Régie du bâtiment du Québec.

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If you do the work by yourself

If you decide to carry out your construction or renovation work by yourself, you shall not benefit any protection. Such protection is offered only when you call upon and do business with a contractor who holds a licence from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ).

On which type of building will your work be done?

A building intended for your own personal use or your family’s

Why should you entrust work to a contractor?

More time, less stress, and above all, a recourse in case of a problem. For more information, consult the Choose a licenced contractor page.

In the case of the construction or the renovation of a single-family dwelling or another structure intended for your personal use or your family’s, you are not required to hold a licence as a natural person, but you cannot perform the work on an installation intended to use gas, a petroleum equipment installation or an electrical installation.

For renovation work on the private portion of your condominium unit, you can carry out certain works, such as carpet, moulding, manufactured cabinets, painting and gypsum, without holding a licence. More precisely, you may perform the works included in the schedule III of the Regulation respecting the professional qualification of contractors and owner-builders. For the complete list of those works, consult the schedule III of Licence subclasses – PDF (109 KB). For any work performed in the common portions, a RBQ licence is required.

Work restricted to specialists

If work related to electricity, to the installation of petroleum equipment and to the installation of gas-fired appliances or apparatus is envisioned, it must be entrusted to specialized contractors holding the appropriate licences delivered by the RBQ. Certain other types of work may also require that you call upon specialized contractors. This is the case for the following:

  • digging work
  • formwork for foundation walls
  • frameworks
  • insulation and plumbing work.

To determine if your work requires a licence, and if it does, which subclass you need, please refer to the Guide to determine the licence required [Fr].

For a building that you rent

The rules differ when work involves a building which you are the owner of, but which is not a single-family dwelling that you inhabit; for instance, it could be a duplex or a single-family dwelling you are letting for rent.

For renovation, repair work or maintenance work to be carried out on a property which is not your own family dwelling, whether you carry out all of the work yourself or entrust any part of it to specialized contractors, you are acting as the project owner. You must therefore hold the following:

However, there are certain situations where no licence is required. To learn about these, please refer to the following pages:

Will other persons take part in your work?

The presence on your own building or renovating site of persons who are unqualified, unauthorized or underpaid may render you at risk of being prosecuted by the CCQ, by the RBQ, by Revenu Québec, as well as by the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST).

If friends or relatives work on your own building or renovating site

If you call upon a friend or a relative to help you build or expand your house, you must do so by the rules, since these persons could be considered legally as salaried employees. If such is the case, they will need to have a certificate of qualification from the CCQ.

If you to hire workers

From the moment you hire workers to perform your construction or renovation work, you automatically become an employer. As such, you are liable to the applicable laws by the following organizations:

  • Revenu Québec
  • Canada Revenue Agency
  • Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ)
  • Emploi-Québec (please note that competency cards are required for workers that carry out work falling under the regulations: plumbing, pipe fitting, elevator installations, etc.)
  • Régie des rentes du Québec (RRQ)
  • Human resources and Skills development Canada (employment insurance program)
  • Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST).

Main requirements of the CCQ

The CCQ has certain requirements with regard to the hiring of workers. You must:

  • register yourself with the CCQ as an employer, and pay the necessary fees ($350)
  • hire only workers who hold the certificates of competency as delivered by the CCQ
  • respect the working conditions established through the collective labor agreement which is in force within the residential construction sector;
  • transmit to the CCQ a detailed monthly report of the hours worked and salaries paid, and make the required payments covering social benefits.

Main requirements from the CNESST

If you hire a contractor to carry out part of the work, you must also make sure that he is in good standing with the CNESST.

Verify with the CNESST what your duties are, as you are responsible for the health and safety of the workers that you hire, whether they are remunerated or not.

What are your guarantees and protections?

If you carry out your construction, expansion or renovation work yourself, you are offered no legal protection whatsoever. However, since electrical or gas installations must be carried out by specialized contractors, you are protected by the licence security, provided that these contractors hold an appropriate building contractor’s licence.

If you carry out the work alone, you shall not be covered by the Guarantee plan for new residential buildings.

And what about the insurances?

The RBQ strongly recommends that you take out public liability insurance for the duration of your work.

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