If you are planning to build or renovate this is a very important page for you to read. If you are looking for building permit related forms, such as applications, or looking for specific information on your obligations regarding certain minor upgrades or construction of decks, click on the links below:

Building Permits

A building permit is your formal permission to begin construction or demolition. It means that the Town of Mattawa has carried out a cursory review of the plans for any new structure, addition or renovation for general code compliance. It is important to note that despite the building department’s review and approval of the design documents for permit purposes, it does not constitute certification that the design complies with the Ontario Building Code. The Owner is ultimately responsible for ensuring that appropriate expertise is retained, where necessary, to take full responsibility for the design documents ensuring that they are fully compliant with the Ontario Building Code.
All design documents submitted in support of a building permit application must comply with the Ontario Building Code, Mattawa zoning bylaws and other applicable laws and regulations.

Building permits regulate the type of construction allowed in Mattawa and help to ensure buildings are constructed to minimum standards for structural soundness, energy efficiency, public safety and uniformity in the construction industry. The building permit process is intended to protect the homeowner’s interests, as well as other building occupants and future owners of the building.

In some cases, your designer or contractor will get permits on your behalf. However, it is very important to understand that it is the building owner who is ultimately responsible for complying with all building requirements.

When do I need a Building Permit

You must obtain a building permit before you do any of the following:

  • Construct a new building (over 10 m2 or 108 ft2)
  • Renovate, repair or add to a building
  • Demolish or remove all of a portion of a building
  • Install, change or remove partitions and or load-bearing walls
  • Make new openings for, or change the size of doors and windows
  • Build a garage, balcony or deck…or enclosing an existing deck
  • Build a utility shed over 10 m2 (108 ft2)
  • Excavate a basement or construct a foundation
  • Install or modify any life safety or fire suppression system including fire alarrms, sprinkler or standpipe or fixed extinguishing systems.
  • Install or modify heating systems, including conversions from one fuel type to another.
  • Install of modify plumbing and air conditioning systems, fireplaces, fireplace inserts and woodstoves.
  • Install kitchen or bathroom cupboards with plumbing
  • Reconstruct a chimney.
  • Building a deck over 0.6 m (23 5/8″) in height above finished ground that is not attached to a building.
  • Finishing a basement or convert a room to a bedroom
  • Install a pool of hot tub
  • Changing windows & doors
  • Reshingling a roof
  • Change of Use (contact the Building Department for details)

You do not need a permit to:

  • build a utility shed or building structure under 10 m2 (108 ft2) with no plumbing.
  • install eavestroughs, provided drainage is contained within the property.
  • paint or decorates.
  • install tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops and similar finishing work.
  • reinstall / replace kitchen or bathroom cupboards without plumbing.
  • replacing plumbing fixture with a new fixture in same location.
  • install an air-conditioning unit to an existing system.
  • Electrical work (you must contact Electrical Safety Authority at 1-877-372-7233 to have all electrical work reviewed and inspected)

What is generally needed to apply for a permit?

In order to apply for a building permit, you require a fully completed building permit application, permit fee and a complete design package for the proposed work.The design package must include drawings that are to scale and contain sufficient information for a builder to follow such that the resulting construction will be compliant with the building code if constructed exactly according to the design package. This includes, but is not limited to plans of each floor, elevations, cross-sections, notes, energy efficiency design information, plot plans, heating, A/C & ventilation system design and plumbing design. You can download a checklist for basic residential housing building permit requirements. If you are not certain, contact us at the Building Department for clarification.

What happens if I do not get a permit?

It is unlawful to start construction without the necessary permits. If you start construction without the necessary permits, you may be ordered to stop work, ordered to remove the work already done and or prosecuted. The maximum fines can reach $25,000 for a first offense. Contact the Building Department if you are not sure whether you need a permit for your project.

What does the building inspector do?

A building inspector reviews projects during key stages of construction to ensure work complies with the Building Code and the design package upon which the permit was issued. There are a number of mandatory stages of construction for which you are required to request an inspection. These are detailed on your building permit, along with how to arrange for an inspection.

Where do I apply for a permit?

You can make an appointment for any type of permit, Monday through Friday during the open hours of the Mattawa Town Hall at 160 Water Street.

Building Forms

Building Permit Application – PDF Format

Energy Efficiency Design Summary Form – PDF Format

Owner’s Consent – when the Applicant is not the Owner

Fence Permit Application – PDF Format

Residential Ventilation Design Flow Chart – for assistance to the designer

Residential Ventilation Design Summary – form

Commitment to General Reviews – For projects that require professional design & review

Notice of Completion – To formally notify us that you are ready for final inspection


Sample Drawings and Permit Information

Single Family House

Single Family House – Addition




Fence Permit Drawing for Pool

Fence – Regular Property Fence

Miscellaneous Permit Information (a form to assist with permits for smaller miscellaneous projects)

Beam and Insulation Tables (coming soon)

Minor Upgrades and Repairs

In Mattawa you require a building permit for all upgrades and repairs that are considered construction activities. However, we do waive the requirement for a qualified designer and full design drawings for the following upgrades / repairs to residential housing:

  • Replacing existing same size doors and windows subject to distance from property lines
  • Replacing siding on small residential buildings, subject to distance from property lines
  • Reshingling a roof, provided there is no structural work

Deck Construction

The Ontario Building Code (OBC) requires a permit to be issued prior to starting construction, if the deck is attached to the house of the deck exceeds 10 m2 (108 ft2) in area or is greater than 2 ft above the ground level.

Building permit applications can be obtained from the Building Department located at 160 Water Street.

Please carefully review the following important information to help you with the application, building and inspection requirements:


With the submission of a Building Permit Application we will require:

  1. A copy of a survey/site plan showing:
  2. Lot lines including dimensions
  3. Location of proposed deck dimensioned to all other buildings and lot lines
  4. The municipal address of the property
  5. One copy of the deck construction drawings. The drawings must have sufficient detail so that someone, following the drawings, could build the deck in full compliance with the Ontario Building Code. The design drawings shall include the following:
  6. Foundation Plan detailing:
  7. i) Footing size and location.
  8. ii) Size, span and direction of beams, floor joists and decking.

iii) Dimensions of all components.

  1. Elevations to show:
  2. i) The general appearance of the deck.
  3. Cross Section detailing:
  4. i) Footing depth and construction
  5. ii) Height of deck walking surface above grade.

iii) Height of guard above walking surface.

  1. iv) Step details.
  2. v) Deck construction.
  3. vi) Guard Construction

vii) Details, such as deck to house connection.

  1. Two (2) copies of manufacturer’s installation instructions for proprietary products and materials if applicable.


Foundations for decks shall be constructed such that they reach a minimum 1.2 m (4′) depth of bury.

Deck Blocks are permitted in Mattawa only where all of the following requirements are met:

  • The deck is not attached to the house.
  • The deck is less than 55 m2 (592 ft2).
  • The deck does not support a roof.
  • The distance between the deck’s walking surface to the finished ground level is less than 600 mm (23 5/8″).


  • Notching railing posts.
  • Use of improper, split or undersized pickets in guards.
  • Improper spacing between pickets in guards.
  • Splicing of beams not over supports.
  • Use of unauthorized material or systems.
  • Unauthorized changes from permit drawings.


  1. Excavation / Footing– For piers and pads prior to placing concrete, our inspector will confirm that the foundation system is constructed as per the Ontario Building Code and the approved plans.
  2. Framing– Required at completion of structural framing prior to installation of decking.
  3. Final– Required at completion of decking, stairs and guards.

Any proposed changes from the approved design must be approved by the building department prior to construction.

Failure to have the required inspections performed may result in the owner having to uncover and expose the work for inspection, Orders Issued, etc….


Each application for a building permit must be accompanied by a scaled plot plan drawn to a scale of 1:200 or 1:250. Incomplete applications or non-standard formats may cause delays in obtaining a building permit.

The plot plan is required to show:

  • All items noted in the legend
  • Full municipal address of subject property.
  • Distances from each lot line to the building.
  • Building footprint (including decks).
  • Lot dimensions and area.
  • Lot coverage (inclusive of accessory buildings).
  • Entrances including driveway width and gradient.
  • Lot grades showing lot drainage swales.
  • Municipal and/or private easements within the property.
  • Municipal or private culverts and ditches.
  • Retaining walls.