Keys to Success

Understanding Construction- Keys to Success

The following information is provided as a guideline to understand the building process. The material on this Web site is provided as general information only and is not intended to provide specific legal advice for any individual and should not be relied upon in that regard. It is not
intended to be a complete list of requirements in the building process and can not cover all aspects of construction or issues which may result during construction.
The keys to success:

  • Planning is key
    • Lack of planning can result in poor quality of work, extra costs, time delays, warranty issues, and legal problems. Take your time and ask questions, your home is your largest investment. If you have questions or concerns do not be afraid to ask a professional for assistance.
  • Know your zoning
    • Every property has a specific zone with its own restrictions. If you do not know your zoning or its restrictions, contact Central Elgin Planning Office at 519-633-2560.
  • Check with neighbours
    • If they went through the building process what approvals did they require? Ask if they had problems with building movement, erosion, flooding or surface drainage. If they have, you may choose or even be required to obtain input from a professional engineer and or have a geotechnical report prepared.
  • Know where your property ends
    • You can not begin construction if you are unable to identify your property lines. If you are unable to locate your corner stakes have a building location survey done by an Ontario Land Surveyor. Do not assume a fence or a row of trees is on the lot line. Building to close to, or across a lot line can have serious legal and financial consciences.
  • Get good plans
    • Your plans are the basis for all your approvals. Issues can be identified and resolved prior to construction if detailed plans are submitted to the various approval agencies. If left until noted on site, correcting the same issues will cost money, time and aggravation. Plans also form part of your contact with your builder. If builders have priced your job on complete plans, you are more likely to have inaccurate estimates, and less likely to incur additional costs during construction. If your builder wishes to differ from the plans he should ask your approval and that of the local building inspector. If you are unable to prepare your own building plans consider acquiring drafting services from an independent source.
  • Hire qualified Trades
    • Get recommendations by asking friends, family and neighbors or even the local lumber yard. You can also check the web; Associations like the Ontario Home Builders Association and the Ontario New Home Warranty program have listing of registered builders in your area. Check References, a good contractor will have satisfied customers don't be afraid to call them and ask questions.
  • Get it in writing
    • Get a written contract that states what work will be done, what it will cost, how long it will take, and who's responsible for different aspects of construction. If you are not comfortable signing the contract, have a lawyer look it over. But remember, it is the building and or property owners' responsibility to ensure that a building permit is obtained when required. Be sure to keep a copy of all permits for your personal records.
  • Get protection
    • Contractors should always carry liability insurance and workplace compensation coverage. Without this protection, you as the land owner could be held liable for any injuries or damages caused from your building or renovation work. Check with you insurance agent to ensure you will be covered; most home policies do not cover construction related issues.
  • Know what's needed
    • Check with the following agencies for approvals and permits specific to your lot:
      • Municipality of Central Elgin, Physical Services Department for servicing and road entrance and lot grading approvals. 519-631-4860
      • Kettle Creek Conservation Authority for cut and fill permits and review of development in their jurisdiction. 519-631-1270
      • Catfish Creek Conservation Authority for cut and fill permits and review of development in their jurisdiction. 519-773-9037
      • Municipality of Central Elgin Building Division for building,demolition and septic permits 519-631-4860
      • Electrical Safety Authority for electrical permits. 519-680-4466

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