Building Permits provide a building owner with an assurance that the structure will perform as intended and provide the occupants with an acceptable level of safety.
All construction of new buildings and most renovations in existing buildings require building permits.
The Alberta Building Code sets the minimum standards for buildings constructed in the province. These standards ensure the safety of the occupants, and provide an assurance that the building will perform as intended. Obtaining the necessary permits and calling for inspections may seem to be an inconvenience, but can save you from problems in the future. If someone falls from your deck that was built without the proper guardrail, you may encounter insurance problems if you do not have permits for the work done. Even if you had someone else perform the work, it is the building owner's responsibility to ensure the permits are in place and all required inspections are completed.
Our Safety Codes Officers can determine problem areas during the plan check stage, and corrections can be made easier on paper than in the field. The field inspectors often uncover problems, that if left uncorrected, can cost the homeowner a substantial amount later. For instance, an addition (including decks or sunrooms) built on improper foundations may settle or heave, damaging the house and creating leaks.
Building Permits are required for:
- Construction of a foundation to support a building or structure.
- Erection of a new building or structure more than 107 sq ft (10 sq m) in area.
- Demolish, relocate, repair, alter or additions made to an existing building or structure.
- Decks more than two (2) feet above grade.
- Sunroom additions, deck enclosures or roofs over existing decks.
- Swimming pools, exterior hot tubs or ponds greater than two (2) feet deep.
- Retaining walls greater than two (2) feet in height.
- Finishing basements - includes partial development or full development.
- Changing window sizes or adding new windows.
- Detached or Attached Garages, Carports or Enclosing existing Carports.
- Accessory buildings (sheds, gazebos or pergolas) greater than 107 sq ft (10 sq m).
- New Secondary Suite in an existing Single Family Dwelling or Duplex.
- An Event Tent, or group of tents, collectively more than 60 sq m in area or closer than 3.0 m to any structure or contain commercial cooking equipment.
- Freestanding Signs - signs over 20' (6.0 m) require engineered foundations.
- Solar Panels attached to Commercial or Residential Buildings and all Accessory Buildings.
- Painting or decorating if such work will not create an unsafe condition in or about the project.
- Driveways or parking pads.
- Fences, Planters, Sidewalks or freestanding exterior Fireplaces. Note: exterior fireplaces or fire pits require a Fire Pit permit - applications are available at any of the 3 fire stations in the City.
- Retaining walls (less than 2 feet high) and do not form part of a building foundation.
- Accessory buildings less than 107 sq ft (10 sq m) if they do not create a hazard. Note: placement of the accessory building must still comply with the current Land Use Bylaw.
- Window replacement, providing the window size and rough opening do not change.
- Re-siding or re-shingling a house providing no structural changes are made to the building.
- Replacement of kitchen cupboards - ensure proper clearances are maintained to stoves.
- Swimming pools or ponds less than two (2) feet deep.
- Tent structures located on a residential property for residential purposes or an event tent (or group of tents) that collectively cover less than 60 sq m and are more than 3.0 m from any other structure and does not contain commercial cooking equipment.
It may be necessary to obtain a Development Permit prior to applying for a Building Permit.
Please contact Planning & Development Services at 403.529.8374 for more information.