Find out about residential building permits, including when you need one and how to apply.

COVID-19 Updates

Call Centre: Planning & Development now has a call centre to replace the services normally provided at our 2W Service Counter at City Hall. Callers will be transferred to a staff member who will provide direction with respect to submitting applications, paying fees, requesting data, enquiring about land use, and booking appointments with specific staff. Call 604-591-4086 for assistance.

Note that Requests for Inspections should be made through our regular systems, and not through this call centre. 

Digital Permit Intakes: Planning & Development permits can be submitted by email to Before submitting your application, please review the Digital Submission Guideline. You will be contacted once we have reviewed your submission. All permit application processes will remain the same, apart from receiving the physical document copies.

Hard copies of permit application submissions may be necessary and requested depending on the scope of work and project size, upon completion of the digital submission. 

Pick ups and Drop offs: Note that Surrey City Hall has switched to appointment-only. Hard copies of plans, applications and other documents normally accepted at 2W, 3W and 4W counters are to be left in the drop box near the public entrance at Parking Level P1. Pick up of permits, plans and other documents normally from 2W, 3W and 4W is now at the Reception Desk at 1W.

Inspections: Building, Plumbing, Electrical and Trees and Landscape inspections are still being scheduled. Until further notice, premises that are occupied prior to final inspection will no longer be inspected. This is in accordance with the recent Provincial Health Officer (PHO) orders. Site reviews of other occupied properties and spaces will, in some cases, continue to be carried out with alternative review methods and/or specific protocols.

In-person Site Reviews of occupied premises may be required and will involve additional safety measures and increased levels of service and effort, such as the Site Reviews for Final Permit Acceptance and Occupied Spaces Checklist. Final Building Site Reviews will continue to require in-person attendance from Building Officials. For more information, please refer to the Site Reviews for Final Permit Acceptance and Occupied Spaces Bulletin.

Parking to Patio & Sidewalk Queuing Space Programs: These new programs allow businesses to provide increased physical distancing in outdoor spaces. For more information on how to apply, refer to the Parking to Patio and Sidewalk Queuing Space Program bulletin.

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we will continue to keep you informed of any other temporary service implementations and changes. We appreciate your patience and flexibility at this time. 

Building a House in Surrey

When you need a Permit

You will usually need a residential building permit for building or renovating work, like:

  • building a house,
  • finishing a basement,
  • building an addition, detached garage or accessory building or
  • interior renovations.

Scroll down to see the A to Z Residential Buildings Permit List to learn the requirements for residential permits, such as Deck Permits, Demolition Permits and Basement Finishing Permits.

Separate plumbing and electrical permits are required for any plumbing and electrical work. Plumbing and electrical permits may be applied for only after you've been issued the building permit.


When you don't need a Permit

You don't need a building permit for projects like:

  • replacing flooring,
  • minor repairs to the exterior of your home,
  • building a fence (not needed in some situations; see below) or
  • building a storage shed (not needed in some situations; see below).


Building Permit Forms

Hard copy Building Permit application forms are available at the Building Division front counter. To make sure you fill out the application form correctly, review the residential building permit application form requirements.

Building Permit Fees

Fees can be paid by cash, cheque or debit. Credit cards are not accepted. See the current City of Surrey building permit fees.


Residential Building Permits

Find the details below on how to apply for the most popular types of building permits. This list is not comprehensive. If you have doubts on whether you require a permit for your work, call the Building Information Line at 604-591-4366.

Please note that the current permit application processing time for the construction of Single Family Dwellings is minimum 12 weeks and depends on the completeness of the application.


Building a Fence

Find fencing regulations under Subsection 8 of Section E of Part 4 of General Provisions in the Surrey Zoning By-law 12000. A building permit is not required. A fence is to be located on your property. If you and your neighbour decide to share a fence, the City of Surrey has no jurisdiction in disputes arising over fences. Fences cannot be located on City property or on any City right-of-way or easement areas.

If you don't know where your property line is, your lot information may be on record with the City of Surrey. Search for your property survey with a Building Records Search. You may have to hire a registered British Columbia Land Surveyor to come to your property and find your property lines.

Building a Storage Shed

Small simple storage sheds typically require a permit. See below for a more detailed list of requirements regarding the construction of these small sheds.

Building requirements:

  • Storage shed with floor area of 10 m2 (108 ft2) or less may installed/constructed without a building permit however it shall comply with the requirements of the Zoning Bylaw ( setbacks, height limit…).
  • No building permit is required if the shed has one light with switch.
  • Add any receptacle (plug) and/or more than one light/switch then a building permit & electrical permit for the shed is required.  Also, any added plumbing/mechanical requires a building permit and plumbing permit.

Electrical scenarios, permit requirements:

  • A storage shed has only 1 light and a control switch: The wiring does not need a separate Electrical permit. The wiring for the shed may be included in the main SFD electrical permit.( similar to gate wiring, post light wiring etc.)
  • If a building permit is required for construction reasons, or additional electrical beyond a light and control switch, a separate electrical permit is required for each building with a building permit and electrical services (i.e. detached garage, detached workshop, detached main electrical service shed, etc.).
  •  If a storage shed has additional electrical above 1 light and a control switch, a building permit and separate electrical permit are required.

Other Permit Information

Addition Permits

Apply for an Addition Permit for an addition to a single family dwelling or duplex.

Bridgeview Floodplain Residential Building Permit

Apply for a Residential Building Permit for properties located in the Bridgeview Floodplain.

Construction without permits

See how to make a complaint about illegal construction happening in your neighbourhood.

Crescent Beach Floodplain Residential Building Permit

Apply for a Crescent Beach Floodplain Residential Building Permit for properties located in the Crescent Beach floodplain

Deck Permit

Apply for a Deck Permit when constructing a deck addition on a house.

Decommissioning a Swimming Pool Permit

Apply for a permit to decommission an in-ground swimming pool.

Demolition Permit

Find out how to demolish any building or structure in Surrey.

Detached Garage or Accessory Building Permit

Apply for a Detached Garage or Accessory Building Permit for residential garages and accessory buildings

Interior Renovation Permit

Apply for an Interior Renovation Permit for an interior renovation project in a single family dwelling or detached home.

Modular Home Building Permit

Apply for a Modular Home Building Permit for a single family dwelling.

Residential Storage Tank Removal Permit

Apply for a permit to remove an underground storage tank on a residential property.

Retaining Wall Permit

Apply for a Retaining Wall Permit for a retaining wall on a residential property.

Secondary Suite Permit

Apply for a Secondary Suite Permit for legal secondary suites or structures.

Septic Requirements

Review Septic Requirements for Building Permit applications.

Single Family Dwelling Basement Finishing Permit

Apply for a Basement Finishing Permit for detached homes and single family dwelling homes.

Single Family Dwelling Permit

Apply for a New Single Family Dwelling Permit to construct a new single family dwelling.

Solar Panel Installation Permit

Apply for a permit to install solar panels on existing buildings, as part of a photovoltaic (PV) system or solar hot water (SHW) system.

Swimming Pool Permit

Apply for a Swimming Pool Permit to install an above ground swimming pool, indoor swimming pool or hot tub.