My Neighbour's Construction

Learn more about the construction that is happening on your street.

Home renovations and construction in established neighbourhoods can be both a welcome improvement and a challenging disruption. The town provides permits and approvals for construction projects, however the builder/developer is responsible for the physical work on and around the site.

If you are concerned about a construction project in your neighbourhood, first talk to the property owner or builder. Working together, neighbours can often resolve conflicts and ensure safe and productive building projects.

Check out the active building and development permit map

Common concerns

The following information addresses some of the more common concerns that arise regarding construction within established neighbourhoods. Click on the subject heading to find answers to your questions. 

Building permit search

Search for active permits in your area. You can check the Active Building and Development Permits interactive map to confirm that a building permit has been issued for the construction or renovation project near you.

Construction site fencing

As of June 2017, a person issued a building or demolition permit for any exterior construction work is required to erect and maintain a construction fence to enclose the construction or demolition site in accordance with the property standards by-law. Sites under construction prior to June 2017 may not be required to meet these conditions.

For more information on construction fence requirements see the Property Standards By-law.

Access to my property

A building permit does not give your neighbour or their contractor the right to enter onto your property without your permission. Allowing access to your property is your decision and is a private matter. If you decide to allow access, we suggest you have a written agreement for the benefit of both parties.

Damage to my property as a result of construction activity

If your property is damaged as a result of construction activity, you may have a right to compensation. If your neighbour is not willing to address the issue directly, your remedy is through the civil courts. As a precaution, you may wish to take photos to document the state of your property before (and after) any damage.

Damage to utilities

Contractors are required to locate underground infrastructure prior to digging. If you lose utility services due to your neighbour’s construction, alert the service provider as soon as possible. A complaint may also be registered on line through Ontario 1Call.

Drainage and grading

Older areas within the community can sometimes pose drainage challenges for new building construction. Drainage systems typically consist of the eaves trough on the house, downspout, yard swales, and sometimes yard basins and stormwater pipes. It is not uncommon to have yard swales that run along a shared property line and receive drainage from abutting lands. Maintenance of swales along the common property line becomes a shared responsibility similar to that of a fence. Should you and your neighbour experience drainage issues due to improperly maintained drainage systems, it is preferred that you engage your neighbour and work together to resolve the drainage concern. Lots where the drainage system has been altered intentionally or by neglect may require the input/advice of a qualified landscaper.

The building seems to be too close to my property line

Plans for buildings are reviewed before permits are issued to ensure that the development proposed complies with the setbacks required by zoning by-laws or the Ontario Building Code.  For residential properties, the town requires that “as-built” setbacks be confirmed through a survey submitted to the town. If a problem is identified, it will be addressed at that stage.

Zoning by-law regulations control the distance between the edge of the building and the property line. It is not uncommon for a slightly larger area to be excavated during construction and backfilled with dirt later.

The building seems to be too high

Plans for buildings are reviewed before permits are issued to ensure that the development complies with height restrictions under the town’s zoning by-law.  For residential properties, the town requires that “as-built” elevations be confirmed through a survey submitted to the town after the foundation is backfilled and prior to the approval of the framing inspection. If a problem is identified, it will be addressed at that stage.

Building conditions

Contact ServiceOakville at 905-845-6601 if you are concerned about unsafe construction or building conditions.

Dangerous electrical conditions

Contact Oakville Hydro at 905-825-9400.

Dormant projects

The Building Code controls what may be built, not the timing of construction. The town has authority to revoke a building permit if construction does not commence within six months of the permit being issued, or if construction ceases for a period of at least a year. Otherwise, the permit remains valid and construction may continue.

Dirt, dust and debris

Some dirt and debris around a construction site is inevitable, however the developer or builder is responsible for managing the work site so that debris and mud tracking is kept to a minimum and public space is reasonably clean at the end of each day.

To register a dirt or debris complaint please contact ServiceOakville at 905-845-6601 with the address where there is a concern, along with your name, address and telephone number or email.


Noise from construction is permitted during the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (excluding Sundays and statutory holidays). There are situations where times may vary, such as for emergency work or where an exemption has been granted by the town. Workers can be present and work may be conducted at any time, as long as the resulting noise is not clearly audible off site.

To register a noise complaint please contact ServiceOakville at 905-845-6601 with the address where there is a concern, along with your name, address and telephone number or email.

Parking during construction

The town may issue permits for workers’ vehicles to park on the street near the project location, beyond the general three-hour limit, which may temporarily increase on-street parking in front of your home. The permitted locations take into account safety, emergency response access and delivery of municipal services.

Parking may be permitted beyond the immediate project site and can result in a temporary increase in on-street parking activity in front of neighbouring homes. Most streets can accommodate on-street parking, and contractor’s permits include conditions to ensure their vehicles do not interfere with road operations.

Tree protection and removal

Town trees: Trees within or close to an active construction site must be protected from harm with perimeter fencing.

Private trees: Trees on private property that are healthy and over 15 centimetres in diameter can only be removed with town approval.

Boundary trees: Trees that straddle the property line are jointly owned by both property owners and can only be removed with the consent of both owners. If your tree’s limbs and/or roots overhang/encroach the development site and interfere with construction work, the builder/developer may contact you about pruning these limbs and / or roots. Pruning should be performed by a licensed arborist.

Visit the Tree Protection and Removal page for information on permits and applications.


For more information, please contact ServiceOakville