Print full article

Backyard Expectations

Your responsibilities

Site-Survey
It is up to you to provide a copy of the legal property survey (required for starting the design drawings and for permit application), sign all permit applications, and pay for all permit and/or other related fees.

Now that you have found the right builder, you need to know what you are accountable for as the purchaser as well as what responsibilities lie with the builder.

First and foremost, you should have a general understanding of your municipal bylaws. Even though you want your builder to look after all the details, it is a good idea you have this knowledge as well. This is as simple as visiting your municipality’s website and searching for ‘pool enclosure permits.’

It might be confusing because the pool enclosure bylaw is a legal document, but your builder will provide you with all the forms, fee schedules, bylaw details (which are very common amongst most municipalities with respect to fence heights, etc.), procedures, and timelines. They will also tell you about any special circumstances specific to your property; for example, if conservation or developer approvals are required.

It is up to you to provide a copy of the legal property  (required for starting the design drawings and for permit application), sign all permit applications, and pay for all permit and/or other related fees. Work should not commence until all municipal permits and other approvals have been satisfactorily obtained. Doing so can result in a stop work order, fines, or in worst-case scenarios, the removal of your pool or anything else that has been installed where it is not permitted due to a property variance or environmental setback.

It is also your job to talk to your neighbours should the builder need to encroach on their property to obtain access to your backyard with machinery or alter a common fence to meet code. You should also keep them informed on the project’s scheduling and overall progress. Get your neighbour’s consent in writing so it is harder for them to change their mind mid-project.

Once the site plan (i.e. landscape design plan) is complete, you must approve and sign-off on all construction drawings. From this point on, changes should be kept to an absolute minimum. Before construction starts, the city inspector may inspect your fence as it is up to you to ensure it meets code, or is upgraded to meet code before the pool is filled with water. The pool builder can give you an idea as to whether the existing fence will meet code, but he/she cannot guarantee it—only the city inspector can make this ruling.

Leave a Comment

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *