What is BCIN? Why is it needed for house plans?

Licensed With Ontario Ministry of Housing & Municipal Affairs

BCIN stands for Building Code Identification Number. (Under article of the Ontario Building code)
House designers must have their BCIN # to provide design service & issue construction drawings in Ontario. No BCIN = No permit.

Near the end of 1999, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing started to look at a way to create a licensed body of house designers, and streamline the building permit process across all Ontario. What they came up with was Bill 124 which came into effect in 2006.

Among the points stated above, other intentions of Bill 124 were to provide protection to the public and include the following upgrade in standards:

  • Requiring qualification for building officials, house designers, architects, who wish to provide a design service and submit house plans for building permits.
    Mandatory acquiring & registering of liability insurance would be required for all firms wishing to have their house drawings used for submission to acquire building permits in Ontario
  • Specific timeframes for processing & issuing of a building permit,
    Mandatory use of a province wide permit application forms & new rules in regards to governing permit fees
  • Rijus Home Design – Jason Schilstra have two designers who are licensed under article of the Ontario Building Code, meet all requirements of Bill 124, insured and are registered with Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing.

A BCIN license should not be the only qualification you seek when looking to hire a house design firm.

Ask to see past projects, portfolio, testimonials, and inspect examples of finished house drawings.  Design creativity, structural knowledge is very important.  There are many designers that can pass an exam, but many are out of their element when it comes to proper design and creating a house plan that is actually build-able. 

“Designer” is a term that is loosely thrown around. For example, there are many home builders who think they are residential designers and there are many people in the design industry who call themselves designers but have zero training/qualifications in design.  

Experience is paramount.
Min. 5 years of residential custom home design & build experience is strongly recommended.