Building Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are all rooms required to have windows and do they require screens?

    Every habitable room in a dwelling unit, except a kitchen, shall contain an outside window or windows. All windows in a dwelling unit designed to be opened shall be fitted with screens, so as to prevent the entrance of rodents, large insects and vermin.Categories: Building

  • Do I need a permit for a deck?

    If the height of the deck is greater than 24 inches, then it requires a permit.Categories: Building

  • Do I need a permit for a fence?

    No, but there are height restrictions. Please see Fence By-law No. 2005-70.Categories: Building

  • Do I need a permit for a pool?

    Yes a permit is required for both an inground and above ground pool.Categories: Building

  • Do I need a permit for new windows?

    If you are just replacing them no, but if you are enlarging them yes.Categories: Building

  • Do I need a permit to re-shingle my roof?

    No.Categories: Building

  • How big of a shed can I build before I require a permit?

    10 square meters (108 square feet).Categories: Building

  • How do I report graffiti/vandalism?

    Graffiti and other types of vandalism found on City property should be reported to our Municipal Service Centre.  You can call or email our staff 24/7 at (905) 356-1355 or [email protected].  

    If the vandalized property belongs to another agency (e.g. a utility company,  the Niagara Parks Commission or MTO), the matter should be referred to the property owner.

    Graffiti on private property may be referred to Property Standards By-Law 2.7.7, which states:

    Exterior walls and their components shall be repaired of vandalism or other damage, including defacements by paint, inscriptions or other markings as well as broken windows.

    Categories: Building, Clerks, Municipal Works

  • How large of an addition can I build?

    This will depend on the zoning of your property and the lot coverage of the existing building.Categories: Building

  • I am going be constructing a new single family dwelling, what will the permit fees be?

    Please see our Summary of Permit Fees, and contact our office regarding City and Regional Development Charges that may be applicable to the land.Categories: Building

  • If I am doing cosmetic work in my home, do I require a permit?

    If you are replacing such things as flooring, kitchen cabinets, than no permit is required.Categories: Building

  • My neighbours fence is falling down, does he have to fix it?

    Fences, enclosures, retaining walls and structures appurtenant to a property shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound condition and plumb, maintained free of health or other hazards.Categories: Building

  • Rodent Prevention and Control

    Whether you own property or rent, live or work in the City of Niagara Falls, everyone has a role in rodent prevention. Rodent proofing your home and property is the most important factor to prevent and control these pests. 

    Please visit the Rodent Prevention and Control webpage for more information on the Residential Rodent Control Rebate Program.

    If you are experiencing rodents inside your home please contact Niagara Region Public Health at 905-356-1538 or visit  the Public Health webpage.

    Visit for local pest control services. View rodent prevention tips at the Government of Canada website.

    Categories: Building, Municipal Works

  • We have vermin, insects or bugs coming into our home, what needs to be done and who's responsibility is it?

    Residential buildings, dwelling units and yards shall be kept free of rodents, insects or vermin and the methods used for exterminating such rodents, insects or vermin, shall be in accordance with all applicable government regulations. It is the owners responsibility to take care of this.Categories: Building

  • What is the owner of the property responsible for?

    They are responsible to maintain the property for a clean and well kept unit/home, to the standards of the City's Property Standards By-law No. 2015-101.

    Categories: Building

  • What should the grass length be kept at?

    Every owner, lessee or occupant of land shall ensure that the grass on the land is less than 20 centimeters in length. Please see By-law No. 2007-41.Categories: Building

  • What temperature should the heat be kept at?

    Every dwelling shall be provided with a heating system capable of continuously maintaining a room temperature under all conditions of 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) in all habitable rooms, bathroom and toilet rooms unless otherwise permitted by the Medial Officer of Health.Categories: Building

  • What type of hardware should each door and window have?

    All doors and windows should have the necessary and suitable hardware to ensure the proper operation and integrity of the door or window and effective locking devices.Categories: Building

  • When building a detached garage, how far do I have to be from the property line?

    This will depend on the zoning of your property, as well as whether your property is an interior or exterior lot.Categories: Building

  • When does the heat need to be put on?

    Between the 15th day September in each year and the 31st day of May of the following year.Categories: Building

  • Where are handrails required?

    They are required in every stairwell or open stairway leading to a higher storey or to a basement with three or more risers and every porch, balcony or landing.Categories: Building

  • Why are unplated vehicles/boats/trailers not allowed on my property?

    No motor vehicle, other than a currently licensed motor vehicle capable of being driven on a highway, shall be parked on any property, except in an enclosed building, unless the parking of the unlicensed or inoperative motor vehicle is incidental to a permitted use under the Citys Zoning By-laws for the zone in which the property is located. No vehicle, boat, trailer, machinery or part thereof which is in unusable, wrecked, discarded, dismantled, partially dismantled, inoperative or abandoned condition shall be parked, stored or allowed to remain on any property or yard.Categories: Building

  • Why can't any vehicle, trailer, recreational vehicle be stored on my property?

    No person shall use any land or structure in the City for storing used motor vehicles for the purpose of wrecking or dismantling them or salvaging parts thereof for sale or other disposal, unless authorized by law to do so. Please see By-law No. 2007-41.Categories: Building