New house construction

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Important terms

Dwelling a self-contained unit for the purpose of a household residence that may include food storage and preparation, sleeping and personal hygiene facilities. 

Single detached house: a building that contains one dwelling unit, and may include a secondary suite in districts where secondary suites are a permitted or discretionary use.

Duplex: a building which contains two dwelling units, separated either by a common party wall extending from foundation to roof and/or by a common ceiling/floor assembly, with each dwelling having its own separate entrance to the exterior.

Backyard suite: a dwelling located in the rear yard of a site where the principal use is a single detached house.

Secondary suite: a second dwelling located within a single detached house.

See more housing terms below.

 


The scope of work being performed will dictate what permits are required.

Development permit:
A development permit is required for any new home built within the City of Medicine Hat, the placement of a manufactured home, the demolition of any building, as well as most other forms of development. It must be approved before a building permit is applied for.

 

Building permit:
A residential building permit is always required before any new home construction. The building permit plans are compared to the approved development permit plans, during the building permit review period. It is the builder’s responsibility to ensure the building permit drawings match the development permit drawings.

If a detached garage is also being built, it must be applied for with a separate building permit application. For more info, visit Detached garages and sheds.

 

Trade permits:
Trade permits are required for each applicable sub-trade (plumbing, gas, electrical, HVAC) in the construction of a new home. Each type of work will be inspected individually.

 

Driveway access permit:
Required for driveway construction. For more info, visit Residential driveways.

 

Demolition permit:
If there is an existing house on the property to be demolished or removed, a demolition permit must be applied for before a new house building permit application can be submitted. For more info, visit Residential and commercial demolition.

 

Subdivision:
If you are subdividing one property to build two single detached houses, you must have subdivision approval and approved addresses, before you can apply for both building permits. For more info, visit Subdividing a property.



A development permit (DP) allows a specific type of development on a specific parcel of land in the City to proceed according to the Medicine Hat Land Use Bylaw. DPs are issued by the City's Planning staff.

A building permit (BP) allows construction of a building or other structure to proceed on condition of compliance with the Alberta Building Code which addresses building and fire safety. BPs are issued by the City's Safety Codes Officers.



To obtain the permits you require, submit an application for each permit, along with other relevant documents, to:

Planning and Development Services
2nd Floor, Medicine Hat City Hall
580 1st Street SE

1 - Determine which applications you need.
(See What permits do I need, above). You can then download checklists and forms (below) and complete them.

NOTE: Development permits must be applied for and approved prior to building permit and trade permit applications.

Development Permits & Checklists

icon_PDFDevelopment Permit Checklist - Low Density Residential  (Single detached house)
icon_PDFAdditions and Accessory Buildings Checklist  (Detached garage)
icon_PDFMulti Dwelling Residential Checklist  (Multiple unit residential)
icon_PDFDevelopment Permit Application


Building Permits & Checklists

icon_PDFNew Single Family Dwelling, Duplex, Row House Checklist
icon_PDFDetached Garage or Shed Checklist
icon_PDFCovered/Uncovered Deck Checklist
icon_PDFResidential Building Permit Application


Trade permits and other approvals

icon_PDFElectrical Permit Application
icon_PDFGas Permit Application
icon_PDFPlumbing Permit Application
icon_PDFMechanical Permit Application
icon_PDFExterior wall claddings form
icon_PDFDemolition Permit Checklist
icon_PDFDemolition Permit Application
icon_PDFDriveway Permit Application

NOTE: If your plans include other features such as exterior hot tub, swimming pool, fireplace, retaining wall, deck enclosure or solar panels, see Checklists and forms library or phone 403.529.8374 for more information.

2 - Have drawings ready:
Site plan (4 copies), foundation plan, floor plan, cross section, elevations, floor joist & roof truss (3 copies of each). Sample drawings coming soon.

3 - Have utility locate slips (2 copies).
These show the location of underground and overhead utilities, such as gas and cable lines. See free utility locates below.

4 - Bring all these required documents and apply in person, to:
Planning & Development Services
2nd Floor, Medicine Hat City Hall
580 1st Street SE

5 - Application fees will be required.
The City accepts payments in cash, cheques and debit (not credit cards). List of fees.


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.

Development permit land owner consent (included on the   icon_PDFDevelopment Permit Application)

icon_PDFLand owner consent - Building permits


How long will it take to obtain my permits?

Development Permits: Timelines vary based on the type of application and the impacts to the community. Learn more.

Building Permits: Typically less than 6 business days, provided that an approved development permit (if required) has been released.



When planning your construction project, it is important to learn where and what underground and overhead utilities are located on your property. Locates are done free of charge but do require a couple of days notice to get them.

When applying for a building permit for your project, it is required that you also include utility locate slips. To obtain them, phone the numbers below:

  Alberta One-Call (Electric, Gas, Telus) 1-800-242-3447

  Sewer and Water (City of Medicine Hat) 403-529-8176

  Shaw 1-866-344-7429



To book inspections, phone 403.529.8208 (24 hours)

OR download the fax sheet below and fax the completed form to 403.502.8036.

icon_PDFInspection request fax sheet

When phoning, please provide:

•  Job address
  Permit number
•  Your phone number
•  Contractor name (if applicable)
•  Contractor phone number (if applicable)

To schedule an inspection for the following business day, call or fax by 1:00 pm.
You can book your inspection for a morning or afternoon, but it cannot be time-specific.
Requests received on weekends or holidays will be processed the next business day.

Inspections are booked by phases. All work for each phase must be complete before that phase’s inspections can be booked. Individual disciplines cannot book inspections separately and the previous phase must have passed all inspections before the next phase inspection can be requested. If one discipline did not pass inspection, the whole phase must be called for re-inspection; however, only the aspects that were not acceptable will be inspected again.

For more detailed information about each individual inspection contact a Safety Codes Officer.

Additional forms and documents may be required at certain inspection phases (e.g. As-Built Engineering, Concrete Verification, Form A (signed), reclaimed water design and specs, Real Property Report, Screw Pile conformity report, Soil Bearing report and Soils Test). These documents will be listed as permit conditions or be requested through inspection reports. Failure to provide these documents at the time of inspection will result in failed inspections and re-inspection fees may apply.

 

Building permit inspections needed for new construction of a single family dwelling:

1 - Footings (prior to concrete placement)
2 - Weeping tile and dampproofing (prior to backfill)
3 - Framing (prior to insulation)
4 - Insulation and vapour barrier (prior to drywall)
5 - Final or Occupancy.

NOTE: The final inspection (permission to occupy) verifies that the house is safe to occupy and meets all applicable building codes and bylaws. The house cannot be occupied prior to this approval.

Other inspections needed for new house construction:

The following permits require rough-in and final inspections:

  Electrical inspection. For questions, phone 403-529-8210.
  Mechanical inspection. For questions, phone 403-529-8202.
  Plumbing inspection. For questions, phone 403-529-8202.
•  Gas inspection. For questions, phone 403-529-8202.

Further info

The required inspections for your project are indicated on your permit(s).

Have the requested documentation on site.

For rough-in inspections, ensure that the work being inspected is not covered (such as with insulation or drywall).

For final inspections, it is preferred that interior finishes are complete (drywall).

For additional info, visit inspections.

  


For placement of a manufactured home on a site you will require, at minimum, all of the following:

icon_PDFManufactured Home (DP) Checklist
icon_PDFDevelopment Permit Application
icon_PDFManufactured Home Placement (BP) Checklist
icon_PDFResidential Building Permit Application

Trade permits are required for electric, gas, water and sewer connections to the manufactured home:

icon_PDFElectrical Permit Application
icon_PDFGas Permit Application
icon_PDFPlumbing Permit Application

NOTE: If your plans include other features such as driveway, carport, retaining wall, deck enclosure, solar panels, etc., see Checklists and forms library or phone 403.529.8374 for more information.

For details on how to apply, see Applying for permits, above. 

 


Shipping containers are not permitted in residential areas within the City of Medicine Hat.

A shipping container (commonly known as a "sea can") is a cargo container that is a prefabricated metal container or box specifically constructed for the transportation of goods by ship, train or highway tractor. Since the early 2000's, there has been a trend in many parts of the world of repurposing used shipping containers as storage buildings or even as dwellings.

Within the City, shipping containers are only permitted for use in Industrial Districts (I-B, I-G, I-H), and only if not located in the front yard or exterior side yard of the site.  Apply for a development permit before you purchase and/or place a shipping container on any industrial site. 

For more info, visit Zoning and land use or phone 403-529-8374.

   


Apartment:
a building that contains 3 or more dwellings, a common entrance for the dwellings to the exterior, and an internal hallway system.

Cluster housing: a comprehensively planned residential development with multiple low rise buildings containing up to four dwellings each, and may include private amenities such as an internal private roadway, park, recreational facility, community centre or RV storage.

Condominium: a building or complex of buildings divided into several units which are each separately owned, surrounded by common areas which are jointly owned. A condominium development is usually designated for residential use, but may be designated for commercial or industrial use instead.

Townhouses: a building which contains three or more dwellings separated by a common party wall extending from foundation to roof and/or by a common ceiling/floor assembly, with each dwelling having its own separate entrance to the exterior.

Semi-detached residence: two dwelling units with separate entrances, but built as a pair and sharing a common wall. In the City of Medicine Hat Land Use Bylaw, this type of residence is designated as a duplex.

Manufactured housing: (commonly known as a mobile home) a type of prefabricated housing that is largely assembled in factories and then transported to sites. A manufactured home has a permanent metal chassis to assure the initial and continued transportability. See Placement of manufactured homes.

Live work residence: a building, or portion of a building separated from the rest of the building by a party wall from foundation to roof, containing one dwelling and one non-residential use, with a front entrance facing a road.

Mixed-use: a building or cluster of buildings combining residential and non-residential development. Typically pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use projects include any combination of housing, office, retail, health care, recreational, cultural or commercial components. Visit Zoning and land use for information about mixed-use districts in Medicine Hat.

Home occupation: the use of a dwelling, garage or shed by the occupant of that dwelling for a business, trade or profession. There are specific businesses or uses that are prohibited as home occupations within the City of Medicine Hat. For more info, see Home-based businesses.

Day home: a development that is an accessory use to and located within a dwelling, that provides temporary child care and supervision to a maximum of six children under the age of 13 years, or to children under the age of 15 years who, because of special need, require care. For more info, see Child care businesses.