A Permit Plan Checklist

A permit plan checklist provides homeowners with a summary of the Building Permit submission requirements for constructing a residential addition. Submission Process, Application Forms, Fees, Approvals, and Inspections

The Ontario Building Code outlines the minimum requirements for various elements, such as framing and foundation, and can be viewed on the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website.

Building permit approval process | City of Ottawa

A Permit Plan Checklist

1. How Is It Zoned?

Zoning is the local planning authority's determination of how a particular piece of land you have just purchased and how can be used. it is important to be aware that the size and shape of the structure you want to build must fit within the setback for the property you want.

Setbacks are restrictions on where on a property a home can be built, such as a designated required distance from the property line or curb. A simple title search can reveal any easements associated with the land that could take the lot out of the running.

Check out the Elevation & Grading Plans Section Below.

Getting Started

Step 1 - Meet with Customer Service City or Municipality

Step 2 - Hire Your Residential Drafting Company - That being Dustin Design & Drafting

  • Hire a professional, experienced, and familiar with the Ontario Building Code and municipal by-laws, to prepare your final plans and specifications., this would be us at Dustin Design and Drafting of course.
  • You may consider designing your own project. Many publications are available in bookshops, libraries, and at lumber dealers that may assist you. You can purchase copies of the Ontario Building Code by contacting Orderline at 1-888-361-0003. The Building Code Act and regulations can also be viewed on the Province's website

Step 3 - Dustin Design Drafting Prepares this for you

  • Prepare your building permit application package

Requirements for Plans, Drawing, and Specifications

-Two complete sets of detailed plans that are legible and drawn to scale

-Two copies of a property survey or site plan

Clients can draw their own plans, but they must meet the following criteria:

All drawings must be on durable material, drawn to scale in either metric or imperial measurements and fully dimensioned

Pencil drawings and sketches are not allowed. However, photocopies of pencil drawings in permitted.

All plans, drawings, and specifications must provide enough information that will allow a Building Official whether the proposed construction, once it is completed, complies with the requirements set out in the Ontario Building Code and other applicable laws.

  • It is important to know that drawings for some pre-engineered structures require certification by a Professional Engineer licensed to practice in Ontario. Examples of buildings include greenhouses and sheds. Whenever buying a prefabricated structure ensure that you are provided with a copy of the professionally sealed design drawings.
  1. The Building By-law Schedule B sets out the specifications and documents required to be submitted along with the application form. If you have any questions, the Building Official or Building Technical Support staff at the Client Service Centre counter will be pleased to assist you.
  • Your building plans may include:
    1. Site plan
    2. Foundation plan
    3. Floor plans
    4. Cross-section(s)
    5. Elevation views
    6. Structural framing details
    7. Roof plan for complex designs
    8. Drainage and grading plan
    9. See specific Residential Construction Checklists for full details.

Site Plans

A site plan identifies buildings and other features in relation to your property and its boundaries. The site plan must include your existing house, other existing structures, and proposed additions or new structures.
The information that is usually required for a site plan may also be found on the existing property survey. This you would have received when you purchased your home.  If you do not have the plans for your property they can be obtained at the Ontario Land Registry Office.

The following information should be shown on a site plan:

  1. Title and scale
  2. Legal description
  3. Street name
  4. Driveway
  5. Setbacks (distance) to overhead electrical wires and conductors from proposed structures
  6. Property lines with dimensions
  7. Setbacks (distance) to all property lines from all existing and proposed structures
  8. Proposed construction (shaded)
  9. Overall building dimensions,
  10. Right-of-way and easements
  11. Location of well and septic system (if applicable)

For interior renovations, an interior plan may be required showing the location of both existing and proposed construction. The Building Official or Building Technical Support staff will advise you.

Floor Plans

Floor plans are required for each floor level to be constructed and/or that is affected by your project. For additions to existing buildings, floor plans of all or part of the existing building may be required. The following information must be shown on a floor plan:

  1. Title and scale
  2. All room names or uses (e.g., kitchen, living room, bedroom)
  3. Location of plumbing fixtures
  4. Size, direction and spacing of structural members (joists, columns, beams and lintels)
  5. Interior and exterior dimensions, including door and window sizes
  6. General specifications/materials to be used
  7. The extent and size of both the new and existing structures

Note: If your project includes the use of proprietary engineered floor joist systems, your submission must include a floor joist layout plan from the manufacturer.

Roof Framing Details

Roof and ceiling framing members must be clearly noted on the appropriate floor plan. Spans of all prefabricated roof truss and joist systems, including the location of all hip or girder trusses, must be shown. For other than simply supported spans, a detailed framing or roof truss layout provided by your truss supplier may be required.

Existing loading conditions can also affect structural design for building renovations and additions. The existing roofing and ceiling details should also be indicated.


A cross-section presents a view of a house along with an imaginary cut, showing the structural elements of the building and exposing what is hidden behind the walls. Cross-sections through the proposed and existing structure(s) may be required to show building materials and how they relate to one another. The location of the cross-section is shown by the cross-section symbol on the floor plans.

The following information must be shown on a cross-section:

  1. Title and scale
  2. Room names
  3. Heights and dimensions of doors and windows
  4. Size and types of materials and finishes
  5. Finished floor level and grades
  6. The extent of an existing house and proposed additions

Elevation View & Grading Plans

Elevation view

An elevation view is an illustration of a finished exterior of each side of the building or frontage. Elevation drawings are required for any project that may alter the exterior of your building.

The following information must be shown on an elevation:

  1. Title and scale
  2. Heights and dimensions of existing and new window and door openings
  3. Exterior finishes and materials
  4. Finished floor levels and grade
  5. The extent of the proposed addition and existing house
  6. Overall height of the building
  7. Slope/pitch of new roofs

Grading Plan

A grading plan identifies the slope and drainage of the land with respect to the proposed building and surrounding properties. Depending upon the particulars of your proposed project, a grading plan may be required. When required, two copies of the proposed grading plan must be submitted along with your building permit application submission documents. The grading plan must be prepared by a Professional Engineer, Engineering Technologist, or Land Surveyor licensed in Ontario. A grading plan will illustrate both the existing drainage pattern and the proposed drainage pattern.

A grading plan is required for all Building Permit Applications, in both rural and urban areas, where:

  • The proposed construction may adversely affect the existing drainage.
  • The proposed structure is a new building, an addition, or an accessory structure greater than 55m2 (592 square feet).
  • The proposed structure is within 1.2 metres (4') of the property line.
  • Installation of a pool located is within 1.2 metres of the property line.

Additional Information

The exceptions to the above are as follows:
A separate grading plan is not required for the following projects; however, the site plan submitted must clearly identify all existing and proposed buildings and structures, including setbacks to property lines, easements and service utility locations.

  • Construction of any second-floor addition to an existing structure.
  • Construction of a one-storey addition or detached accessory building 55 m² (592 square feet) or less in footprint area and set back greater than 1.2 metres (4') from all property lines.
  • Construction of a balcony, deck, porch, or veranda set back greater than 1.2 metres (4') to all property lines.
  • Construction of any structure considered a permitted projection in the Zoning By-Law including a fireplace or chimney.

Grading plans that incorporate a septic system must include a septic permit obtained from the Ottawa Septic System Office. The septic permit must be obtained before the building permit application is submitted.

Agencies and Resources

Electrical Permits and Inspections

The City of Ottawa does not issue electrical permits or perform inspections. Please contact the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA).

The City does not regulate electrical inspections; however, the distance to electrical conductors (i.e. hydro lines) must be shown on the site plan.


Depending on the scope of your renovation or construction project you may need to ensure the necessary clearances are met by your service provider.

Conservation Authorities

Depending on the location and nature of your project conservation authority approval may be required. Please contact one of the following that applies:

Construction and Safety Resources

Here is some additional information on construction materials and other references to labour standards.


To obtain specific plans, documents, and/or services.  There are also certain fees that must be paid to professional individuals for their services, to help you finalize your drawings, and plans.

Dustin Design & Drafting 

Our Fees are for Building Permit Plans,  *please note -  that we do not charge based on Square footage. We give a price based on the complexity of the project.  If it is a project that requires us to be on-site for a look at specific things, but no plans to be drawn up, then an hourly rate will be charged.

Structural Engineer - Fees will be based on the Engineer of hire.

is a civil engineer that specializes, in the planning, analysis, design, construction, inspection, evaluation, monitoring, maintenance, rehabilitation, and demolition of permanent and temporary structures. An engineer also considers the technical, economic, environmental, aesthetic, and social aspects of any structure.

Geo-Technologist - Fees will be based on the Engineer of hire.

Geomatics technologists carry out or take part in field surveys, office calculations, and producing plans. They search for the exact locations of natural features and human-made structures on the earth’s surface, underground, and underwater. They also define the positions of these features in relation to each other. They also work to examine the soil and surfaces.