Does My Province Require Sealed House Plans by a Registered Architect?

Similar to the United States, Provinces in Canada also require sealed house plans from local registered architects. This is especially true for buildings that are of public safety concerns. However, there are exemptions from licensure province laws.

Below is a list of exempt buildings, where the province does not require sealed house plans from a licensed architect.

NOTE: When putting together your ideals for your perfect home design, see if local ordinances require sealed house plans and drawings by an architect or engineer. Check with your building department to verify local jurisdiction regarding professional seals on house plans.

Alberta

Exempts single family dwelling, three stories max; Apartments, Row Housing or Similar from its Architects Act.

British Columbia

Exempts one or two family dwelling; an apartment or residential building containing 5 or more dwelling units from requiring architect sealed house plans.

Manitoba

Exempts a building that does not exceed 400 square meters (4,304 square feet) in area or three (3) stories in height and that is used or intended to be used for residential, business or personal services, or mercantile occupancy or medium or low hazard occupancy per the Manitoba Building Code under The Buildings and Mobile Homes Act; any buildings outside a city or town, used or to be used for a private dwelling, or for farm purposes, or for outbuildings or auxiliary buildings in connection therewith.

New Brunswick

Excludes buildings not more than three stories and not more than 600 (6,456 square feet) square meters in gross area as constructed, enlarged, or altered, and that is used or intended for business or mercantile occupancy, residential occupancy, personal services occupancy, or industrial occupancy, or a combination thereof.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Exemptions from sealed house plans include detached or semi-detached house or row housing, with or without a subsidiary apartment, building containing only residential units for a maximum of 20 people where access into each unit is only from the exterior, lodging house or a bed and breakfast establishment where the maximum number of guest bedrooms does not exceed 4, building, in whole or in part, used or intended for a mercantile or personal services occupancy where the total area of all those floors located at and above the lowest outside grade does not exceed 300 square meters (3,228 square feet) and the building does not contain more than one dwelling unit.

Nova Scotia

Exempts one-dwelling or two-dwelling unit of three stories or less in building height, having a building area not exceeding 450 square meters (4,842 square feet) classified as, residential occupancy, business and personal services occupancy, mercantile occupancy, or low and medium hazard industrial occupancy, an assembly occupancy of not more than one story in building height, having a building area of not more than 200 square meters (2,152 square feet), or a high hazard industrial occupancy of not more than one story in building height, having a building area of not more than 200 square meters (2,152 square feet).

Ontario

Exempts the preparation or provision of a design for the construction, enlargement or alteration of a building that is not more than three stories and that is used or intended for residential occupancy and, that contains one dwelling unit or two attached dwelling units each of which is constructed directly on grade, or that is not more than 600 square meters (6,456 square feet) in building area as constructed, enlarged or altered and contains three or more attached dwelling units, each of which is constructed directly on grade, with no dwelling unit constructed above another dwelling unit.

The preparation or provision of a design for the construction, enlargement or alteration of a building, that is not more than three stories and not more than 600 square meters (6,456 square feet) in gross area as constructed, enlarged or altered, and that is used or intended for one or more of residential occupancy, business occupancy, personal services occupancy, mercantile occupancy or industrial occupancy.

Prince Edward Island

Quebec

Exempts detached single-family dwelling unit; or a semi-detached or attached single-family dwelling unit, a multi-family dwelling that contains no more than four units, a mercantile occupancy, business occupancy, industrial occupancy or a combination of such dwellings or occupancy that is not more than two stories and not more than 300 square meters (3,228 square feet) in gross area after the work is completed and has a single basement level ; or for the alteration or renovation of the interior layout of any building or part of a building that will not change its occupancy or affect structural integrity, walls or firewalls, exits or access to exits or exterior cladding.

Saskatchewan

Exempts a building or other structure outside of a city or town where the building or structure is to be or is used for a private dwelling or for farm purposes or for the purpose of out buildings or auxiliary buildings in connection with a private dwelling or farm premises.

We also have information about laws regarding architect stamped house plans for residential building designs in the United States.

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