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What are Stop Work Orders and why should you care about them?

What are Stop Work Orders and why should you care about them?

With the amount of residential construction in Vancouver skyrocketing, the number of Stop Work Orders is exploding. In fact, Stop Work Orders are becoming downright common for builders and homeowners.

But what are Stop Work Orders and why should they matter to you?

What is a Stop Work Order?

A Stop Work Order is a legal notice to suspend work on a given project. Stop Work Orders are given out by the City in which your project is located. These orders essentially tell you that the City is aware of the construction project you have embarked on, but that you do not have permission to conduct it. Therefore, the City is ordering you to pause what you are doing until the situation can be resolved. Once the situation is resolved, the Stop Work Order will be lifted.  

Why should I care about Stop Work Orders?

There are several reasons you should care about Stop Work Orders.

First and foremost, when you receive a Stop Work Order, your project must halt as you resolve the issue related to it, costing you time and money in the interim. If you’ve received a Stop Work Order because you began construction without a permit, you will be fined, face legal repercussions, and even be forced to undo the work you have completed thus far.

If you undertake construction without a permit, you can face issues even if you finish the project without the City issuing a Stop Work Order. For example, if your home no longer matches the plans the City has on file, a sale can fall through. At that point, you can also encounter fines, legal problems, or be forced to undo the finished construction.

This is why it is vital to only undertake construction with the proper permits in place.

How can I avoid getting a Stop Work Order?

The simplest way to avoid getting a Stop Work Order is to have everything appropriately handled with the City prior to starting any construction.

How do you ensure that this is done?

The simplest, most effective way is to work with a professional home designer and construction crew who have experience with Building Permits. A team like this will ensure everything is taken care of for your project to move forward without issue.  

If you have already received a Stop Work Order, do not panic as there are ways to handle the situation, mitigating its impact on you and your project.

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