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New house construction

Important terms

Single detached dwelling: a building that may contain one dwelling unit and may include a secondary suite in districts, where secondary suite is a listed use.

Semi-detached dwelling: a building that contains two dwelling units located side by side, separated by a common party wall extending from foundation to roof.

Contextual dwelling: a housing option in the developed area of Calgary that adheres to design guidelines, does not allow relaxations, and is restricted in size and placement by adjacent properties.

Duplex: a building which contains two dwelling units, one located above the other, each having a separate entrance.

Single construction permit: a new home construction permit that includes the building permit and trades installations for the construction of one dwelling.

Partial permit: permission to begin work before the single construction permit is issued. This allows for construction of the foundation up to and including, the subfloor, and prior to backfilling the excavation.

Before you start

If there is an existing house on the property to be demolished, you will need to apply for a demolition permit before you can apply for a building permit. You may also require a development permit if you are building in a developed district or require a relaxation from the Land Use Bylaw. If you are subdividing the property to build two single houses, the subdivision must be completed before you can apply for both building permits.

Please note: Applicants with limited construction drawing and Alberta Building Code experience should engage with a professional to accomplish a complete application for a single construction permit.

What permits do I need?

The scope of work being performed will dictate what permits are required. If a development permit is required, it must be applied for and approved prior to building permit and trade permit applications.

When is a building permit required?

A building permit is always required for a new home. This permit type is considered a single construction permit. This means that two separate permits are required for a semi-detached dwelling.

If a detached garage is also being built, it must be applied for with a separate building permit application. For more information on detached garages, visit calgary.ca/garages.

Registered businesses can apply online for permits at calgary.ca/epermit.

When is a development permit required?

A development permit is required when:

  • You are building in a developed area
  • You are requesting a relaxation from the Land Use Bylaw

When is a trade permit required?

Trade permits do not need to be obtained when building a new house. Single construction permits cover both trade and building permit inspections. When applying for the permit, licensed contractors are required to be provided for each applicable sub-trade (plumbing, gas, electrical, HVAC, etc.). The trade contractors are responsible for their associated work and will be inspected individually.

Additional permits

Additional permits are required for any work done once the single construction permit has been completed.

Before you can apply

Demolition

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. The demolition permit must issued with the service disconnect form signed off, before a partial permit can be issued for the single construction permit.

Visit demolition permits for information on the demolition process.

Development permits

If a development permit is required, it must be approved before a building permit is applied for, and the partial permit cannot be issued before its release. 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. The City is in no way liable if the work done under a partial permit does not follow the development permit.

Subdivision

If you are subdividing one property to build two single detached houses, you will have to have subdivision approval and approved addresses, before you can apply for both building permits.

The application process

We’re committed to providing you with a timely response on your permit application.

Construction permit application form

Complete the construction permit application form as necessary, including all the applicable trades. All contractors must be licensed for their specific trade.

Note: If you own the property and will be living in the home after construction, you may act as the general contractor. This also applies to semi-detached homes, as long as the owner is planning to live in one side. For the property owner to be able to act as the general contractor, the property must be owned by an individual, not a corporation.

Check the applicable boxes on the application form, based on the information below.

Temporary gas for construction heat?

Will you be doing construction during a colder season? Will you require temporary gas for heating purposes during construction?

Ground work inspection required?

This additional inspection looks at plumbing ground work in the basement, which may be covered up before the pre-board inspection.

Hydronic heat inspection required?

This inspection is required if you are installing hydronic in-floor heating that will be covered up before the pre-board inspection.

Reclaimed water system?

Will you be installing a reclaimed water system? This may be rainwater, storm water or wastewater and must be accompanied by a set of drawings and specifications. There must be a monitoring maintenance plan included with the drawings and available at the final inspection, prescribing how water quality will be maintained.

Quick trench program?

Are you participating in the quick trench program and having a trenching contractor install the sewer system into the new home?

Partial permit required?

Are you planning to start work before the full permit is released? A partial permit is available when you apply, as long as all of the application requirements have been met.

Note: A partial permit allows you to build up to main floor sub-floor. The builder is liable for all building code and Land Use Bylaw infractions that may arise during the full examination of the drawings.

Fee calculation

Step 1

Fill in the values on the fee calculator, indicating extent of construction, and consider the following:

  • Garage area should only be included if it is attached to the house.
  • A raised deck or balcony is any uncovered outdoor spaces that are more than 0.6 m in height.
  • A porch or covered balcony is any covered outdoor space.
  • Any covered areas attached to the house, located in the side or rear and with an area over 10 m2 are considered living space and are not counted as outdoor space.

Step 2

Add the fees for the ground work, temporary heat and hydronic heat inspections to the construction value amount, if you indicated on the application form that you require these inspections.

Step 3

Add the four per cent safety codes council fee, partial permit (if requested), lot grading and water fees to the base permit fee, to get the total permit fee amount.

What is the water fee for?

The water fee on a single construction permit is charged to cover the unmetered use of water during construction.  It is only a nominal fee and doesn't cover actual usage.

What is the lot grading fee for?

The lot grading fee is charged to confirm the surface grades of the land were constructed within the lot grading tolerance guidelines.

Additional inform​ation

Lot ​grades

An as constructed grade certificate is required to show the design and as-constructed grades of the property. The survey must be done by a registered land surveyor, professional engineer or registered architect. The submission must be made within 12 calendar months of when the Permission to Occupy is issued.

The certificate must be submitted to Water Resources to confirm that the surface elevation and grades of the property were constructed within the lot grading tolerance guidelines. The submission must include a plot plan of the final existing grades, along with the certification form.

These documents can be sub​mitted by:

Mail

Water Resources, Development Approvals
The City of Calgary Water Centre
PO Box 2100, Station M #409
Calgary AB  T2P 2M5

Courier

Water Resources, Development Approvals
The City of Calgary Water Centre
625 25 Ave SE
Calgary AB T2G 4K8

For more lot grading information and sample forms, contact 311.

New h​ome warranty

As of February 1, 2014 all new homes built in Alberta are required to provide home warranty coverage.

The warranty must include at minimum:

  • One year for labour and materials;
  • Two years for defects in labour and materials related to heating, plumbing and electrical systems;
  • Five years for building envelope protection, with a requirement to offer the consumer the option to purchase two additional years of coverage; and
  • 10 years coverage for major structural components.

Visit homewarranty.alberta.ca for more information.

New a​ddresses

Before applying for a semi-detached dwelling, you are required to have two approved building addresses assigned by The City. This can be done by contacting our addressing department at 403-268-8127 or by emailing a copy of your site plan to addressing@calgary.ca.

Plumbing Quick Tren​ch Program

If the excavation contractor is a Quick Trench contractor, they can perform the excavation and installation of water, sewer and storm piping to the dwelling as per the conditions of the program.

  • The installation must meet specific installation requirements outlined by The City of Calgary.
  • The Plumbing Quick Trench Program is a privilege which The City retains the right to revoke at any time.
  • Plumbing safety codes officers will perform intermittent audit inspections if a trench is open to verify that the installation meets The City requirements.
  • If the installation fails, a red sticker will be placed on the piping or an inspection notice will be left in the permit pouch, and the trench must not be backfilled.

Ra​don

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 around us, it does not cause problems. However, when concentrated in an enclosed space, 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 new home 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
Radon

​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​.

Once you h​ave applied

Job A​ccess Code

On the bottom of the construction permit application form, you will find a Job Access Code (JAC). This code allows you to follow your permit online at calgary.ca/vista. Here you can find:

  • Inspection dates and outcomes
  • Outstanding deficiencies
  • Permit status
  • Permit services report
  • Permission to occupy letter

Revis​ions

Revisions may be applied for until the permit has received an “acceptable” outcome on the final building inspection.

Occupa​ncy

The permission to occupy document verifies that the house is safe to occupy and meets all applicable building codes and bylaws.

If the new home required a development permit, the building and development inspections are both carried out during the inspection phases. For occupancy to be given, the development and final building inspections must be passed. Applicants will receive a single permission to occupy document for their project once all final inspections are acceptable. The document indicates that the requirements of both the single construction permit and development completion permit have been met and the dwelling may be occupied.

If there was no development permit required, then occupancy will be issued once all of the final building inspections have been passed and all deficiencies have been corrected.

For paper applications, the permission to occupy document is automatically emailed to the applicant. ePermit applicants can view and download the document online.

If the applicant did not receive the document, or it is no longer in ePermit, please contact the Inspection Call Centre at 403-268-2738.

Inspections

Requesting inspections

Inspections occur Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and can be booked 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

ePermit

Login to ePermit at calgary.ca/vista, or use our mobile friendly site inspections.calgary.ca.

  • Book, reschedule and cancel inspections online
  • Receive instant scheduling confirmation
  • View what inspections are available for your current project
  • View inspection results and reports online
  • See overall inspection status of your project online

Vista

Login to Vista with a user ID or Job Access Code (JAC)

  • Book phase inspections only
  • No rescheduling or cancellation ability
  • No overall inspection status ability

311

Call in a request through 311

  • Book or request a cancellation over the phone
  • You must provide the permit number, address and type of inspection required
  • No overall inspection status ability

Development inspections are automatically booked as part of the pre-board and pre-possession inspection phases. Development inspections for single construction permits no longer need to be requested.

Note: Safety codes officers and development inspectors cannot cancel an inspection. All cancellation requests must be done online or by calling 311. Inspections must be cancelled before 8 a.m. on the day of the inspection.

Phases of construction

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, see the new home inspection handbook.

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.

The pre-backfill phase

This phase of construction covers the foundation up to, and including, the subfloor, and prior to backfilling the excavation. This phase can be completed and an inspection can be called under the partial permit, prior to the full permit being issued.

This phase of construction includes the following inspection types:

  • Building footing and foundation
  • Electrical underground
  • Plumbing sanitary and storm

Ground work inspection (if requested)

This inspection covers all piping, backwater valves and clean-outs required prior to the basement slab being poured and occurs prior to the pre-backfill inspection.

Pre-board phase

All inspections must have passed in the previous phase to continue to this phase.

This phase of construction includes the following inspection types:

  • Framing
  • Gas rough-in
  • Plumbing rough-in
  • Electrical rough-in
  • HVAC rough-in
  • Development inspection (if the project has a related development permit)
  • Radiant hydronic heating (as required)
  • Basement development (as required)
  • Wood burning stove or fireplace (as required)
  • Gas fireplace (as required)

All documents required per the Grade Slip and permit conditions need to be available to the inspector on ePermit or in the permit pouch when applicable.

Additional documents typically required at this inspection:

  • Soil Bearing Report (SBR)
  • Sulphate Resistant Concrete verification (SRC)

Pre-possession phase

All inspections must have passed the previous phase to continue to this phase.

This phase of construction includes the following inspection types:

  • Building final
  • Gas final
  • Plumbing final
  • Electrical final
  • HVAC final
  • Development inspection final (if the project has a related development permit)

Development inspections

These inspections take place to ensure the building is being built according to the approved development permit. The house is checked twice during construction, once at the pre-board phase and once at the pre-possession phase, which is when the development completion permit is finalized.

Surveys confirming the geodetics must be submitted twice during construction:

  1. Pre-board phase

Building location and elevations match the approved development permit. Main floor geodetic elevation survey must be submitted to geodetic.review@calgary.ca

  1. Pre-possession

Roof peak geodetic survey must be submitted to geodetic.review@calgary.ca

Inspection outcomes

Outcomes ePermit Non-ePermit
Inspection outcome All inspection outcomes will be emailed to the recipients on file. Emails are automatically sent to the listed site supervisor and the person submitting the inspection request online. The safety codes officer will note the inspection results on the inspection sign-off sheet in the permit pouch. When there are conditions or deficiencies, a copy of the inspection report will be left in the pouch.
Acceptable Ok to proceed to the next phase. The safety codes officer will sign and stamp the inspection sign-off sheet.
Acceptable with conditions: Ok to proceed to the next phase with conditions to be corrected prior to next inspection. The safety codes officer or development inspector will note the conditions on the inspection report. It is the builder’s responsibility to ensure these conditions are met. The safety codes officer will sign and stamp the inspection sign-off sheet and check the with conditions box. The safety codes officer will note the conditions on a copy of the inspection notice. It is the builder’s responsibility to ensure these conditions are met.
Not acceptable: The safety codes officer or development inspector will note the deficiencies on the inspection report. The builder may not proceed until all deficiencies are corrected and a re-inspection has been performed and found acceptable. The deficiencies box will be checked on the inspection sign-off sheet which will not be signed or stamped. The safety codes officer will note the deficiencies on a copy of the inspection notice and construction may not advance until all deficiencies are corrected and inspected. Only once the inspection sign-off sheet has been signed and stamped can construction continue.
Not required: A site inspection will not be done. Ok to proceed to the next phase of construction. Spot check inspections do not require a signature or stamp from the safety codes officer. If a deficiency is noted during a spot check inspection, the safety codes officer will check the deficiency box on the inspection sign-off sheet and the deficiencies must be corrected and re-inspected.
Cancelled by contractor: Inspections was cancelled by  builder prior to 8 a.m. the day of the scheduled inspection. Inspection was cancelled by builder prior to 8 a.m. the day of the scheduled inspection.

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.

What documents do I need?

Application requirement lists:

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.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​