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BCIN - Is This Something I Need When Building My Home?


What is a BCIN?


The BCIN (Building Code Identification Number) is a unique number required on all drawings submitted for a building permit in Ontario, Canada. It may also be used when corresponding with the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing regarding any building-related work that may require a qualified firm or designer.

Modern Farmhouse Canadian House Plan with Exterior Views and Floor Plans

This modern farmhouse (Plan #126-1909) is designed with the Canadian homeowner in mind. These house designers are also able to provide a BCIN for this and their other Canadian house plans.


Why It’s a Requirement and Who Needs it?

The purpose of the BCIN is to ensure that construction in Ontario, Canada, is safe and up to code.

The following professionals and businesses are required to be qualified and registered with the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs:

  • building officials (this includes on-site inspectors)
  • certain classes of designers
  • on-site sewage system installers
  • registered code agencies

There are strict standards in place to provide the BCIN on construction drawings and be able to inspect those buildings.

  1. One must first apply to receive a BCIN from the ministry.
  2. Once individuals receive a number, they must complete the examination program in their area of study.
  3. Once the program and exams are passed, the individual or agency must then register with the ministry.

These professionals and businesses must also show proof of insurance. Additionally, there is an annual fee, and re-registration is required every year.

To locate a BCIN certified designer (or any of the above), the ministry provides a public register for consumers. You can find it online here.



Does TPC Partner with any Designers that Offer the BCIN?

Yes! We work with several Canadian house plans designers. However, at this time, only three provide the BCIN for their designs. When you find the design you like, you can submit a request for modification and ask for the BCIN. The designer will provide a quote and timeline for the BCIN certification (please note - it could take 2-3 weeks). You can find each of these house designers’ plans at the links provided below:





If a designer does not offer the BCIN for their designs, you can still purchase the CAD file from any of our designers and bring it to a local architect or engineer who does offer it. IMPORTANT – check with your local municipality BEFORE purchasing plans to ensure this can be done.



The Lowdown - How Much is This Going to Cost Me and How Long Does It Take?

This is the tricky part. The average turnaround time is 10–15 business days, but that depends on the designer’s workload when the plans are ordered.

Financial analyst with paperwork and laptop computer displaying spreadsheet on a desk

The cost of obtaining the BCIN varies according to the building type and size. It starts at $100 and goes up from there. If you find a plan you like, you can send us a modification request for that particular plan.



Extra Helpful Info – Just in Case

Now that you have a degree in BCIN, here is more info to help you decide.

One of our designer partners provides not only the BCIN but also the EEDS (Energy Efficiency Design Summary) and Schedule 1 as part of their BCIN certification for drawings. Neither of the two is required (unless it is stated in the bylaws of the community). Still, many municipalities have adopted a preference for them because they help speed both the permit and inspection processes.

More information regarding the EEDS can be found here.

A Schedule 1 is a form that designers fill out that provides the designers information (name, address, phone number, contact, etc.), the individual responsible for the design activities, a description of the design work, and the individuals or firms BCIN. Basically, Schedule 1 provides information about the designers qualifications.

For more information about BCIN, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing website.


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