Before starting a renovation job in your home that deals with any structural or system changes, you should be aware that a permit is required to make sure that what you are planning to do is safe and meet the Land Use Bylaw rules.
In Calgary most residential renovations will require at least one of these permits, depending on the type of the work to be done: Development Permit, Building Permit, Electrical and Plumbing Permits,
A Development Permit is required for any new construction or change of use such as:
- Retaining walls over 1m in height
- Fences, if they exceed the restricted height in your district
- Secondary suite additions
- Any development to homes located near a river.
A Building Permit is required for any structural changes of an existing building (demolish, repair, moving, addition..) like:
- Basement development
- Retaining walls over 1.2 m in height.
- Secondary Suits
- Decks more than 60 cm above grade.
- Detached garages and carports.
- Swimming pools, hot tubs and ponds.
- Some fireplaces and stoves.
Any electrical or plumbing modification also requires a permit. A certified electrical contractor is responsible for applying and doing the electrical work, but in some cases the homeowner could be issued a permit if he lives in the house and wants to do the work by himself. However, any work that involves natural gas and heating installations should be done by a certified mechanical professional, as homeowners are not allowed to do this type of work in Calgary.
In order to get a permit you should provide the City of Calgary with your plans and drawings for review, the type of plans depends on the work to be done and its scale, if it is a simple interior project, then a floor plan would be enough. Working drawings and site survey will be required for larger projects such as structural renovations or outdoor work. Once the application and plans are reviewed and accepted, a permit will be issued and the work must start within 90 days of its issuance.
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