Winnipeg homeowners get easier access to permits for home renovation projects

By | May 15, 2020

WINNIPEG — The City of Winnipeg announced on Friday it has expanded the online permit service applications for homeowners who want to do home renovation projects.

In a press release to CTV News, the city said permits online allows applicants to track application statuses for home projects like new decks and detached garages, hot tubs and pools, and other structures larger than ten meters squared.

Previously only contractors and licensed professionals could use the permits online service.

Ryan Buchen, owner of Buchen Landscaping, told CTV News, not every project requires a code.

“If you want to lay brick in your yard, you can do it however,” said Buchen. “If you want to build a fence, you have to get a permit before you dig the holes so that you’re not going to hit any lines.”

The City of Winnipeg told CTV News in a written statement that “ inspections still occur to ensure work is done to the applicable building codes.”

Buchen said it’s good that people want to invest time and do home renovations, especially when many may be stuck at home and can’t go to work because of the pandemic.

“If homeowners want to do it and have the time because they’re not working right now that’s fine,” he said. “A lot of time people will call me and they want to take on a project themselves and they just want to know how to do it.”

He said if he is able to, he will stop-by and walk them through the process. Depending on the area and the project he said every regulation is different. 

Buchan said if someone wants to put in a shed or garage, they may have to check with their neighbour to make sure their view isn’t blocked. For projects like an outdoor pool, he said it would be hard for people to do it themselves. His best advice to anyone who wants to do home projects is always double check that you are doing things right.

“Call someone who knows even if they want to charge you a fee to come out and look,” said Buchen. He added paying a small fee is better than someone getting hurt, and will ensure the project will lasts longer. 

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