Building Permits – Secondary Suites
This page provides information about Building Permit processes and regulations associated with the construction of secondary suites in single-family dwellings. Secondary suites are only permitted in RS-1, RS-2, RS-3 and RS-4 zones. Please refer to the Zoning Bylaw for more information about these zones.
For detailed construction information and BC Building Code regulations regarding secondary suites, please refer to the Secondary Suites Guide.
Why get a Building Permit?
Building permits are required before you build, demolish, repair or alter most buildings, decks, mezzanines, retaining walls, garages, carports, secondary suites, swimming pools, plumbing, sprinklers, furnaces or structures in the City of Port Coquitlam.
It is important to get a Building Permit before starting your project, to:
- Protect the safety of occupants,
- Ensure you won’t have to tear your work down and start over with the required permits,
- Avoid additional permits and fees incurred if you build without a permit,
- Reassure buyers who avoid purchasing buildings with unauthorized construction,
- Maintain the value of your home, and
- Ensure any new buildings and structures comply with all building regulations including the Building and Plumbing Bylaw, the BC Building Code and Zoning Bylaw regulations.
Get Started: Pre-application
- Check PoCoMAP for property information such as zoning, land use under the Official Community Plan (OCP) and flood construction levels.
- Identify any encumbrances registered on title, such as easements, right of way, restrictive covenants or land use contracts. Contact BC Land Titles Office for further information.
- Ensure your project is designed to comply with building regulations including the BC Building Code and City bylaws such as the Building and Plumbing Bylaw, Parking and Development Management Bylaw, Subdivision Servicing Bylaw, Tree Bylaw, Soil Removal and Deposit Bylaw and the Zoning Bylaw.
- Consider consulting the BC Building Code. The code establishes a minimum standard for health, safety, accessibility, energy, fire, and structural protection of buildings. Find out more online or call 1.800.663.6105.
- Refer to the Guide for Secondary Suites for detailed BC Building Code information for construction a suite.
- Obtain information from the Engineering & Operations Department regarding the location and condition of water, storm and sanitary sewer services. This information can also be found on PoCoMAP.
- If your building does not confirm to the siting requirements the Zoning Bylaw you may need at apply to the Board of Variance.
- If your site is on a floodplain, a new or revised floodplain covenant may be required.
Other permits that may be required in addition to your building permit include:
- Sprinkler Permit
- Energy Permit
- Plumbing Permit
Please refer to the application checklist that is part of the Building Permit Application Form. You can submit this form and checklist at the Building Division offices (see below).
A builder contractor must have a valid business licence with the City of Port Coquitlam before a Building Permit can be issued. Please see the Business Licensing page for more information on applying for a business licence.
Please contact the Building Division for application processing time estimates.
Fees, Charges, and Security/Deposit
All application fees are outlined in Schedule D of the Fees and Charges Bylaw.
Building Permit fees are based on the value of construction with a non-refundable 50% charge due at the time of application. The remainder is due when the permit is issued. The permit fee doubles if work has started without a Building Permit being issued. The fee is reduced if a registered architect or professional engineer had provided stamped building drawings for the design. Application fees are non-refundable.
The Planning Division or Engineering & Operations Department may require fees and securities, due before the Building Permit is issued.
A Highway Use Permit deposit may be required. This charge is refundable, if no damage has occurred to City property during the development of the project. Deposit amounts vary depending on development.
Security deposits are payable by of cash, cheque or direct payment. No credit card payments are permitted.
Any work without a permit will result in increased fees.
Depending on the complexity of the Building Permit application, the Building Division may circulate the application for review by the Planning Division, Fire Department and Engineering & Operations. If the application does not comply with all bylaw and code requirements, staff will provide a written list of resubmission requirements, in the form of the Plan Review Letter.
Once all application requirements have been met and all associated approvals have been obtained, you will be notified that your Building Permit is ready to be issued. Any outstanding fees are due at time of permit pickup.
At various stages of the project, a Building Inspector will inspect forms, under slab, framing, insulation, occupancy, and final inspection. Permit holders are responsible for contacting the Building Division to request and inspection with 48 hours notice. If the request is received prior to 3 pm, every attempt is made to complete the inspection on the next business day. The Inspection Request Line is 604.927.5445.
Gas and Electrical Permit and Inspections
Gas and electrical inspections will be required as part of the permitting process. These are conducted by the BC Safety Authority.
- Electrical inspections: Provincial Government Safety Engineering Services Division, 2773 Barnet Highway, Coquitlam, telephone 604.927.2041. Click for more information.
- Gas inspections: Provincial Government Safety Engineering Services Division, Unit 400-6th Street, New Westminster, telephone 1.866.566.7233. Click for more information.
All documentation from all the registered professionals (if applicable) must be received by the Building Division prior to the scheduling of the final inspection. You must also confirm that each individual permit issued in conjunction with the Building Permit has received final inspection and there are no outstanding deficiencies. You must contact the Inspection Request Line at 604.927.5445 to request a final building inspection.
After a passed final inspection, the Building Inspector will notify Engineering & Operations, which will then conduct their final inspection (if applicable).
24-hour Inspection Request 604.927.5445
Location and Mailing Address
City Hall Annex (Above the Bank of Montreal)
200-2564 Shaughnessy St
Port Coquitlam BC V3C 3G4
Business Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays)
Please arrive before 4 pm to allow time for application and permit processing.