Building Permits & Inspections

About Building

The City utilizes a series of regulatory tools to ensure that building and development are carried out in accordance with the BC Building Code, Local Government Act, the Land Title Act, and other provincial or municipal legislation (City of Fernie Building Bylaw).

UPDATE: City of Fernie Adoption of Step Code

The City of Fernie has become an early adopter of the BC Energy Step Code. As of January 1, 2021 all new building permit applications for new Part 9 buildings (typically low density residential) are required to meet Step 2 of the BC Energy Step Code and all new Part 3 buildings (typically multi-family) are required to meet Step 1. It is expected that in 2022 the Provincial code will be updated to mandate Step 3 for all new construction and the early adoption of the lower steps by the City will help our community transition to these higher requirements in 2022. 

For owners and builder that intend to apply for a building permit for new construction on or after January 1, 2021 their applicaitons will need to include energy modelling demonstrating how the proposed building will meet the required performance pursuant to BC Energy Step Code. The City is developing template to ensure consistent submittal of information and will include these with the Building Permit application package once these are ready. 

For more information on the BC Energy Stepcode please visit: https://energystepcode.ca/

UPDATE: Step Code Incentive Policy

The City of Fernie adopted a new Step Code Incentive Policy to assist in transition to Step Code requirements and to help builders refine techniques that improve energy performance. For  more information on the planned incentives please refer to the Step Code Incentive Policy

Building Permits

A Building Permit is required when you:

  • construct a new building;
  • add to an existing building;
  • change the occupancy of an existing building, i.e. from office to retail;
  • make interior renovations that may impact the direction of travel to an exit;
  • repair a building envelope;
  • demolish or move a building;
  • enclose your carport or change your garage to living space
  • add or relocate plumbing, fire alarm or fire sprinklers;
  • pave a parking area where a storm drainage system is required;
  • finish existing basement;
  • install a swimming pool;
  • locate or add to a mobile home
  • locate a temporary building; or
  • alteration of a building or part of a building reconstruction of a building or part of a building.

NOTE: A detached accessory building less than 10 m2 (107 sq ft) and 4.5 m (14 ft 9 in) in height and built on properties containing a single family dwelling is exempt from requiring a building permit, but must still meet setback requirements specified in the Zoning Bylaw.

Permit Application Forms

Building Inspections

Inspections are necessary because they assist the homeowner or builder in constructing a building that meets current structural, health, security and fire protection safety standards. City Building Official has a wealth of knowledge on City bylaws and codes related to building and his involvement in a project helps promote conformance to safety and health requirements. Communicating with the Building Official in advance reduces the chances of problems arising during a field inspection.

There are many stages involved in the building inspection process and inspections should be called at every stage. Depending on what you're 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 inspections
  • Fire sprinklers

For detailed information on the inspection process, please refer to the City of Fernie Building Bylaw.

Arranging an Inspection

Contact the Building Official at (250) 423-2229 to arrange an inspection.

Electrical inspections are performed by the BC Safety Authority.