Building Permits & Inspections
Building permits (including plumbing permits) are required before you:
- build, demolish, repair or alter a building or structure, including carports, decks and pools
- change the occupancy of an existing building or make interior renovations
- make changes to the exit from an existing building
- make additions or changes to the plumbing, furnaces, fire alarm or fire sprinkler system
Inspections are part of the permitting process, to ensure buildings meet current structural, health, security and fire protection safety standards.
For more information, review the Building and Plumbing Bylaw (Bylaw No. 3710) or contact the Building Division (contact information below).
Why get a building permit?
- It’s required. If you undertake work without a permit, you might be required to tear it all down and start all over with proper permits.
- To ensure you meet BC Building Code requirements for fire safety, structural support, soil and foundation strength, energy efficiency, plumbing, electrical, water conservation, trip-and-fall prevention, etc.
- To ensure all buildings and structures, renovations, alterations, additions, decks, mezzanines, retaining walls, accessory buildings, swimming pools, carports etc. comply with required setbacks from your property line, height, floor area and other regulations of the Building and Plumbing Bylaw (Bylaw No. 3710).
- To enable your commercial tenants to get business licences. Tenant premises must comply with the City’s regulations and BC Building Code before receiving a licence.
- To ensure your contractor is doing the work you are paying for, and help you avoid unscrupulous contractors or shortcuts in their work.
- To maintain value: buyers will avoid purchasing buildings with unauthorized construction.
Building and Plumbing Inspections
Communicating with an inspector in advance greatly reduces the chance of problems arising during an inspection.
Building and Plumbing Inspectors are available to receive phone calls and answer questions at the Building Division counter from Monday to Friday, 8:30-9:30 am and 3-3:45 pm.
For confirmation of an inspection or to speak to an inspector, call 604.927-5444 between 8:30-9:30 am on the day of the inspection.
How to book an inspection
Have the following information at hand:
- Permit number located on the top right hand side of the permit
- Civic address of the property, including unit number if applicable
- Type of inspection required (e,g. footing, framing, rough-in plumbing)
Book the inspection:
- Sign up for MyPortCoquitlam to book online – see the guide on that page for first-time users. The online system allows applicants to book, cancel or reschedule an inspection up to 10 days in advance and up to 11:59 pm the day before. You may also request a morning or afternoon inspection (subject to inspector availability). You will receive the secure access code required to use the online tool when you are issued your permit.
- Book an inspection using the 24-hour inspection request line at 604.927.5445 (leave a message with the details) or in person at the Building Division counter. Requests received before 3 pm will be scheduled for the next business day.
Stages when inspections are required
Inspections should take place at every stage of the building process. Depending on what you are building, inspections for the following may need to be carried out:
- Forms and excavation inspection
- Drain tile and Damp proofing
- Storm, sanitary and water services ” “Plumbing
- Slab poly inspection
- Bathtubs, showers, traps
- Frame, chimney and duct inspection” “Insulation inspection
- Final building inspection
- Fire sprinklers
Common problems found by inspectors
- Improper truss installation
- Improper cutting, notching and drilling of framing members
- Incorrect form work for foundations” “Improper lot grading
- Lack of continuous bearing to foundations
- Use of unapproved materials or fixtures
- Covering work without inspection and testing” “Improper use of fittings
- Improper bedding of sanitary and storm sewer
- Lack of frost protection for pipes
Electrical and Gas Inspections
If your project requires electrical or gas inspections, you will be directed to schedule these with the BC Safety Authority.
More Building and Developing Information
Location and Mailing Address
City Hall Annex (Next to City Hall, above Bank of Montreal)
#200 – 2564 Shaughnessy Street
Port Coquitlam BC
Business Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays)