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Additions

 

Attached garages and carports, pergolas, greenhouses, sunrooms, covered decks and porches.

We’re here to help guide you through your home improvement project. By completing the home improvement application, we can assist you by:

  • Determining what permit types you require
  • Offering solutions or alternatives
  • Processing your application
  • Transitioning you smoothly through the application process

Do I need a permit?

All additions require permits.

Visit understanding permits and the review process​ to find out more about the permitting process.

How do I make an application?

Step 1: Open the application form and checklist

Use the home improvement application as a starting point, to determine the specific requirements for your project.

Step 2: Prepare your drawings

To help you design your project, see the building code and City bylaw information​ section.

Step 3: Apply

Submit the application once you have provided all the documents required. Use our fee calculator to estimate how much your permit will cost.

Onlin​e

Homeowners: coming soon.

Contractors and industry professionals: vista.calgary.ca

In per​son

Once you have gathered the required documents, you can apply for your permit in person by visiting the Planning Services Centre. To skip the line, book an appointment.​

Building code and bylaw information

Note: It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the work being carried out conforms to any restrictive covenants, caveats or other restrictions that are registered on the land title.

Illustrations of codes and bylaws

Sample drawings for building permits and development permits for additions.

Do you meet the exempt additions rules in the Land Use Bylaw? (Part 5, Division 1, Section 365)

If your addition is on the upper floor, does not exceed the existing roof height and is under 10 m², then you meet this rule.

Upper addition example
Upper addition example
 

If your addition is on the main floor at the front of the house, does not extend forward more than 1.5 m from the original front facade, meets the corresponding height requirements and is under 40 m², then you meet this rule.

Front addition walk out
Front addition walk out
 
Front addition not a walk out
Front addition not a walk out
 

If your addition is on the main floor at the rear of the house, does not extend back more than 4.6 m from the original rear facade, meets the corresponding height requirements and is under 40 m², then you meet this the rule.

Rear addition walk out
Rear addition walk out
 
Rear addition not a walk out
Rear addition not a walk out
 

Note: your total addition area cannot exceed 40 m² to meet the addition exemption rules.

Energy efficiency requirements

All additions must comply with the energy efficiency requirements under Section 9.36 of the Alberta Building Code.

Parcel coverage

Parcel coverage by all buildings cannot exceed a certain percentage of your total property size. This percentage is dictated by your specific land use district. To find out your land use district, please enter your address in the property information tool. See the graph below to determine your allowable lot coverage.

Land Use District Allowable Coverage (%) Parcel Area <= 300 m2
Parcel wdith < 10 m2
Parcel Area <= 300 m2
Parcel wdith < 8.7 m2
Parcel width > 11 m Semi-Detached / Duplex Row / Townhouse
R-C1L
R-C1Ls
40 x x x x x
R-C1
R-C1s
R-C2
R-1
R-1s
R-MH
R-CG*
45 x x x x x
R-C1N 45 50 x x x x
R-1N 50 x 60 45 x x
R-2 45 x x x 50 x
R-2M 45 x x x 50 60
*Parcel coverage rules for R-CG change as density increases.

Note: If the aggregate area of all accessory buildings is under 10m2, those structures will not contribute to parcela piece of land. coverage.

To calculate lot coverage, you will need to divide the footprint area of all applicable buildings by the property size.

(Total building area ÷ property area) × 100 = lot coverage per cent

Example:

Parcel coverage example
Parcel coverage example
 
  1. Use the property information tool and the graph above to figure out the allowable coverage for the property.
    R-C1 = 45%
  2. Calculate the property area.
    10.36 m × 32.0 m = 331.52 m2
  3. Add all applicable building areas:
    house: 77.2 m2
    covered deck: 9.3 m2
    shed: 10.2 m2
    garage: 40.8 m2
    Total building area = 137.5 m2
  4. Divide the total building area by the property area and times that by 100 to get a percentage.
    total building area = 137.5 m2 × 100 = 41.47%
    property area = 331.52 m2

R-C1 allows for a maximum lot coverage of 45 per cent. Therefore, the proposal comes within the allowable lot coverage.

Building setbacks

The setback requirements for existing and new structures are the same.

For all residential districts, except R-C1L/R-C1Ls, there is a 1.2 m requirement for both side property lines where the property has a lane. Where the property does not have a lane or a front attached garage a 1.2 m side setback on one side, and 3 m on the other is required.

If your property is in a developing district, a 3.0 m front setback is required where the property is laned and a 2.0 m setback where it is laneless. If your property is in a developed district, other than R-C1L, a 1.5 m allowance is subtracted from the contextual front setback to determine the minimum front setback for the proposed addition. However, the front setback cannot be less than 3.0 m. The district R-C1L is an exception. In this district, the minimum front setback is 6.0 m.

All low density residential properties, except R-MH, require a 7.5 m required setback from the rear property line.

Projections into setback areas

All low density residential properties must have at least one side setback free and clear of all projections (i.e. cantilevers, window wells, air conditioning units).

The maximum length of any projection in a setback area is 3.1 m.

Portions of a building may project 0.6 m into the side setback, while not being located closer than 0.9 m to the front facade. Air conditioning units can project 1.0 m and window wells can project 0.8 m.

There may be no projections in the 3 m required side setback on properties without a lane or a front attached garage.

Landings and stairs may project without limits into the side setback, if:

  • They provide access to the main or lower floor.
  • The landing area does not exceed 2.5 m2.
  • The landing is accessible from front and back.
  • No more than 1.8 m2 of the landing is in the setback.
  • There cannot be any projections into the 3 m required side setback on properties without a lane or a front attached garage.

On a corner parcel, the regular projection rules apply; however, no projection can be located within 3.0 m of the BOW or FOC.

Safety standards for residential additions

You may require drawings that are signed and sealed by a professional engineer licensed to practice in Alberta if:

  • You are using a grade beam and pile foundation system.
  • You are using a non-engineered roof truss system.
  • You are using a preserved wood foundation (PWF).
  • Any of your structural details are not covered by the Alberta Building Code.

For detailed and complete safety code information, please refer to the Alberta Municipal Affairs and Housing Safety at municipalaffairs.gov.ab.ca.

Asbestos abatement

You must declare whether or not the project area contains asbestos, and if so, you must declare that the asbestos has been properly removed from the project area. These declarations can be made using the Asbestos Abatement Information Form which must be provided at time of application.

Adding a bathroom or increasing the intensity of utilities

If you are planning additional plumbing (like a new bathroom, kitchen or laundry room) or increasing your potential water consumption in any way, you may be charged an additional grades fee for updating the existing utilities. This fee is also required for any addition over 10 m2 in area.

New home buyer protection program

A new Home Buyer Warranty may be required if your addition is 75 per cent or more of the existing house square footage. For more information about the warranty in reference to additions, see the reconstruction bulletin on Alberta Municipal Affairs Registrar Bulletins page. Visit the new home warranties page or call 1-866-421-6929 for general information.

Radon requirement

The Alberta Building Code requires a radon remediation system rough-in installation for all new construction projects. If you are adding to the footprint of your home, this will affect your renovation.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is invisible, odourless and tasteless. When diluted by the air, it does not cause problems. When concentrated in enclosed space, however, it has been linked to serious health issues.

The rough-in installation allows for future remediation of radon gas, if required. After the space is built, if testing shows that the levels of radon are above the Health Canada threshold of 200 Becquerel per metres cubed (a Becquerel is a unit of radioactivity), an extraction system will be easy to install because of the existing rough-in.

For the purpose of your addition building permit application, a rough-in detail drawing is required to show a sealed air barrier, an open end pipe to collect soil gas, granular material beneath the slab, and a capped/labelled stub up for future use.

Radon requirement

For more information on radon mitigation, please contact Health Canada. If you have specific questions regarding installation requirements for your radon rough-in, please contact our Technical Assistance Centre​ or call 311.

Additional inquiries about building, plumbing, gas, electrical or heating, ventilation and air conditioning code or construction methods, building safety and fire regulations, please contact the Technical Assistance Centre or call 311. For all other inquiries (i.e. Land Use Bylaw), please contact our Planning Services Centre.

Inspection information

All inspections for residential construction, electrical, plumbing and gas fireplace installation permits can be booked at calgary.ca/311online​. When choosing the service type, scroll down to Inspection and choose your project. You will need to provide your permit number or address.

Generally, your project will require a rough-in and a final inspection for each building and trade permit pulled, though additional inspections may be required. You can contact 311 on the morning of your inspection to find out if it will be in the morning or afternoon.

The inspection process is dynamic and an inspection outcome depends on the construction method and site conditions at time of inspection. The information provided is not intended as an exhaustive list, but a generalized outline of the inspection process.

Inspections for ​building permits

Rough-in inspection

  • Install and complete any structural changes.
  • Install and complete all wall and ceiling framing.
  • Install proposed windows and exterior doors.
  • Install and complete any HVAC changes.
  • Rough-in, install and complete all plumbing and electrical components that are required under associated permits.
  • Have requested documentation on-site.
  • Do not install interior drywall or other finishes.

Final inspection (completed at the safety codes officer’s discretion)

  • The building should be completed. Although preferred, it is not necessary to have the wallboard installed for a final inspection.

Inspections for plumbing permits

Rough-in inspection requirements

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

Final inspection requirements

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

Inspections for ele​ctrical permits

Rough-in inspection requirements

  • Have all wiring and interior of boxes readily visible.
  • Do not install devices; some lighting may be terminated for construction use.
  • 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. Completed any splicing and grounding.
  • All wiring must be 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.
  • Never energize exposed wiring.

Final inspection requirements

  • Do not have any exposed live wiring.
  • Any open or unfinished wiring must be properly secured and installed in a junction box with approved marrettes and a junction box cover.
  • Install all devices, receptacles and light fixtures.
  • Install, terminate and energize all breakers, if safe to do so.
  • Ensure all outlets, light fixtures and cover plates are in place.
  • Energize all branch circuits for inspection.
  • Complete the panelboard breaker directory.
  • The house panel and/or subpanel in the original dwelling unit must also be inspected.

A permit services report will be mailed to the owner after an acceptable inspection.

A development completion permit inspection may be required if a development permit is involved in your project. Contact our Planning Services Centre to determine if a development completion permit is required.

Call before you dig

Always call Alberta One Call before you dig: 1-800-242-3447. For more information or to submit a locate request, visit Alberta One-Call.

Disclaimer: This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​