Do I Need a Permit?

Do I Need a Permit?

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Melissa Davies
Permit Clerk – Building Division
1 MacDonald Square, Elora, ON
N0B 1S0
Phone: 519.846.9691 x329
Email: Click to send email

Stephanie Swain
Permit Clerk – Building Division
1 MacDonald Square, Elora, ON
N0B 1S0
Phone: 519.846.9691 x310
Email: Click to send email

 All permit fees are calculated based on Schedule "A" By-Law No. 2016-12 Please note that these figures and details are supplied as a convenience to you and are subject to change. Before commencing with any projects please verify costs and conditions with the Building Division.

Please be advised that, in accordance with requirements of the Township of Centre Wellington Building By-Law #2005 – 044, permit fees will be due and payable upon submission of application.

Fees calculated on initial application may require adjustment prior to the issuance of the Building Permit.  You will be advised of any adjustment or additional fees owing on notification that the Building Permit is available for pick up.

You need to submit an application for and obtain a building permit prior to starting construction or demolition if you want to:

  • Construct a new residential dwelling
  • Construct an addition to an existing building, irrespective of size
  • Attach a garage, carport, shed or other roof structure of any size
  • Construct an accessory building (sheds, detached garages, etc.) over 10 m2 (107 ft2)
  • Renovate
  • Finish the basement of a house
  • Create an accessory apartment in an existing dwelling
  • Demolish any building greater than 10 m2 (107 ft2)
  • Add, remove or alter a structural wall or column
  • Change the use of a building
  • Relocate a building
  • Replace an exterior wall or cladding
  • Install new plumbing or backflow prevention devices
  • Add or relocate plumbing fixtures
  • Install an underground sprinkler system connected to building plumbing
  • Add any new building that contains plumbing, irrespective of size
  • Construct decks of any shape, size or height
  • Build a concrete porch
  • Add or renovate a solarium and/or sunroom
  • Add a dormer
  • Install or change a swimming pool and its required fencing
  • Install any wood-burning appliance (fireplaces or woodstoves)
  • Convert a fireplace from gas to wood or solid fuel burning
  • Install solar panels or a solar hot water system
  • Recycle grey water to reduce water use
  • Re-insulate walls, ceilings or floors
  • Install a new furnace utilizing a new fuel source
  • Remove a load bearing wall, column, lintel or beam
  • Install a new window or door if you are increasing the width of the existing opening
  • Construct a retaining wall that is greater than three feet and three inches in height
  • Install a new private septic system, replacement tank or repairs to an existing system
  • Include site servicing (water or sewer lines) for all building types
  • Erect a tent or group of tents that are more than 60 m2 (646 ft2) in an aggregate ground area, attached to a building or constructed within 3 m (9' 10") of any structure
  • Alterations or changes of use to industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-residential construction
  • Install an exterior sign


Please contact our office if your project is not listed here and we will be happy to walk you through the process.

Projects that DO NOT Require a Building Permit, include but are not limited to:

  • Structures less than 108 ft2 measured from the outside face of walls (that do not contain plumbing)
  • Gas fireplace
  • Fences not enclosing a swimming pool (but must still comply with zoning regulations)
  • Water softener installations
  • Damp-proofing basements
  • Painting, wall papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops, and similar finish work
  • Door and window replacements (within the existing opening, where no structural members are changed)
  • Installing new shingles on existing roof
  • Replacing a plumbing fixture (i.e. toilet, bathtub or sink) with a new fixture in the same location
  • Replacing a furnace or adding air conditioning units or a heat pump
  • Kitchen or bathroom cupboards
  • Retaining walls less than 1 m in height
  • Sidewalks, planters and landscaping
  • Garden pergolas and gazebos that do not have a solid roof

Quick Check Guide

Type of Construction

Permit Required

No Permit Required





Cabinets & Countertops


Driveways & Curbs




Fencing Not Enclosing a Pool


Gazebos without a Solid Roof


Gas Fireplaces


New Construction




Septic Systems


Shingle Replacement


Site Alteration




Need More Information?

If you're uncertain whether or not you need a permit, check with the Building Division of Planning and Development. There are a number of informational handouts depending on the type of construction project you are working on.

For more information, please drop in to see us at the Civic Centre at 1 MacDonald Square in Elora (Lower Level), Monday – Friday from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, or give us a call at 519.846.9691. Some of these documents are also available on this website.