Building and Renovating

Building permits are in place for your safety - and the safety of those around you, ensuring your construction project is protected from structural failure, fire hazards from electrical and heating systems, electrical shock and other health risks. Permits also provide a permanent record of the work performed and all inspections conducted to ensure the project is sound and safe.

Before starting a new construction or renovation project, you must determine whether you need a building permit.

The Municipality of Central Huron Building Department is here to help guide home owners and developers through the building process.

A building permit is a document issued by Central Huron's Building Department for enforcing Ontario’s Building Code in Central Huron. A building permit is necessary when you wish to construct, renovate, demolish or change the use of a building.

 Applications and Forms
 Please note that not all of our building resources are currently available online as we work toward making our website accessible. Copies of necessary resources can be obtained by contacting the Building Department.
Building Projects Requiring a Building Permit
  • New buildings such as homes, detached garages, sheds and workshops 
  • Additions to an existing house such as a room, garage or carport, porch, add a second floor level, finish a basement or an attic 
  • Decks greater than 2 feet above grade, decks with a roof
  • Renovations that involve structural alterations, new bathrooms, bedrooms or removal of interior walls
  • Replacement of windows/doors if opening made larger
  • Installation of a wood burning stove or fireplace
  • Pre-fabricated structures and buildings 
  • New Plumbing systems including alteration and relocation of existing plumbing systems, septic systems, water, sanitary and storm sewers
  • Demolition of a residence or accessory structure as prescribed in the Ontario Building Code
  • Temporary Tents
  • Structural Alterations:
    • Removing load bearing walls, beams or columns
    • Repair or reconstructing basement walls, foundations floors, roof structures, etc.
  • Mobile Homes, Modular Homes, Park Model Trailers and Travel Trailers, as well as any add-a-rooms, sunrooms, porches and decks constructed in combination with such mobile home, module home or trailer
  • Swimming Pool and Enclosure
  • Relocation of a building

Please note: the above list should not be considered all inclusive. There may be other situations which require a permit. If your project is not mentioned or you are not certain whether a permit is required, please contact the Building Department. All buildings are required to meet certain provisions, these provision apply whether a Building Permit is required or not.

Building Projects Not Requiring a Building Permit

  • Driveways and sidewalks
  • Decks less than 2 feet above finished grade with no roof
  • Replace roof shingles, siding, soffit and fascia, and eave troughs
  • Replace existing windows/doors without increasing the opening size
  • Installation of new kitchen cupboards
  • Replacing plumbing fixtures
  • Construct buildings smaller than 160 square feet/15 square metres
 Applying for a Building Permit

Complete the building permit application form (and septic permit application form if required)

  • Please note, hard copies of the application form are available from the Municipal Office - 23 Albert Street, Clinton

Prior to submitting a completed and signed application to the building department, be sure the following documentation is included: 

    • 2 sets of building plans (floor plan, foundation, cross section, roof trusses, etc., as appropriate)
    • Site plan or property survey
    • Site/grading plan from an Ontario Land Surveyor, Professional Engineer, or competent designer who is qualified to prepare Lot Grading Plans if a requirement
    • A copy of any additional required approvals 

Fees are required and may be paid by cash, cheque, debit, or online banking. The fees are determined by the building department and are based on the fee schedule of the current fees and charges by-law.

 Drawing Requirements to be Submitted with a Building Permit Application

Depending on the project, there are a number of items that may be required on the drawings submitted with the building permit application.

 Site Plan
  • Drawn to scale indicating street address, lot number, lot size, property line boundaries, rights-of-way and easements, location and size of all existing and proposed buildings
  • Actual and proposed setback distances from all property lines
  • Location of existing septic system, water well, etc. (if applicable)
  • Driveways and entrance location (this information is required for calculation of 911 number, if applicable)

Lot Grading & Drainage Plan (if required)

  • A site plan with existing and finished grade elevations, foundation elevation, including a drainage scheme compatible with existing drainage patterns or an approved subdivision grading plan
  • Signed and stamped by on Ontario Land Surveyor or a Professional Engineer

Foundation Plan

  • Drawn to scale showing basement wall type and sizes
  • Strip footing size
  • Column and pier footing size and spacing dimensions
  • Beams and floor joist sizes and spacing
  • Room dimensions with door and window location
  • Location of plumbing fixtures, floor drain, furnace, etc.

Floor Plan

  • Drawn to scale showing all floors with room names or uses
  • Dimensions of rooms, halls and stairs
  • Location of plumbing fixtures, ventilation equipment, smoke and CO detectors, handrails and guards
  • Beam, lintel and joist sizes
  • Door and window location and sizes

Cross Section

  • Drawn to scale showing room height, roof pitch, construction details and materials used for the construction of walls, floors, ceiling and roof
  • Depth of footings, type and thickness of foundation
  • Finished floor level and finished grade

Engineered Floor and/or Roof Truss Drawings

  • If trusses or engineered joists are used for roof or floor, the drawings must be stamped by a professional engineer.

Other Engineered Drawings and Information

  • If foundations are ICF construction, foundations are underpinned, or special structural design is required, drawings must be stamped by a professional engineer.
  • In new homes or substantial home additions, a heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) designed and calculations are required.
  • Energy Efficiency design
Building Permit Inspections

Inspections do not happen automatically. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to notify the Building Department two business days in advance, of inspections required by the Ontario Building Code. The Chief Building Official may specify that not all of the mentioned plans, specifications and documents are required to accompany an application for a permit, and not all inspections will be required depending on the type of construction. A list of required inspections will be listed on the Building Permit once issued. Failure to have inspections performed may result in having to uncover and expose work for inspection.

For plumbing and septic related inspections, please contact Building Inspector, Jennette Zimmer:
Phone: 519-482-3997 ext. 1251

For all other building inspections, please contact Chief Building Official, Lesley Adams:
Phone: 519-482-3997 ext. 1238

Other Permits and Approvals that may be required

Applicants are responsible for obtaining all necessary permits, inspections and approvals.

Electrical Safety Association Certificate of Acceptance

Keep yourself and your family safe by making sure electrical work meets the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.

No matter how small the job, when you hire someone to do electrical work in your home, by law in Ontario they must be a Licensed Electrical Contractor. A Licensed Electrical Contractor will ensure the work is done properly, safely and legally with the necessary notifications to ESA. General handymen and other service providers cannot do electrical work unless they hold an ECRA/ESA licence number.

Once your electrical work has been reviewed and passed, ESA will issue a Certificate of Acceptance (or Certificate of Inspection for notifications created before July 6, 2020) to the person who filed the notification. It’s an important document for insurance purposes, resale and peace of mind.

If your contractor filed the notification, ask for a copy of the certificate for your records. 

Electrical Safety Authority

T: 1-877-372-7233 (1-877-ESA-SAFE)


Land Use Permit

Land use planning means managing the use of land and resources. It helps decide where homes and factories should be built in our communities, where parks and recreation centres should be located, and where roads, sewers and other essential services should be provided.

Approval from Conservation Authority

Conservation Authorities are watershed-based resource management agencies, whose mandate includes a variety of roles and responsibilities in the land use planning and development process. Conservation Authorities responsibilities include ensuring development is not at risk from natural hazards such as flooding or erosion and they aim to protect and restore the ecological health and integrity of natural systems.

Maitland Valley Conservation Authority
The Maitland Valley Conservation Authority has the responsibility to regulate activities in natural and hazardous areas in order to:
  • prevent the loss of life and property due to flooding and erosion, and
  • conserve and enhance natural resources.

This is done through regulations affecting areas in and near rivers, streams, floodplains, wetlands, slopes and the Lake Huron shoreline.

The MVCA also works with municipalities to review development applications to ensure they meet local and provincial environmental standards.

If you are planning a project you may need an MVCA permit, approval under The Planning Act, or both.

For information please email Patrick Huber-Kidby, Environmental Planner – Regulations Officer, at or call 519-335-3557 ext. 237.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority

Before undertaking any filling, construction or altering of watercourses, contact the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) to determine if you are in a 'regulated area'.

If applicable, ABCA staff will guide applicants through a permit process that involves gathering on-site information, survey work and providing specific conditions to reduce risk to life and property, reduce potential social disruption and protect the environment from naturally occurring flooding and erosion.

Phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.

 Potable Water Testing
Huron Perth Public Health provides free bacterial water testing services to all Perth and Huron County residents on a private well. It is recommended that you test your well water a minimum of three times a year, preferably spring, summer and fall.

Huron Perth Public Health

77722B London Road, RR5

Clinton, Ontario  N0M 1L0

T: 519-482-3416

F: 519-482-7820


 Minor Variance and Rezoning
Planning applications for minor variance, zoning by-law amendments, temporary use zoning, deemings and holding zones are processed and approved by the Municipality of Central Huron. For more information on these processes visit Central Huron's Planning and Development page.

Building a Deck

A building permit is not necessary if it is not attached to the main structure and is less than 10 sq. m. in area (zone provisions must still be complied with). Any deck that is larger than 10 sq. m., and all decks regardless of size, that are attached to a building, and/or more than 20' above grade require a building permit. 

Building a Fence

A building permit is not required to build a fence, however it is always safest to call the Municipal office if you have any questions 519- 482-3997.

Where can I locate my fence?

All of the fence should be within the lot lines of your property. This includes the support posts, as well as all pickets, boards, cross members, etc. Fences are and have been shared with a neighbour and placed on the common or dividing lot line. While this may work out fine as long as the properties remain in the same ownership, you are taking the risk that new neighbours may not be as easy to get along with, and disputes can arise.

In urban areas, on an interior lot, a fence over one metre in height cannot be established closer than 5 metres to the front lot line.

For a corner lot the same applies to the front yard lot line and also the exterior side yard lot line. In addition, the site triangle formed by the intersecting street lines and a line drawn between them must be free of fencing to avoid any vision obstruction to drivers of motor vehicles. From the intersection of the two streets, measure 7.5 metres along the front lot line to a point and 7.5 metres along the exterior side lot line to a point, join the two points to form a triangle (see illustration). This forms the site triangle.


What style of fence can I build?

In residential areas picket, board, cedar rail and chain link are all acceptable styles. If in doubt, call the Municipal office 519-482-3997. Always consider the reason or why you are installing the fence. Is it for privacy, security reasons, to keep pets and children safe, or purely to add charm and character to your property? This will determine the style of fence you need. If you have a swimming pool, specific fencing requirements and styles are required. Please attend at the Municipal office for a copy of Swimming Pool/Fencing By-Law 25-2008, or access the same from the Central Huron website.


Things to Remember
  • Locate and construct your fence with future maintenance in mind.
  • Call all applicable utilities for locates before digging such as Cable TV, Bell Telephone, Union Gas, Clinton Power Corporation, etc.