Design & DIY

Building inspectors and replacing dated parts

Can a building inspector force replacement of things built before anyone worried about the building code?

Contrary to what you may believe, building inspectors aren’t out to get you. They can’t tell people who have old deck railings that they need to be upgraded. But when someone wants to replace a deck and applies for a permit, the standards of today are applied. That said, if an inspector notices something seriously amiss at your cottage, you’d hear about it. So if a part of your cottage is threatening to roll down a hill, expect the inspector to raise an eyebrow. But if the bottom plank of your back step is a bit punky, it’s unlikely the inspector will even mention it.

If you’re building something new or replacing an old structure, don’t even think about skipping the permit process. The Ontario Building Code’s says that the fine for a first conviction can run as high as $25,000.