Building Permits and Inspections

Updated December 5, 2023

The BC Building Code (BCBC) is a provincial regulation that governs how new construction, building alterations, repairs and demolitions are completed. This code establishes minimum requirements for safety, health, accessibility, fire and structural protection of buildings and energy and water efficiency. In Sooke, it is administered by local building officials (BC Building Code). A building permit is required before constructing, repairing, altering, moving or demolishing a building or structure.

Every property owner must obtain all required permits or approvals, pay all fees and provide all deposits prior to the commencement of work. Upon receiving your complete application, our team will process your application as quickly as possible. We are working hard to improve the current processes while maintaining the safety and sustainability for you, your neighbours and future property owners and residents.  Times to process applications may vary depending on the number of applications under review and related staffing resources.

As of December 4, 2023, the District is in the process of onboarding new staff and is looking to contract additional building inspectors to assist with the current delays in processing applications.

If the applicant is not the owner of the property, an Owner’s Authorization form (see page 5 of building/plumbing permit application form) must be submitted. All property owners registered on the Certificate of Title must provide written approval to allow the applicant to act on their behalf.

The District’s Building Officials are responsible for reviewing and approving plans for the issuance of Building and Plumbing Permits. Once a permit is issued, staff will perform predetermined inspections as outlined in the Building Regulations Bylaw, to ensure compliance with the BC Building Code and with District Bylaws.

When you are ready to book an inspection, please call 250.642.1634. After hours, please leave a message and someone will return your call as soon as possible.

What Building Services Does

When you have a building project in Sooke, we will receive your complete application for a building permit, then:

  • review your plans and paperwork
  • work with you to make certain the plans meet all the required codes
  • issue the building permit
  • inspect the work

Why do you need an inspection?

Inspectors verify that your completed work meets safety or approval standards, and they can assist if you encounter problems with your project. Having permits approved and completed allows future buyers to verify that the District inspected your work. Please note that the inspection process is dynamic, and an inspection outcome depends on the construction method and site conditions at the time of inspection. Remember, any work completed on your home is ultimately the owner’s responsibility. Create a written contract to set clear expectations when working with a contractor. This is a good way to safeguard your investment.

How to book an inspection?

Please call 250.642.1634. After hours, please leave a message and someone will return your call as soon as possible.

Inspections are generally booked on a first-come, first-served basis; however, efforts to coordinate bookings based on location may occur to create efficiencies and allow our small team to meet the significant demands of this service area.

Ensure the District receives all requested documentation to avoid delays.

Different Types of Permits Building Services Issues

The variety of permits we administer includes:

  • residential and commercial buildings (new construction or alterations to existing)
  • secondary suites
  • detached sheds, garages and workshops
  • demolition permits
  • service permits (for connection/disconnection to City water/sewer/sanitary)
  • access (driveway) permits
  • locate permits (for moving houses or mobile homes)
  • retaining wall permits
  • wood burning appliance
  • building envelope repair permits

Please note that the District does not issue the following permits:

Letters of Assurance

Letters of Assurance are uniform, mandatory documents intended to clearly identify the responsibilities of key individuals in a building project (BC Building Code).


How to Ensure Your Application is Processed as Quickly as Possible

Please ensure ALL required documentation is supplied. Certificates of occupancy CANNOT be issued without documents, even if a final inspection has been completed.

Upon booking a final inspection, the District will provide you with a list of anything outstanding. Please ensure timely submission of the required paperwork to most efficiently receive your occupancy permit.

BC Energy Step Code

Through the BC Energy Step Code, the Province has set performance requirements to increase the energy efficiency of newly constructed buildings. BC’s goal is that all new buildings be net-zero energy-ready by 2032.

As of January 1, 2022, building owners and designers, you are required to comply with the requirements of the applicable Step of the BC Energy Step Code as indicated in the District of Sooke’s Building Bylaw.

The Step Code is a provincial standard that provides an incremental and consistent approach to achieving energy-efficient construction. Through performance modelling and on-site testing, buildings constructed to the Step Code standard will exceed the energy performance requirements of the base BC Building Code.

The Step Code provides local government and industry with a clear framework to make progress towards the provincial goal that all new construction in BC is built “net-zero energy ready” by 2032. The Province defines a net-zero energy ready building as one that has been designed and built to a level of performance, such that it could (with additional measures) generate enough onsite energy to meet its own energy needs. It’s expected that net-zero energy ready buildings will be required by the BC Building Code by 2032.

The energy model results for the building design shall be provided by your Energy Advisor using the Pre-Construction Compliance Report, to be submitted with your building permit application.


The Province of B.C. is now offering the BC Building, Plumbing and Fire Codes online at no charge at:

The Updated Building Accessibility Handbook 2020 – Digital Version Now Available at no charge at:

To help ensure that the National Model Codes are properly understood and effectively implemented, the National Research Council Canada (NRC) is now offering free electronic access to the related user’s guides, including:

The user’s guides are designed to complement the National Model Codes by providing additional background information, as well as detailed examples and calculations.

Learn more: