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A Stop Work Order may sound manageable, but it can be incredibly financially damaging. While we have touched on some of the issues we have seen over our years working in Vancouver home design, we have some true horror stories that show just how devastating getting a Stop Work Order can be.

Stop Work Order horror stories

We have had a number of cases where individuals have brought us in after receiving Stop Work Orders or having issues with previous non-permitted work they completed on their own.

Whenever possible, we assist these individuals in bringing their homes back to match the plans, then apply for the proper Permits to complete the renovations they wish to undertake. This, however, can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

One of the most devastating situations we have ever seen, though, involves a family that had built an addition to their home a decade previously. The City discovered that this work had not been permitted; so, although over ten years had passed, they came after the family. The family came to us hoping to Permit those changes – but it wasn’t possible.

In the end, the entire addition had to be torn down. Since the family needed the extra space, they ultimately tore down their entire house and had to rebuild from the ground up.

The problem with Stop Work Orders

The difficulty is that once non-permitted work is completed or Stop Work Orders are given out, the situation is difficult to resolve – and it takes great time and expense to do so. Given this, the best this to do is avoid situations that could lead to Stop Work Orders. In order to do this, avoid all non-permitted work and ensure any home you purchase is in compliance.

Read more from our Stop Work Order series:

“But I bought it this way”: Dealing with a Work Without Permit Order on a property you purchased

Think you know the BC Building Code? Think again or risk a Stop Work Order