NOTE: Due to COVID-19, the Development and Building Services Centre for the City of Vancouver is currently closed except by appointment only or for payment. If you are trying to get permits right now, you would have to contact them directly by email because you cannot just walk in.

When you are building a new home in Vancouver or doing a large renovation, several building permits will be needed during the course of the project. Getting permits can be easy and straightforward or it can be time consuming and frustrating.

Here are our best tips on obtaining the building permits that you need.

1. Let a professional builder do it.

Different permits have different requirements. Someone experienced with the permitting procedures with the City of Vancouver will have a much easier time than a DIY’er with no experience. You will save yourself a big headache if you leave this part to the builder or project manager, builders like us.

2. Talk to the correct department at the city

There are clear permitting instructions available and some helpful individuals working in the building department at the city. Ask if you’re not sure what you need.

You will waste a lot of time if you don’t give the city exactly what the city wants for each permit. You may need to submit professional-quality drawings to scale and additional paperwork. So, know what you need before submitting any documentation for a permit.

3. Understand the difference between getting a permit and closing a permit

Getting a permit and closing a permit are not the same thing, and there is a wide gulf between them. Just because you have a permit to start doing the work doesn’t mean that you’re finished. The work has to be completed correctly and to the satisfaction of someone from the city who will inspect the work done.

Getting the permit initially is a small part of the big picture.

If you are considering building a new home in the Vancouver area or renovating your existing one, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are well acquainted with the permitting process, both getting permits and closing permits. We can help.

Best Builders has been renovating older homes and building new ones in Vancouver for over 15 years. They are a multiple-award-winning builder that brings fine craftsmanship to projects, turning dreams into reality.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about your home project, please call us at (604) 943-2378 or email us at

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