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As the province grows older and we all grow a bit more aware of the needs of others, its understandable that homeowners and business operators would want to make access easier through a wheelchair ramp.

When it comes to building ramps, though, there's a lot that can go wrong. For example, it's not uncommon for a ramp to be constructed that is simply too hard to use for those it was intended to help! That's why we've built a pamphlet aimed at helping weave through the Building Code and help make your project right.

Our one-page pamphlet is available for free at our office (or for download here if you want to print it off at home.)

New Brunswick's building codes for things like wheelchair ramps and bathrooms are among the best in the country when it comes to helping out those who are confined to wheelchairs, need to use walkers, or are visually challenged. But that means builders have to be quite attentive when constructing commercial wheelchair ramps. (Note: these require building permits, in part to make sure submitted plans meet Code requirements.)

It's our intent to write a companion guide on wheelchair-accessible bathrooms in the weeks to come.

Questions? Give our building inspectors a call. We can be reached at 466-7369, ext. 3.


Just a quick word to our clients in the construction industry. We know that you're still out there, pouring concrete and swinging hammers, even if we're working from home.

Provincial regulations require inspections at set points in a build, and our inspectors will be available to conduct those mandatory inspections, even if we're not in the office.

We ask, however, that you do give us a bit more notice of a required inspection (which is indicated on your building permit.) This is because our inspectors will hve to travel from home to obtain a company vehicle - so a day's advance warning at the very least is politely requested.

To arrange an inspection, please email one of our inspectors directly. If calling by phone, please allow a little more time for the forwarding magic to work.

Michael Hall | | 466-7369 ext 2
Vern Faulkner | | 466-7369 ext 3

Construction sites aren't the most congested places, but we will be diligent in ensuring social distancing during our time on your site or (in the case of residential final inspections) your home.

To those who are still on-site, we respect the work you do, and thank you for doing it. Please stay safe.

A few times in the last year, our inspectors have run into a critical oversight that’s caused problems: incorrect placement of vapour barrier in floors over an unheated space.

First off, there’s a general rule on where vapour barrier goes: the warm side of the building. For things like walls and ceilings, that’s a really obvious thing. However, when building a stud floor over, say, an unheated crawl space – which is usually insulated later in the build than other sections – it’s easy to overlook the vapour barrier placement.

This image shows the correct location of vapour barrier in a floor over an unheated space.

The image provided here illustrates how it should be done: vapour barrier is drawn over the joists before the sheathing goes down.

What some folks might overlook is the vapour barrier when building a suite over a heated garage. Garages are considered unconditioned (unheated) spaces, and for good reason: they’re often exposed to serious drops in temperatures, even if insulated and heated like the rest of the house. Further, garages must have a layer of vapour barrier encapsulating them to keep vehicle fumes away from the rest of the house. In this case, the old rule – vapour barrier on the warm side – holds true.

There is one critical exception: if closed-cell foam is used as the insulation. In that case, the foam serves as the vapour barrier, and can be applied on the underside of a sheathed floor without vapour barrier being in place.

In the past few months, our inspectors have noticed a number of situations where over-large holes have been drilled in framing members, or, alternately, holes have been drilled too close to the edge of a framing member.

We remind contractors of the relevant code on drilling holes through load-bearing elements: Holes Drilled in Framing Members
Holes drilled in roof, floor or ceiling framing members shall be not larger than one-quarter the depth of the member and shall be located not less than 50 mm from the edges, unless the depth of the member is increased by the size of the hole.

The hole for this pipe exceeds the allowed diameter for a 5.5" stud. It is also too close to the edge.

Our inspectors have also observed holes for plumbing – usually for draining toilets or showers - drilled through the top members of open-web joists in the floor system below. This requires the contractor to contact the joist manufacturer for an engineer-approved repair, at the contractor’s expense.

If you have questions, give us a call. Our building inspection department serves rural Charlotte County, southern York County, and the municipalities of St. George, Saint Andrews, Harvey and McAdam.