Home Improvement

 

Additions and enclosures

If you are planning a residential addition or enclosure project, a Development Permit will likely be required, and a Building Permit will always be required. Whether or not your project requires a Development Permit will depend on the specifics of your home and lot, and the size of your planned addition or enclosure. The information on this page will help to guide you through the approvals needed for these types of projects.

Examples of residential additions and enclosures:

  • Deck/patio enclosure
  • Room addition (addition to an exterior wall)
  • Attached sunroom
  • Attached garage
  • Attached carport
  • Carport enclosure (conversion to garage)
  • Breezeway enclosure
  • Bay window addition
Development permit vs. building permit

A development permit covers the what and where a development may proceed. It approves what type of development is allowed on a particular property, taking into account land use and setback issues of the City's Land Use Bylaw.

A building permit covers how it is built. It allows the construction/demolition of structures contingent on meeting the requirements of the Alberta Building Code.

What permits do I need?

The scope of work being done will determine what permits you require. For application information, see the How to apply section below.

When is a Development Permit required?

A Development Permit is required when:

Enclosing a deck, patio, carport or breezeway
Adding a room to an existing exterior wall
Adding an attached garage or carport
Adding a storey to any existing building
Potentially, a Development Permit may be required when:

Enclosing a front porch
Adding a bay window
Doing other addition/enclosure projects
NOTE: If a Development Permit is required, this must be applied for and approved prior to Building Permit and trade permit applications. A Planning or Development Officer can provide assistance. Contact Planning & Development Services with any questions about your specific project.

When is a Building Permit required?

A Building Permit and applicable trades permits are required for all projects involving the construction of additions or enclosures.

What other permits/approvals are required?

Other permits (below) may be required if the proposed project involves specific considerations:

Electrical Permit: Required for installing or modifying electrical systems, including moving lights or outlets.
Gas Permit: Required for installing, modifying or adding to any gas system.
Plumbing Permit: Required for installing or modifying plumbing systems or any plumbing equipment.
Mechanical Permit: Required for installing or modifying heating, ventilation or air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
Land Owner Consent Form: Required if the property is a part of a condominium, or is otherwise not owned by the applicant.
Do it yourself

As a homeowner, you are able to obtain homeowner's permits for plumbing, electrical, gas and mechanical work. To apply for any of these homeowner's permits:

You must be doing the work yourself
You must own and reside in the home
You must be capable of performing the work in accordance with the Safety Codes Act
It must be a single-family dwelling (not a condo building, etc.)
NOTE: Depending on the homeowner's permit you are applying for, other restrictions may apply. For more info, visit Homeowners trade permits.

Risks when a permit is not obtained

If you, as a homeowner or contractor, do not have permits for work that has been started or completed, there could be consequences if you do not take action to correct the situation, such as:

Enforcement action issued by a City inspector.
A fine for building without a permit.
Having to undo work that has been completed.
Future legal and financial issues when selling your property or making an insurance claim.
Having to do more work than was originally planned and budgeted, to fix deficiencies.
Potential liability to you, the homeowner, in the event of an accident.
NOTE: As a homeowner, you are responsible for paying any penalties, even if you hired a contractor who assured you that permits were not required. For more info, visit Tips for hiring contractors.

What if I am not the property owner?

If you are not the owner of the property, then you must get the owner's consent to apply for any changes. See section below: How to apply.

Decks, patios and balconies

Decks, patios and balconies

Detached garages and sheds 

Detached garages and sheds

Driveways and sidewalks

Driveways and sidewalks

Fences and retaining walls 

Fences and retaining walls

Fireplaces 

Fireplaces

Landscaping and ponds 

Landscaping and ponds

Renovations and basements 

Renovations and basements

Solar panels 

Solar panels

Swimming pools and hot tubs 

Swimming pools and hot tubs

Homeowner trade permits

A homeowner's trade permit is authorization from The City to perform a limited scope of electrical, plumbing, gas or mechanical (HVAC) work.

Homeowner trade permits


Do I need a permit?

Permits are required for common renovation projects such as:

  • Changing the exterior finish material of a house
  • Adding or changing the size of a window or exterior door
  • Building or finishing a living/recreation room, bedroom or bathroom
  • Repairs due to fire or flood damage
  • Structural changes

Permits are NOT required for maintenance or minor cosmetic upgrades such as:

  • Replacing flooring, painting, installing kitchen cabinets
  • Replacing roof shingles
  • Replacing windows of the same size
  • Replacing the exterior finish of a house with similar materials (e.g. replacing existing vinyl siding with new vinyl siding.)

Development Permit vs Building Permit

Development Permit

Approves what type of development is allowed on a particular property, taking into account land use and the City's Land Use Bylaw.


Building Permit

Ensures construction or demolition meets the requirements of the Alberta Building Code.

Don't see your project? Contact us.