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Stop Work Orders – a boundless source of stress for homeowners. We have written a lot about Stop Work Orders in the past, covering everything from horror stories to tips for avoiding them.

In spite of this, we continue to see homeowners who have received Stop Work Orders – and hear the devastating consequences of receiving them.

This month, we created a three-part series about Stop Work Orders

This first blog in the series looks at why it is important to take Stop Work Orders seriously, while the next two parts explore: Why Stop Orders Happen and How To Prevent Them and The Serious Consequences of Working Without Proper Permits.

For today, though, let us focus on why you need to take Stop Work Orders seriously…

Stop Work Orders and sandy situations  

Gurjit Jawandha had the best of intentions when he built a secondary suite for his children’s grandmother. He thought he could provide her with a place to live in a tight housing market, while also allowing his children to spend more time with her.

While this idea is good in theory, Jawandha did not get the appropriate Permits for the renovation to his home. He was hit with Stop Work Orders and ordered to destroy the secondary suite. In order to do this, he will have to fill the unit with sand, then seal with a concrete slab. This means that, after spending a great deal of money, Jawandha now has nothing to show for it  – and his children’s grandmother has no home.

Why you should not ignore Stop Work Orders  

Philip Garrow and Raven Flello love their 2.9 million dollar home. Over the past few years, they have completed renovations. Along the way, they received three Stop Work Orders but decided to ignore them. They also overlooked the City’s Building Regulations, including safety requirements.

Now, the District of West Vancouver has declared the home unsafe and ordered that it be demolished. Garrow and Flello are fighting back in court, but this is a losing battle. After the City wins, the couple will have just 60 days to level their dream home. They may also face criminal charges.

You can see the full council report for this case here.

What can we learn from these Stop Work Order horror stories?

We hope that you take out of this blog that Stop Work Orders are serious business. Should you ignore them – or Building Permits – you can face disastrous consequences.

Following the City’s Building Rules and Regulations are, by far, the best course of action to ensure your dream home comes together when and how it should. This way, your home will be safe… and will remain standing.