home additions in Toronto

All You Need to Know About Home Additions in Toronto

If you feel you are running out of space in your current home, you could swap it for a larger home with more square footage or increase the square footage of your existing home. The latter option is known as home additions. Given the rising prices of real estate in Toronto, home additions would be the ideal solution if you need more space.

Whether it is a small addition like a bump-out to something major like a master suite, home additions are best handled by professional architects, engineers, construction supervisors, and workers to avoid any nasty surprises.  Don’t forget that the plans for your home additions need the approval of the regulatory building authorities in Toronto.

We find out how home additions in Toronto work on an end-to-end basis, the costs involved, and the regulations that govern them.

What Are The Costs Involved?

The costs involved in home additions include raw materials for home additions and professional fees of designers and architects.

Professional Fees

Your costs would depend on your home addition plan, including size, design, and more. The professionals involved in any home addition project in Toronto would include contractors, architects, and their respective teams. You would require an architect to create the blueprint for your home additions. This is the first step of the process since you need to get your building permit before you can begin construction.

Permit Fees

The Toronto Planning Department will charge a certain fee on a square metre basis to issue the permit. The permit fees would depend on the scope and size of your home additions.

Inspection from the Toronto Planning Department may be required depending on the nature of home additions. You may need to pay the hourly charges for inspection to ensure that your existing infrastructure like electric, septic, and water systems are not damaged with the new addition.

After getting a rough estimate of the costs involved, you need to create your budget for the home additions. This will ensure your project does not get stalled due to a lack of funds.

Contractor Charges

Once the permits are obtained, the demolition and construction begin with verified contractors. Charges for materials and labour are on a square-foot basis. Costs would go up if a full foundation is required for your home additions.

Building Inspector Charges

Other costs include the hourly fees payable to the building inspector.

Understand Your Zoning ByLaws

Before you plan your home additions, find out if your zoning bylaws permit it. You will get all the information you need, like structures allowed, height restrictions, and street spacing restrictions from your local zoning laws.

You can use the services of architecture firms like Orana to obtain permits and eligibility for your home additions project. Calling up the Toronto Building Customer Service regarding the bylaws is the best way forward.

The Role of an Architect

Architectural Designers at ORANA are certified ensuring that your building plans meet the requirements of the Toronto Planning Department and are made as per the Ontario Building Code.

This information is required on the building plans when they are submitted to the Toronto Planning Office. It’s advisable to hire independent architects so that you own the building plans.

Steps for Acquiring the Permit

  • Application for building permit
  • It takes around 3 to 4 months for your home additions permit to be processed. Make sure that all the supporting documents required are in order
  • You need to submit the architectural plans, municipal road damage forms, and applications to construct or demolish. Additional forms would be required for demolition exceeding 100 square meters if destruction of trees is involved or compliance with energy-efficiency norms is necessary.
  • All documents should be submitted to the Toronto Building Customer Service.
  • If your plans are eligible for home additions, you will receive an approval letter and a request for the permit fees. The plan examiner will review all your documents for compliance. If all your documents are in order, you will get the building permit in about 3 to 4 months.

Finding a Qualified Contractor

Check the portfolio of the contractor to verify if they have the experience to handle your project. You can use the services of an architecture firm to hire the right contractors for your home additions. These firms can analyze your project and save you the hassle of choosing a reliable one.

What Happens During the Building Phase?

This phase begins once your home additions get the building permit. A copy of the approved plans needs to be available on-site for inspection. Here are the stages of the building phase:

  • Demolition and Construction: The contractor will start the demolition phase. This will be followed by construction and framing.
  • Notify the Inspector: Every phase would require an official inspection. You could either notify the inspector through an online form or call them during business hours. You can expect them to arrive for an inspection within 48 hours of being contacted.
  • Intimation by the Contractor: You will be informed about the next scheduled inspection by your contractor. The inspector checks the structural integrity of your home additions.

The areas that are inspected are:

  1. Safety equipment like fire alarms
  2. Kitchen exhaust
  3. Foundation
  4. Framing structure
  5. HVAC systems

Each area is approved as your home additions near the completion phase.

Final Inspection

When all the interior and exterior of your home additions in Toronto are complete, the last and final inspection will be scheduled. At this stage, your permit is closed, and your project gets the final approval. All the sign-off letters issued by your contractor may need to be compiled in PDF format before the inspection.

The inspector will look at your entire project from the beginning to check for any deficiencies. If anything does not meet the required standards, your contractor will have to correct the deficiency and schedule another inspection.

Once the inspector is satisfied regarding the specified parameters for the home additions, you are free to enjoy this new extension of your home.

Final Thoughts

Home additions are a great way to get the additional space you need. For a smooth and seamless experience, hire an architectural firm like Orana to take care of your home addition needs. They take care of the key issues of home additions like the blueprints for construction and the required permits.

Expand your life with the right home additions!