It has come to our attention that the government of Saskatchewan has recently announced the opening of the “Saskatchewan Secondary Suite Incentive (SSI) Grant Program.” (see link here for the program).

Our office does have a handout regarding secondary suite requirements, however in the looking into the grant program, the government has provided a really great advisory that we have attached for all municipalities to utilize in the event that ratepayers have questions regarding requirements of such suites. That handout can be found on our website here.

Site Plan Information for All Projects:

  • North arrow, street name, civic address
  • Abutting streets and lanes
  • Property lines and dimensions
  • Right of ways and easements
  • All existing buildings and structures
  • Proposed construction or demolition
  • Distances to all property lines from existing and proposed structures
  • Distances between all existing buildings

Additional Information Required on Site Plans for Commercial Buildings:

  • Fire access routes and fire hydrant locations
  • Accessibility ramps, landings and curb drops, curb cuts and crosswalks

The topic for the month of July is fire department response times and how that affects building code requirements potentially for placement of building, type of exterior wall construction (combustible or noncombustible), type of exterior finish required (combustible or noncombustible), number of unprotected openings (windows, doors, duct openings, etc.) allowed and fire-resistance rating (installing fire rated gypsum board to the inside face of the wall assembly). Please note these requirements are in addition to minimum setbacks required by municipal zoning bylaws under Code.

The Code requires that for any non-sprinklered building, where the responding fire department can’t respond to an emergency at the proposed building site within 10 minutes in 90% or more of the emergency calls received to the site, a distance equal to half of the actual to property lines must be used when assessing exterior wall requirements.

To illustrate this for a partial real-world example, see the attached screenshot of a proposed new home. For this illustration we will assume that the fire department cannot reach this property within 10 minutes in 90% or more of the emergency calls received to it. The Code now requires that we treat each physical distance as half before we determine how the exterior walls are to be constructed. On the right side of the page, the distance is currently 4′ from the property line to the attached garage. The distance for the purposes of determining exterior wall requirements is treated as though its only 2′ from the property line. Having this in mind, the Code would require that wall to have either a noncombustible finish (i.e., stucco, HardieBoard, metal, etc.) or fire treated OSB installed below vinyl siding. It would also require that no windows be in this wall and be finished on the inside face with fire rated gypsum board. Please note these requirements vary for commercial buildings but the same principal of using half the actual distance to property lines still applies when fire response times cannot be met.

Contrast this to if fire response times are met then the exterior wall 4′ from the property line can have any type of siding permitted by Code, doesn’t need fire rated gypsum board to the inside face of the wall assembly and is permitted 7% of that wall face as window openings.

As illustrated above, whether or not fire response times in a municipality are met can make significant changes to a project that a ratepayer may not be expecting. This especially considering zoning bylaws are not bound by this same restriction.

If you would like further information on this topic, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

We would also appreciate feedback on any other topics that you would like our office to cover in the next month.

The topic for the month of June was a request from a municipality and is about the difference between inspections for “Ready To Move” (RTM) dwellings, modular/mobile dwellings, site built dwellings, and relocated dwellings.

The largest difference between these types of buildings is where the buildings are constructed and the permitted foundations.

For RTM dwellings, these buildings are constructed at a builder’s site and are then moved to the project location. The framing (and vapour barrier) inspection are completed by the builder by being certified through CSA or Interek OR the builder can hire an engineer, architect, or building official all required to be licenced in Saskatchewan to complete the inspections. Our office would complete the pre-backfill inspection on site and a final inspection of the entire project once the building has been placed on the foundation.

Modular/mobile type dwellings are similar to RTM dwellings as the builder is required to be CSA certified for building construction and our office completes the final inspection for the building once it has been placed on the final site.

For site-built dwellings, our office completes all inspections for the building on site (pre-backfill, framing, vapour barrier (if required), final).

With relocated dwellings, our office can complete a “pre-move” inspection. This inspection provides insight to the owner (and municipality), that the dwelling is permitted to be moved without significant additional requirements when placed at a new location. Although the building may have been compliant at the time it was constructed, our office will review all fire and life safety items in the building and may require upgrades. Things like smoke and carbon monoxide alarm locations, interior finishes, guards and handrails, bedroom window sizes, deadbolts on exterior doors, exterior finishes, etc. will be reviewed. If a pre-move inspection is not utilized, then our office will review all items during building permit application and at the final inspection. The new foundation will also be inspected by our office during construction.

If you would like further information on this topic, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

We would also appreciate feedback on any other topics that you would like our office to cover in the next month.

The topic for the month of May is about the specific requirements for decks when the house has a cantilevered floor system.

A cantilevered portion of a floor area can be a nice feature and may add useful space to a kitchen or dining room. A common issue arises when a deck is attached to the house with a cantilevered floor system. As the outer “rim board” or “band joist” is not bearing directly on the foundation, without adequate attachment it is not strong enough to support the additional load of a deck.

There are three common solutions to this problem:

  • Install an additional beam below the deck at the ledger and cantilever dwelling joist location to support the deck joists.
  • Frame around the cantilevered portion like a stairwell. With doubled up trimmer joists and doubled up header joists, the load can be effectively transferred to either side of the cantilever where the floor system is bearing directly on the foundation.
  • Upside down joist hangers can also be used to hang the “rim board” or “band joist” off the cantilevered joists, effectively providing adequate bearing to support the deck. This option can only be utilized during new construction when the floor system is being framed.

The attached detail shows methods #2 and #3 to properly construct a deck with a cantilevered floor system.

Deck & Cantilever

If you would like further information on this topic, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

We would also appreciate feedback on any other topics that you would like our office to cover in the next month.

The following are examples of when a building permit is required. Please contact your municipality and our office for further inquiries to your specific project.

  • New building construction (residential, commercial, industrial) greater than 10 m2,
  • garages and carports,
  • decks (in some locations decks not more than 600mm above the adjacent ground surface may not need building permits, please contact your municipality),
  • modular homes,
  • renovations, alterations and additions to an existing building,
  • demolition of an existing building,
  • relocation of an existing building (note that a relocation inspection may be required. Please contact your municipality),
  • basement development in a dwelling unit,
  • Wood burning fireplaces, stoves and heaters,
  • retaining walls where the wall is retaining more than 42” of grade,
  • change of use or occupancy of a building,
  • work to remedy an unsafe condition or building official’s order, and
  • temporary buildings.

Yes, a Building Permit is required when adding the Solar Panels to your home.

We are aware that there is currently a grant available through the Canadian government for the installation pf photovoltaic (PV) panels (solar panels) (https://natural-resources.canada.ca/energy-efficiency/homes/canada-greener-homes-grant/start-your-energy-efficient-retrofits/plan-document-and-complete-your-home-retrofits/eligible-grants-for-my-home-retrofit/23504)

MuniCode Services wants to ensure that municipalities are aware that building permits are required for the installation of solar panels on existing roof structures. There is a misconception that due to the light weight of typical solar panels, there are no adverse issues with installation, however installing these panels does change the loading locations of the trusses. Snow load is uniformly distributed on a roof structure with some localized build up. Whereas solar panel installation includes a racking system with typical spacing of attachment every 1.2 m (4’) causing drastically different snow loading. Therefore, the proposed installation of solar panels on existing roof structures must be reviewed by an engineer or architect licenced in Saskatchewan.

For information on radon gas please click on the following links:

Note that any remedial work due to high radon levels does require a building permit.

  • No projection of roof soffit above exposing building face is permitted within 0.45 m of property line.
  • Where roof soffits project to less than 1.2 m from the property line, the centre line of a lane or public thoroughfare or imaginary line between two buildings or fire compartment on the same property, osffits above exposing building face must have:
    • No Openings, and,
    • or protected by unvented aluminum
    • or 12.7 mm gypsum soffit board or gypsum ceiling board
    • or 11 mm thick plywood or lumber
    • or 12.5 mm thick OSB or Wafterboard.