How long does it take to process a Permit and when is it issued?

It takes approximately four to six weeks to process a Building Permit, depending on the volume of applications being processed at any given time. The Building Permit must be issued prior to placement of concrete or any construction.

Climatic / Snow Load Data

Per the BC Building Code, including snow, rain & wind loads and climate zones.

RDOS Climatic Data Table



When is a guard/handrail required and what are the required heights of guards/handrails?

As set out in the BC Building Code.