Renovations and Basements

Home renovations are a common way to improve the functionality and value of a home. The information on this page will guide you through the permits required for interior residential renovation projects and basement finishing. It is important to first obtain the necessary permits, to avoid incurring extra costs to fix deficiencies.

Residential additions

If you intend to increase the square footage of your home by building an addition onto an exterior wall, learn more by visiting:

Additions and Enclosures

Secondary kitchens and secondary suites
Secondary kitchen

A secondary kitchen is an interior kitchen in a home that is physically separate from the main kitchen, for personal use. It has facilities for storing, preparing, and cooking food. If you intend to create or renovate a secondary kitchen, the information on this page is applicable.

It is not allowed to use a secondary kitchen as part of a self-contained suite without first obtaining approvals for the development of a secondary suite.

 

Secondary suite

A secondary suite is a self-contained dwelling unit within a single detached house; sometimes called a basement suite. If you intend to create or renovate a secondary suite, regulations are more specific. Learn more by visiting:

Secondary and Backyard Suites

Condos
If your home is a part of a condominium association, check your condo bylaws or ask the condo board about your renovation plans before you apply for permits.

Home-based businesses

If you intend to do interior renovations related to a home-based business, there are additional considerations. Learn more by visiting:

Home Businesses

What permits do I need?

Development permit

A development permit is required when:

  • Your proposed renovation involves an increase to the gross floor area (an addition), or
  • Your proposed renovation is to add or modify a secondary suite in the home, or
  • Your proposed renovation is related to a home-based business.

To learn more about development permits, visit:

Development Permits

A development permit must approved before applying for building and trade permits.

Building Permit

A building permit is always required for any new development or alteration/renovation to existing development, unless the project involves only:

  • Cosmetic changes such as painting, decorating, patching drywall and other similar minor repairs of interior finishes, or
  • Replacement of interior cabinetry (provided that regulated clearances are maintained from stoves), or
  • Floor finishing (carpet, vinyl, tile, hardwood), as long as the structural elements of the floor are not altered, and
  • The construction value of the work is less than $5000.00.

To learn more about building permits, visit:

Building Permits

Trade Permits

Trade permits are required if your planned project involves specific considerations, such as:

  • Electrical Permit: for installing or modifying electrical systems, including moving lights or outlets.
  • Gas Permit: for installing, modifying or adding to any gas system.
  • Plumbing Permit: for installing or modifying plumbing systems or any plumbing equipment. Not required for the replacement of existing plumbing fixtures.
  • Mechanical Permit: for installing or modifying heating, ventilation or air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

To learn more about trades permits, visit:

Trade Permits

Do it yourself

As a homeowner, you are able to get homeowner's permits for limited scope of work involving plumbing, electrical, gas and mechanical. To be eligible to apply for homeowner's permits:

  • You must be doing the work yourself
  • You must own and live in the home
  • You must be capable of performing the work in accordance with the Safety Codes Act
  • It must be a single family home (not a condo building, etc.)

Depending on the homeowner's permit you are applying for, other restrictions may apply. To learn more, visit: 

Homeowner Trade Permits

How to Apply

Online

Apply online

Please review these ePermit user guides before applying online:

In person

  1. Determine which application(s) you need. You can then download checklists and forms below to complete them, or come in person to Planning & Development Services at City Hall and we will assist you.
  2. Have floor plan drawing(s) ready.
  3. Bring these required documents (USB drive preferred) and apply in person at Planning & Development Services.
  4. Payment by debit, cash, cheque, or credit card.

Depending on your project, below are forms you may need when applying in person:

Payment methods

Online or phone:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard

In-person:

  • Debit
  • Cash
  • Cheque
  • Visa
  • Mastercard

Mail:

  • cheque

Fees and Charges

How long will it take to approve permits?

  • Development permits: Timelines vary based on application type and the impact to the community.
  • Building permits: Typically less than 6 business days, provided that an approved development permit (if required) has been released.

Line locates

Line locates are typically not required prior to doing interior renovations.

To learn more about locating underground utilities, visit:

Line locates

Inspections

Inspections are required for most interior renovation projects. At the discretion of the Safety Codes Officer, most projects require rough-in and final inspections, depending on the complexity of the project.

Book online

Please review this ePermit user guide before booking online.

Inspection request (alternate)


Book by phone

Phone 403-529-8208 (automated inspection request line)

Risks when permits are not obtained

By not obtaining permits for work done on your home, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to potential future legal and financial issues when selling your property or making an insurance claim. There could also be consequences if you do not correct the situation, such as:

  • Enforcement action issued by a Safety Codes Officer.
  • 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.

As a homeowner, you are responsible for paying any penalties, even if you hired a contractor who assured you that permits were not required.

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.

Owner Consent