Building Inspection

Building Permits

It is a legal requirement in Nova Scotia to obtain a building permit for any construction project. This applies to all construction projects; from a new home to shopping mall renovations. The building inspector will review the plans to ensure they meet all applicable National Building Code requirements, obtain approval from the municipal engineer, and where necessary, the Departments of Transportation and Environment and the Fire Marshall.

The inspector will conduct on-site inspections at various stages of the construction project to ensure the building standards are met. The processing of an application takes an average of three weeks.

In areas where there is a Land Use By-law in effect, it is also necessary to obtain a development permit. This permit is required for all new construction and any change in use to an existing structure. It
is confirmation the project is in compliance with the regulations of the Land Use By-law with regards to the use, lot requirements and any development requirements. Processing time for the development permit averages a week and it must be issued prior to the issuance of the building permit. Application for both permits may be made at the same time


Inspections are required for all work for which a building permit has been issued and the request for the inspections must be made by the applicant as certain stages of construction are complete. The applicant is informed as to when inspections are required at the time the permit is issued. The inspections are conducted by the inspection staff of the District Planning Commission, using the National Building Code as a reference when evaluating the safety of the project. The following is a list of inspections which are normally conducted:


Footer Location certificate required in zoned areas
All step footings to comply with NBC 1995
Foundation Operational Drain Tile
Damp – proofing
Floor system to provide lateral support (where applicable)
Framing Any underground plumbing
All support framing
Plumbing waste and vent system
Pre-Drywall Insulation and vapour barrier
Occupancy Structure complete – ready for occupancy

Typical Inspection Schedule:

  1. Two copies of the site plan or survey plan
  2. Two complete sets of the building plans, including foundation plan, floor plan, detail section; plumbing schematic and where applicable, electrician’s application
  3. Completed development permit (where required) and building permit application
  4. Permit fee submitted with completed permit applications (refer to Permit Fee Schedule)
  5. Development permit issued (where applicable)
  6. Department of Transportation approval (where applicable)
  7. Department of Environment approval (where applicable)
  8. Public Works approval (where applicable)
  9. Building permit issued
  10. Building permit posted in a prominent on-site location
  11. Foundation inspection requested and completed
  12. Surveyors location certificate submitted (for planned areas and areas serviced by municipal water and sewer only)
  13. Framing inspection requested and completed
  14. Insulation inspection requested and completed
  15. Occupancy inspection requested and completed
  16. Occupancy permit issued

Permit Fees

All Applications must be accompanied by the required fees, cheques or money orders made payable to the Eastern District Planning Commission or in Victoria County, to the Municipality of the County of Victoria. Refunds of 50% of the fee are issued only if the application is withdrawn within 30 days of being issued and if no construction has begun.

Any construction, repair or alteration commenced without the benefit, of a permit will be subject to double the standard fee.

Building permits are valid for one year, This may be extended further upon application for a permit renewal.

For further information, or to obtain a building and/or development permit application form, please contact the Building Inspector for your area.

This process is normally done for large developments which may have concerns with proposed public or private roads, Department of Environment criteria, extensions to Municipal Servicing or Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal criteria. There is no charge for a preliminary application, however it is an information gathering process and must be followed with either a Tentative or Final plan.