Homeowners trade permits

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Overview

Trade permit: authorization from The City to perform electrical, plumbing, gas or mechanical (HVAC) work; each trade has its own permit type.

Homeowner’s trade permit: authorization from The City to perform electrical, plumbing, gas or mechanical (HVAC) work; the permit is obtained by the homeowner to do a limited scope of work.

This page describes the requirements for homeowner's trade permits, including electrical, plumbing, gas and mechanical installation.

If you are planning any building (framing, structural) with your project, a building permit will also be required.
Visit the Home Improvement Hub to see more information about your specific project.

If you are a licensed contractor looking for information on obtaining trades permits, visit Trade Permits.

 


As the homeowner, you are able to obtain homeowner’s plumbing, electrical, gas and mechanical permits for projects in your home, if the following conditions are met:

1)  You legally own the home*

2)  You live in the home (i.e. the home cannot be a rental property)

3)  You are doing the work yourself (you cannot pull a permit on behalf of the individual or company doing the work)

4)  For semi-detached dwelling: one side of a semi-detached property is acceptable (the side the owner lives in). This includes any accessory buildings on the same property;

5)  For duplex dwelling: one side/level of a duplex property is acceptable (the side/level the owner lives in);

6)  For row-type dwelling: individually-owned townhouses or condos are acceptable. However, if the building is part of a condominium association, then an authorization letter from the condo board is required.

*If you have recently purchased the property, the title may have not yet transferred to you. If you are unsure, bring a copy of your purchase agreement to Planning & Development Services to show proof of ownership.

Important notes

 If you are not intending to do the work yourself, the permit must be pulled by a licensed contractor.
 You cannot pull a homeowner’s trade permit for apartment-style condos; a licensed contractor is required.
 See below for technical requirements related to specific permit types.



An electrical permit is required for all electrical installations and renovations. Homeowners must be capable of ensuring the work will be done in accordance with applicable safety regulations.

If you have no previous knowledge or experience with electrical wiring, your best option is to hire an electrical contractor who is eligible to receive permits. Work completed by inexperienced individuals often requires extensive corrections to bring the installation up to code, and may create a serious hazard.

A homeowner's electrical permit does not allow:

  Installation or modification of the main electrical service, including the main panel, main breaker and the meter base
  Electrical work requiring other than standard wiring materials
  Work on systems over 100 amperes in capacity
  Work on a three phase electrical system
  Work on systems over 150 volts to ground
  Electrical work involving a hot tub or swimming pool

For application forms, see how to apply (below).

Inspections

What you need to have completed before you call for each electrical inspection:

Rough-in inspection

  Have all wiring and interior of boxes readily visible.
 Do not secure devices (plugs, switches) to boxes. Devices do not need to be installed for the rough inspection.
 Remove vapour barriers and insulation where it’s covering any wiring. The exception is for wiring fished into walls.
 Terminate all wiring into boxes and fixtures and remove outer jackets. 
 Ensure all wiring is supported. 
 Cables may be terminated into the panelboard, but should not be on breakers.
 Rough and underground inspections should be combined. Backfilling a trench may be granted with prior permission from the Safety Codes Officer.
 Never energize exposed wiring.

Final inspection

 Do not have any exposed live wiring.
 Have all outlets, light fixtures and cover plates in place.
 Energize all branch circuits.
 Complete the panelboard breaker directory.

Note: Although preferred, it is not necessary to have the wallboard installed for a final inspection.



A plumbing permit is required to install or modify any plumbing equipment or a plumbing system. Homeowners must be capable of ensuring the work will be done in accordance with applicable safety regulations.

If you have no previous knowledge or experience with plumbing systems, your best option is to hire a licensed plumber who is eligible to receive permits. Work completed by inexperienced individuals often requires extensive corrections to bring the installation up to code, and may create a serious hazard.

For application forms, see how to apply (below).

Inspections

What you need to have completed before you call for each plumbing inspection:

Rough-in inspection

 Install and complete all plumbing drainage and venting.
 Install and connect waterlines to the rest of the water distribution system.
 Properly support all drains, vents, and waterlines.
 Install the bathtub/shower valve.

Final inspection

 Install and ensure all fixtures and equipment are ready for use.
 Ensure the bathtub and shower water temperature does not exceed 49 degrees Celsius.
 Seal all piping designed for future fixtures with an approved plug or cap.
 Provide a shut off valve for all toilets.



A gas permit is required for installing or modifying a gas furnace, gas fireplace, gas range or any other gas related work. Homeowners gas permits are only issued for individuals who are qualified gasfitters, properly trained in the installation, operation and maintenance of gas service.

If you are not a trained gasfitter, you must hire a licensed gasfitter who is eligible to receive permits.

For application forms, see how to apply (below).

Inspections

What you need to have completed before you call for each gas inspection:

Rough-in inspection
•  All lines to all appliances in place, capped off and lines pressurized with pressure gauge in place

 Final inspection
•  All appliances connected and operational



A mechanical permit is required for installing or modifying heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Homeowners must be capable of ensuring the work will be done in accordance with applicable safety regulations.

If you have no previous knowledge or experience with HVAC systems, your best option is to hire a licensed contractor who is eligible to receive permits. Work completed by inexperienced individuals often requires extensive corrections to bring the installation up to code, and may create a serious hazard.

For application forms, see how to apply (below).

Inspections

What you need to have completed before you call for each mechanical inspection:

Rough-in inspection
•  HVAC duct work must be completed but not covered

Final inspection
•  All components and fixtures for HVAC must be installed and operational



•  Electrical:
You need both Homeowners Form and Electrical Permit Application.

•  Plumbing: You need both Homeowners Form and Plumbing Permit Application.

•  Gas: You need both Homeowners Form and Gas Permit Application.

•  Mechanical: You need both Homeowners Form and Mechanical Permit Application.

Get most homeowners permits right away

You can print the applicable forms (PDF) from the list above, complete them and visit Planning & Development Services. Or just drop by and we will assist you.

Homeowners permits for electrical, plumbing or mechanical work can often be issued instantly at the counter of Planning & Development Services. Homeowners permits for gasfitting will typically be processed within one business day from when the application is submitted. You will be notified by telephone.

Planning & Development Services
Second floor, City Hall
580 1st Street SE
Medicine Hat, AB  T1A 8E6
Ph. 403.529.8374
FAX 403.502.8036
pbe@medicinehat.ca

Fee payment

Permit fees vary depending on the intended project. View fee schedule.

Permit fee(s) are payable when the permit(s) are approved and issued. Therefore, applicants will typically pay in person at the counter of Planning & Development Services. The City accepts payments in cash, cheques and debit (not credit cards).



Generally, your project will require a rough-in and a final inspection for each building and trades permit pulled, though additional inspections may be required.

Book your inspections by calling 403.529.8208 and providing your permit number(s), project address, contractor name and phone number. If you call before 1:00pm, your inspection will be scheduled for the next business day.

For more information, visit Inspections.

Had a recent Safety Codes inspection? Please do our quick survey!



When work has been concealed by drywall, you are required to uncover any work deemed necessary by a Safety Codes Officer to ensure compliance with the Safety Codes Act. A homeowner's permit cannot be issued for concealed electrical, plumbing, gas or mechanical work. 

Note: 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.

Questions? Contact:

Planning & Development Services
Second floor, City Hall
580 1st Street SE
Ph. 403.529.8374
pbe@medicinehat.ca



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 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.

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. Remember, we are here to help! Call Planning & Development Services at 403-529-8374.