Building Regulation & Inspection FAQs


01. How do Building Inspections protect the public health and safety?

Buildings are complex, particularly when they include plumbing, electrical wiring, and connections to drinking water and septic systems. The BC Building Code establishes minimum requirements that are designed to help keep occupants safe and healthy. When followed, the requirements help to ensure that buildings:

  • Are structurally sound, with proper building frames and foundations
  • Provide adequate fire protection
  • Address issues concerning radon gas
  • Provide adequate exits in the event of emergencies
  • Are equipped with proper plumbing for safe drinking water and liquid waste disposal
  • Minimize hazards to prevent accidents

All Buildings are required to be constructed to the BC Building Code. Only buildings in area with building inspection, however, are subject to the consistent and high level of oversight required, at key points of the construction process, to ensure that the Code is met and safety standards upheld.

02. What is Building Inspection?

Building inspection is a local government service that requires owners to submit building plans for review and receive a building permit from the local government prior to beginning construction. During construction, inspections must be arranged with a Building Inspector from the local government at various phases of the project, to ensure the BC Building Code standards are met. The service, therefore, ensures construction projects meet both the local government’s land use regulations (E.G. OCP, zoning) and public health and safety objectives (expressed in the BC Building Code).

03. When did the new Building Inspection service start?

The new service started March 5, 2018.  The new service is administered in compliance with Building Bylaw No. 660.  The bylaw is in effect as of March 5, 2018.  The bylaw can be viewed here.

04. In what new Electoral Areas (EAs) are Building Permits (BPs) required?

The new areas for BPs and inspections are Electoral Area B (Rural Revelstoke) and Electoral Area E (Rural Sicamous). Building inspections will continue to be required in Electoral Area F (North Shuswap) in the communities of Lee Creek, Scotch Creek, Celista, Magna Bay, Anglemont and St. Ives.  A map of the areas where building permits are required can be viewed here.

05. What is the process of a building permit from start to finish?

Step 1 – Application – the property owner will submit a complete application that details the type of construction, alteration or repair and the value of the proposed work and the other documents on this list. At this time the Building Permit Application Fee of $72.00 will be paid.

Step 2 –Permit Review – the application and plans will be reviewed by CSRD staff for compliance with the CSRD Building Bylaw, the BC Building Code, and local Zoning Bylaw regulations, and development permit guidelines in the applicable OCP. If it is found that a development permit is necessary than the property owner will be contacted. Compliance with other agency approval processes will also be reviewed.

Step 3 – Permit Issuance – once the review is complete the property owner will be contacted to pick up their permit and pay the Building Permit Fee. The Building Permit is to be posted conspicuously on the site and legible from the road during the entire execution of the work. All plans, specifications and supporting documents which a permit was based on, all inspection certificates and all professional field reviews are to be available on site during normal working hours.

Step 4 – Inspections – The CSRD will perform six(6) on site building inspections, with forty eight (48) hours’ notice from the property owner, at key points of construction

Step 5 – Issued Final Occupancy Certificate – Once the Final Inspection is completed and passed and all outstanding documentation is handed in the CSRD will issue a Final Occupancy Certificate.

Anyone who is unsure about the BP process is encouraged to contact the Building Department  (1.888.248.2773 or 250.832.8194; or

06. When is building permit required?

Each property owner who wishes to undertake construction in Areas B, E and F will need to apply for and receive a building permit (and, in most cases, a plumbing permit too) before commencing construction. Building permits are required for most construction, demolition and excavation, including:

  • Construction of a house, townhouse, commercial and industrial building
  • construction of accessory buildings, including most garages and sheds
  • demolition of a building
  • significant alteration to or repair of an existing building (e.g. structural changes, electrical updates, construction of a second floor deck, moving of plumbing)
  • changes to the use or occupancy of an existing building (e.g. from a garage to a dwelling, or from a residence to a commercial use)
  • relocation of a building
  • alterations that affect a venting or sewer- age system
  • installation of a factory-built or manufactured building
  • installation of a temporary building

Anyone who is unsure whether a project requires a BP is encouraged to contact the Building Department  (1.888.248.2773 or 250.832.8194; or

07. In EA B and E, for a building under construction, when is a building permit required if construction commenced prior to March 5, 2018?

No buildng permit will be required if BC Building Code compliant concrete footings are poured prior to March 5, 2018. The property owner will need to submit proof to the CSRD that confirms the concrete footings were poured prior to this date. Proof may include, at a minimum, information such as an email stating the date the pour occurred combined with a picture of the concrete in question being poured, a copy of the concrete delivery receipt, etc.

08. When is a building permit NOT required?

If a construction project involves no structural changes and no relocation or installation of new plumbing fixtures, then no building permit or plumbing permit is required. In addition, certain types of structures will be exempt, including:

  • one storey accessory buildings that are under 10m2 in size, are not used for habitation, and do not create a hazard
  • farm buildings with “low human occupancy” (defined by the National Farm Building Code of Canada on properties assessed as a farm by BC Assessment
  • non-structural repairs such as window replacements (same size windows), roof updates, kitchen renovations with  no movement of plumbing fixtures, finishing of basement with flooring and non-structural (not including creation of secondary suite)
  • patios, decks or balconies that are less than 2 feet (0.61m) off the ground
  • repairs or minor alterations to the plumbing system or fixtures that do not affect the venting or sewerage system
  • landscaping retaining walls below 1.22 m in height that do not support loads created by buildings or parking areas
  • construction of , utility poles and towers and public infrastructure systems (as identified in Section of the BC Building Code
  • un-modified CSA Z240 RV or un-modified CSA Z241 Park Model

Anyone who is unsure whether a project requires a permit is encouraged to contact the Building Department (1.888.248.2773 or 250.832.8194; or

09. How do I apply for a building permit?

Building permit applications are available online at the CSRD website ( or can be picked up from the CSRD office in Salmon Arm (555 Harbourfront Drive NE). Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit their permit applications in person so that they can be reviewed by staff for completeness. Property owners can contact in the Building Department in advance (1.888.248.2773 or 250.832.8194; or to answer any questions, or to book an appointment with a Building Inspector.

10. What other permits (in addition to a building permit) may be required?

The CSRD may require other permits, such as a development permit, depending on the type and location of the construction project. Development permit (DP) areas are identified in the Area B and Area F Official Community Plans (OCPs), and the draft Area E OCP (see CSRD website to view OCPs and information about DPs). DP areas are established for land with environmental significance (such as lakefront, foreshore or riparian areas) or hazardous conditions (e.g., steep slopes or flood areas). Other development permit areas are created to ensure that the character of commercial and multi-family developments are developed in accordance with the community vision as expressed in the OCP). Construction within development permit areas must follow guidelines to ensure development is safe for the use intended, that environmental areas are identified and protected and that the character is consistent with the community vision. As part of the building permit review, Building staff will confirm whether any DPs are required. A DP is required to be issued by the CSRD prior to a building permit being issued.

Anyone who is unsure whether a project requires a development permit is encouraged to contact the Building Department (1.888.248.2773 or 250.832.8194; or

11. Why are six inspections required?

When creating the new building regulation and inspection service, the CSRD considered the existing building inspection service provided in part of EA F, as well as practices in other communities and best practices on implementing the BC Building Code. The CSRD decided on inspections at six stages of construction, as six is considered the minimum number necessary to adequately ensure adherence to the BC Building Code. By comparison, Revelstoke and Salmon Arm require eight inspections (not including for fireplaces); Sicamous requires eight.

12. What do the new six inspections cover?

The required six (6) building inspections are:

  1. Footing construction (before concrete)
  2. Prebackfill
  3. Under slab plumbing rough-in
  4. Framing construction
  5. Insulation, vapour barrier, and air barrier
  6. Final Inspection

13. What are the building permit fees?

Building Permit (BP) fees assist in partially covering the cost of the Building Regulation and Inspection service.  The cost of the service is also partially covered by property taxes from each EA service area.

BP fees consist of a BP application fee and the BP fee. The BP application fee is paid when the application is submitted.  The BP fee is a paid prior to the issuance of the BP.

The BP fee is calculated based on the value of the new construction identified in the BP.   The method to calculate BP fees will be the same in new Building Regulation Bylaw No. 660 as it was for the calculation of fees in EA F using Building Regulation Bylaw No. 630.

All fees related to BPs can be found in Schedule A of the Building Bylaw No. 660.

14. What days will inspections be available in our area?

Building inspections will be available in each of the three EA areas two days per week. Building Official availability will be adjusted for inspection demand and workload. The building inspection days in EA F will remain Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The building inspection days for EA E and EA B will be Tuesday and Thursday to start and will be re-evaluated depending on number of applications.

15. How do I arrange a Building Inspection?

A building inspection must be requested at least 48 hours in advance of the day you would like the inspection to occur by contacting the Building Department at (1.888.248.2773 or 250.832.8194; or You may request an inspection in the AM or PM, but this may not be possible to accommodate depending on inspection demand and workload.

16. How will inspections be carried out in remote locations throughout in EA B and EA B?

A building inspector may request that inspections in remote locations, such as water access only or backcountry construction sites, be completed by a registered professional hired by the property owner.  If requested, the building inspectors will rely solely on the provided letters of assurance, field reviews and site photo’s that the registered professional submits as long as all aspects of the construction referenced by the those letters of assurance substantially conform to the design, plans and specifications, and the construction complies with the Building Code, Building Bylaw No. 660, CSRD bylaws and other applicable enactments respecting safety.

Anyone who is unsure whether a project is a remote location is encouraged to contact the Building Department (1.888.248.2773 or 250.832.8194; or

17. What is the time period between issuance and expiry of a building permit?

An issued Building Permit (BP) is valid for three years as long as the construction is ongoing during this time period. If at any time the work authorized by a BP is not commenced within 180 days from the date of issuance or work is discontinued for a period of 180 consecutive days the permit will be considered expired.  Prior to expiry of a BP, that has had ongoing construction, a property owner can renew a BP only one time for an extended period of up to 12 months.   The completion of additional forms and fees may be required.

18. What happens in EA F if my current BP that was issued under the previous Building Regulation Bylaw No. 630 (three inspections) expires and is renewed after the new Building Bylaw No. 660 (six inspections) is effective March 5, 2108?

The renewed BP will require three inspections.

19. What is the expected timeline from BP application to BP issuance?

  • There is currently a 3-5 week turnaround time for single family dwellings and a lesser turnaround time for smaller building projects from the time a complete BP application being submitted by a property owner to BP issuance.
  • This timeline can increase if a Development Permit Application is required to be submitted by the property owner and needs to be reviewed and issued by the CSRD Development Services Department prior to the building permit being issued.
  • It is expected that these timelines will continue with the new service because an additional Building Inspector and new Building Inspection Assistant have been hired. Application levels and timelines will be monitored to ensure adequate levels of service.  
  • It is recommended that an estimated timeline be requested when a complete BP application is submitted.

20. What will occur if construction occurs without obtaining a building permit?

A Building Inspector will visit a property where construction is occurring without an issued building permit. Depending on the nature of the construction underway, the Building Inspector may issue a Stop Work Order. If construction continues, the CSRD may consider placing a Notice on Title. The CSRD reserves its right to enforce the Building Bylaw No. 660 and pursue further enforcement, including seeking a court injunction if required to ensure bylaw compliance.

21. What can I do if I am concerned about my neighbor who may be constructing without a building permit?

Residents can contact the Building Department (1.888.248.2773 or 250.832.8194; or to enquire if a building permit may be required for the construction that is occurring.  Residents can also submit a complaint to report construction work being carried out without the required permits through the CSRD online complaint form or contact a CSRD Bylaw Officer (1.888.248.2773 or 250.832.8194; or  Complainant information is considered confidential by the CSRD and your identity will not be revealed (it is protected under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act).  Should the matter proceed to court, however, and if required in the legal proceedings, the CSRD may be obligated to disclose the information provided.