When arranging for a permit, there are several factors to keep in mind:
- The permit is required before you begin work on your project.
- To apply for a permit, you will be required to provide information about your project in the form of plans and supporting documentation. Sufficient information is required to demonstrate that the proposed work will comply with all applicable Codes, Regulations, Bylaws and property encumbrances (e.g. rights-of-way, covenants, etc.).
- Permits are obtained through the Building Permits and Licences Division.
- Permits can not be applied for online.
- Calculation of building permit fees are outlined in the Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 1532-2006.
- Depending on the type of permit, various other charges and securities (Development Cost Charges, Damage Deposits, etc.) may be applied.
- Periodically during the progress of permitted work and after you have completed work, you will need to schedule inspections.
The following are some of the basic procedural requirements for different types of permits. It is important to note that requirements vary depending on the work you are doing.
Residential Building Permits
- Complete an Application and Owner’s Authorization form.
- Provide two sets of drawings (to scale) of the proposed work, and a site plan and any other documents required (engineering schedules, septic approval, etc.).
- Pay application fee
- The Permits Coordinator will review the plans and forward his or her comments to you prior to accepting permit as a complete application.
- Provide any outstanding items identified and requested by the Permits Coordinator in the course of their review.
- Pick up plans when notified after the plan review is complete and pay any outstanding fees if required.
- Schedule inspections at appropriate stages of construction.
Commercial / Industrial / Institutional / Multi-Family
- Fill out an Application and Owner’s Authorization form.
- Provide drawings and associated documents for the proposed work. You will need to demonstrate compliance with any Development agreements that apply to your project.
- Pay application fee.
- The Permits Coordinator will review the plans for compliance with the BC Building Code.
- In parallel with this review the application is referred to other City Departments affected by the proposed work. A consolidation of the various departments’ comments will be forwarded to you.
- Provide supplemental documentation identified and requested by the Permits Coordinator in the course of their review.
- Pick up plans when notified after the plan review is complete and pay the permit fee outstanding balance.
- Schedule inspections at the appropriate stages of the work.
Fees and Charges for Building Permits are listed in detail in the City’s Fees and Charges Bylaw, 2006, (Schedule "G").
Fees and charges for building permits are dependent on a variety of factors including but not limited to type of project, location and services needed to complete the scope of work, it is not possible to provide a complete list of fees and charges prior to the review of the application.
The City’s Building staff is available to assist you in figuring out just what kind of permits and fees you will need in order to complete your project in a timely and cost-effective manner. Applicants are advised to wait for staff to complete the review before determining final permit fees.
You can also use our Building Permit Fee Estimator tool.
In order to serve you better, and ensure all your questions are answered in a timely manner, the Building Department has designated specific times for phone consultation. Clients are served on a first-come first-serve basis.
- For questions regarding specific applications in progress - A Plan Reviewer is available for counter enquiries and phone calls to discuss your file between 8:30 am and 9:30 am and again between 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday.
- For general questions, not referring to a specific application already submitted - A Plan Reviewer is available to handle general phone enquiries between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday.
- Questions for Building Inspectors - A Building Inspector is available for phone enquires between 4:00 pm and 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday.
The 2018 British Columbia Building Code came into effect on December 10, 2018.
The new 2018 BC Building Code, BC Plumbing Code and BC Fire Code bring a number of changes for new construction and building alterations, as well as fire safety in new and existing buildings.
Some of the changes include:
- Increase in Minimum Run dimension for Private (Single family dwelling) stairs;
- Sound transmission requirements Part 5 and Part 9;
- The method for determining run for winders and tapered treads has changed;
- New requirements for installing “Exterior Insulation Finish Systems”; and
- New requirements for the use of foamed plastic insulation for heating ducts.
View the 2018 Edition of the British Columbia Building Code information bulletin.
What is an Alternative Solution?
Previously, a formal building code rationalization equating an equal or better level of protection and performance was called an “Equivalency.” Since the introduction of the BC Building Code 2012, edition, it is now labeled an “Alternative Solution.”
The BC Building Code sets out technical provisions that regulate the design and construction of buildings or building components through the use of legal prescriptive language that dictate a minimum requirement/standard. An alternative method of compliance can be achieved by demonstrating that an equivalent (or higher) level of protections and/or performance can be designed and constructed with respect to satisfying the minimum prescriptive building code requirement.
This Alternative Solution Proposal must identify the applicable objectives, functional statements, and intent statements, including providing a brief project description and a summary of all relevant building code deviations. These objections and statements must be analyzed and evaluated in detail to justify how acceptance of the Alternative Solution Proposal is validated. A summary of the mitigating features must be stated to establish what design features are being proposed beyond the minimum building code requirement(s).
How do I Apply for an Alternative Solution?
Please incorporate the entire proposal with the attached City of Abbotsford Alternative Solution Proposal form. Submit the completed form along with payment ($520 per code deviation) to:
Building Permits & Licences Division
City of Abbotsford
32315 South Fraser Way
Abbotsford, BC V2T 1W7
These proposals must be submitted with each building permit application, and must be accepted prior to the issuance of any building permit; otherwise the design will require to be altered to a code conforming “fall-back” solution.
The Certified Professional (CP) Program is recognized as a supplementary program to the plan review and field review building permit processes in the City of Abbotsford. For information refer to the Certified Professional Program Application Package.
The City of Abbotsford adopted Building Bylaw No. 2883-2018 on December 3, 2018 that came into effect January 1, 2019.
The changes incorporated into the bylaw are as follows:
- General Regulations
- Application Fees - effective January 2019 (schedule of the fees and charges bylaw)
- Building Permit Fees
- New Plumbing Permit Process - January 2019(separate from the Building Permit Process)
- Performance Securities
- Permit Exemptions
- Show Home Building Permits - Policy No. A001-09
- Heating Certifications Changes
- Provisional Occupancy
- Clean Hands Policy