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Hey folks ... we’re not the experts, but it almost (almost) seems like spring out there. That usually means our planning office starts receiving queries from homeowners thinking about projects and renovations.
Here’s a tidbit from our building inspectors: if you’re looking at doing a bedroom addition or renovation, be sure to tell your window supplier that the windows are meant for a bedroom. (“Egress” is the term used in the industry.)
The National Building Code mandates that bedroom windows have at least .35 square metres of area, with no dimension smaller than 38 cm, when the window is open. (For you imperial folks, that’s 542 square inches, and 15” minimum opening).

When closed, this window appears to offer 16 inches of space ...

Here you’ll see two pictures of the window at our office: the window occupies 16” when closed, but because it’s a casement window, narrows to a bit more than 12” when opened: this window would not be code-compliant as a new installation in a bedroom.
The idea is that in the event of a fire, someone in a bedroom may be trapped

... but when open, it offers only 12" of width.

by flames or smoke: a window of suitable dimension will give bedroom occupants a chance to bail out the window.
Quick note: if you’re expanding the size of the window as part of a renovation, obtain a building permit just so inspectors can make sure you’re using the right headers (lintels) for the wider opening to support the roof load. Questions? If you live in an unincorporated area from Hanwell Road to Lepreau, or you live in one of St. George, Saint Andrews, McAdam or Harvey, give us a call at 466-7369.
Happy building!

It’s almost (almost) spring, and that means the time that folks start thinking about summer projects like home renovations, additions, and other building projects.
One of the things our planning department likes to see (or requires, depending on the size of the project) is a plan.
That doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend a ton of dough on an architect to draft your dreams, but it does mean you should be able to provide a reasonable outline of the work you’re thinking of doing.
Here are two free (not trialware) software tools that may help in designing that bedroom addition, garage, or that camp by the lake.
In no particular order:

An image of floorplanner in use

1) Floorplanner (website: This is a web interface program that seems reasonably intuitive to use. (See image above).

2) Sweethome 3D ( This is a free-for-use program that works on Mac OS, Windows, as well as Linux. It’s been rigorously tested by one of our inspectors, who has used it to design both an unorthodox home and a simple cabin.

There are also a number of pay-to-use programs out there, if you’re interested in giving them a shot.

In the end, don’t be afraid to give our planning department a call. And remember: that project requires a permit – don’t build until you have one. For Saint Andrews, McAdam, Harvey, St. George and all unincorporated areas from Hanwell Road to Lepreau, permits can be obtained through our office.
Call 466-7369 for more information.

Hey folks: you (that is, homeowners and contractors) have told us that we need to do a better job of explaining when those who are building need to call for an inspection - and also what our inspectors are doing when we show up on site.

Here's a list of the kinds of inspections we do, and when to call. When we issue a permit, we'll indicate right on the permit when to call us - but this handout will also explain a bit more.

Here's an outline of when to call for inspections

Questions? As always, call our office.

Happy building!