New Home Construction

My Permits Portal account holders who registered before April 21, 2024 must validate their accounts before using them again. To learn more about the process, watch our account validation video.

Everything you need to know to build a new house in Burnaby

Building a new house (a single or two family dwelling) on private property requires several approvals and permits to ensure that the construction meets city requirements and all other applicable laws, and is built to be safe and as approved. 

Your Building Permit will be issued only when you have met all necessary requirements from the City and all fees have been paid. Wait time is dependent on the volume of applications and the application, payment and processing of any additional permits you need.

Burnaby approves Laneway Homes and Secondary Suites in Semi-Detached Homes

Visit the webpages below for new how-to guides and updated information on how to plan and build your new suites or laneway home!

Steps to building a new house

Before you begin, you need to understand the process and steps involved, the requirements for a complete application, required approvals and inspections along the way.

Knowing the unique characteristics of your property including the zoning regulations that apply to it, and any other applicable conditions will better assist you as you plan your project. 

Use BurnabyMap to confirm your property’s zoning and what rules apply

  • enter your property’s address in the search field on the right 
  • the property’s current characteristics including zoning are highlighted
  • select the zone for details of what rules apply including: minimum lot dimensions, lot area and coverage, height, depth and placement of buildings on the property

Be aware of any constraints or encumbrances that apply to your property

Please note: If there is an existing house on the property, you will also need to apply for a demolition permit which incudes a waste diversion plan.

Good planning will ensure your project moves through the review process smoothly and quickly, without any serious conflicts with bylaws and regulations. Define your allowable development permit area per the zoning bylaw and any constraints noted in Step 1, by first locating your property lines.

We recommend that you engage a qualified design professional to navigate the process as designing a new house can be complicated. Certain property attributes and regulations can add complexity to the design process, and site specific anomalies may require alternate process to resolve.

Engineering pre-application approvals

You will now need to first obtain Engineering pre-application approvals before submitting a building application. This guide outlines all the requirements of this new process. 

You can apply for your Engineering pre-application online and submit all required documents by logging into My Permits Portal:

Apply online

A completed Engineering Pre-Application package consists of:

*Please note: the details of what is required for both the topographical survey and the proposed driveway location drawing are included in the hyperlinks above. As these are different from what the Building Department has previously required, please carefully review prior to submission.

Starting July 1, 2024, water meter installation will be required for each water site.

You must also review the Engineering Reference Guide below for important information about the Engineering review process. 

When the Engineering review is complete, you will be issued the Engineering Pre-Application Review Report that will be part of your Building Permit Application. 

Prepare your Building Permit Application

The information from the Engineering Pre-Approval Report will inform your building design. When you are ready to submit the Building Permit Application, ensure that you are not missing any documents listed in the Intake Checklist. Incomplete packages will not be accepted, and missing information will impact the review and approval process.

Before you submit your complete application, review that it contains the full list of required items as outlined in the guide below. 

Submit a completed Building Permit Application

Consult the Intake Checklist For All Single and Two Family Dwelling Permits below to find out what drawings, forms, and documents you need to submit a complete application.

You can apply for your Single and Two Family Dwelling Application online and submit all required documents by logging into My Permits Portal:

Apply online

Or submit the completed Single and Two Family Dwelling Application Package in person at the Building Department front counter (2nd floor of City Hall), including the following documents:

How to pay

Full payment of fees must be made at the time of application. Fees can be paid directly in My Permits Portal, or you can pay invoices online with your credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) or in-person with cash, cheque or debit card. Per the City's Fee Recovery Bylaw 13640, we'll charge a fee of 1.75% on payments made with a credit card

Application Review

City staff teams will review all complete development applications and building plans and will:

  • provide you with a list of any deficiencies, conditions and items to be addressed before a permit can be issued
  • advise you of any payments related to damage deposit and engineering servicing fees

Permits will only be issued when all necessary requirements from the City have been met, and all fees have been paid. 

Permit Approval

When your building permit is ready to be issued, staff will notify you by email with instructions to pickup, download and print your permit(s) and approved drawings.

Please note: 1 paper set of City-approved drawings (full-sized and to scale), displaying the City accepted stamp, needs to be made available for viewing at the jobsite for City inspectors. If the City accepted stamp is missing, or the paper set isn’t at the jobsite, you will be required to reschedule your inspection and may be subject to a re-inspection fee.

Changes or revisions 

Changes and revisions can be submitted at various stages of the process, but will have an impact on processing times and issuance of permits. 

With an approved building permit, you are ready to begin constructing your new house, get your required trade permits and book inspections.

Apply for trade permits

Additional permits for electrical, plumbing, gas or fire protection work need to be applied for by a sub-trades contractor licensed to do such work in the City of Burnaby. Once the appropriate permit application forms are competed and payment is received, a Sub-Trade Permit is issued (provided that a Building Permit has been issued where required).

Apply online

Inspections

All work completed will need to be inspected at various stages of construction on your project. As a permit holder, you will need to contact the Building Department to request an inspection, with 24-hours notice required.

There are a number of different types of inspections, such as sheathing, framing, insulation, sewer, plumbing, water pipe, gas vent and wiring that may be required. Please obtain a copy of the inspection list from the Building Department.

Prior to anyone moving into the new house, you must book and pass final building inspection, which takes place after final inspection and approval of the electrical, heating, plumbing and gas systems.

After final inspection and approval of the building, an Occupancy Certificate will be issued for the new construction; only then can the new house be occupied.

This information is provided for convenience only and is not in substitution of applicable City Bylaws or Provincial or Federal Codes or laws. You must satisfy yourself that any existing or proposed construction or other works complies with such Bylaws, Codes or other laws.

Have questions?

Building General Inquiries

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