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Home renovations & basements

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Basements, kitchens, bathrooms, windows, and exterior doors, structural and framing changes.

ID: 622

ListCategory: Basements

Title: Step 1: Review

Description: <div class="ExternalClass2A94506374FE4937AC56F848CA399EE8"><p>​Review rules and fees</p></div>

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Step 1: Review

​Review rules and fees

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Step 2: Prepare

​Prepare the checklist

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Step 3: Apply

​Apply online

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Step 4: Inspect

​Book an inspection

Step 1: Review the rules and fees for your project


When is a permit required?

Typically interior renovations and changes to existing basements do NOT need a permit when the work consists of minor cosmetic upgrades.

In most situations your interior renovation or basement development will only require a building safety approval (building permit). If your design or location does not meet land use bylaw specifications you will also require planning approval (Development Permit).​

Fees

​Planning Approval - Development Permit (prior to ​construction) ​Permit fee ​Advertising fee ​Development Completion Inspection ​Total
Proposed land use bylaw relaxation for a home renovation​
​$384 ​$32 ​$163 ​​$579

See the planning applications fee schedule​ for a complete list of planning application fees.

​Building Safety Approval - Building Permit ​Permit fee Safety Codes Council Fee (4%) ​Total
New Basement
​$332 ​$13.25 ​​$345.28
​Renovation to an existing house or basement ​$202 ​$8.08 ​$210.08​

See the building permit fee schedule for a complete list of planning application fees.

Building code and bylaw information

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Row Count: 6
ListCat: Basement - development
ID: 3831

If you are adding or enlarging a window, a building permit​ is required. If the proposed window is located within a bedroom, egress requirements in the Alberta Building Code must be met. For a comprehensive explanation of these requirements, please see Egress Window Guidelines.

Note: Engineering may be required for structural alterations. Contact our Technical Assistance Centre for more informatio​n.

Land Use Bylaw rules

Land Use Bylaw requirements for new windows:

  • One side setback must be clear of all projections (cantilevers and bay windows).
  • A window well can only project to a maximum of 0.8 m into a side setback.
  • Window wells must not project into the 3.0 m side setback required on a laneless property.
  • A 3.0 m side setback from the back of walk is required for a corner property.

A development permit may be required if the above rules are not met.

If you will be adding or changing sizes of any windows that face a side property line, you must provide elevation drawings. The elevation drawings must be drawn to scale, show the entire side of the house where changes are proposed and include all the existing and proposed windows. Make sure to include all dimensions of walls and windows. There is a limited percentage of windows allowed on a side elevation, depending on the distance of the house to the property line and the size of the building face. Please note that proposed windows are not permitted within 1.2 m from the property line.

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New window or enlarging a window​

Building code rules

Windows are generally not permitted in an exterior wall when that wall is closer than 1.2 m (4’- 0”) to any property line.

Roof soffits are not permitted within 0. 45 m (1’6”) of the property line.

Roof soffits within 1.2 m (4’- 0”) of any property line are not allowed to have any openings and must be a non-vented soffit. The soffit material can be either:

  • sheet steel
  • unvented aluminum
  • ½” gypsum soffit or ceiling board
  • ½” plywood
  • ½” Orientated Strand Board (OSB) or waferboard
  • ½” lumber

When adding new exterior windows to your concrete foundation wall, a professional Engineer’s structural review is required when one or more of the following applies:

  • The width of a new opening exceeds 1.2m (4’-0”)
  • The combined width of all new and existing openings in one wall exceeds 25% of the overall length of that wall
  • The width of solid wall which remains between an existing opening and a new opening is less than the width of either of those openings

Refer to Division B, 9.15.4.3. of the 2014 Alberta Building Code for more information.

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Row Count: 6
ListCat: Basement - development
ID: 3832

A new basement entry requires a building permit.

Note: Engineering may be required for structural alterations. Contact our Technical Assistance Centre for more information.

Land Use Bylaw rules

When your proposed entry requires a landing, the landing must:

  • Not exceed 2.5 m².
  • Not be located in the 3.0 m side setback area required on a laneless property.
  • Not be located in a side setback area that is required to be clear of projections unless the landing is accessible from the rear and the front.

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 Landing example​

Building code rules

When adding new exterior doors to your concrete foundation wall, a professional Engineer’s structural review is required when one or more of the following applies:

  • The width of a new opening exceeds 1.2m (4’-0”)
  • The combined width of all new and existing openings in one wall exceeds 25% of the overall length of that wall
  • The width of solid wall which remains between an existing opening and a new opening is less than the width of either of those openings

Refer to Division B, 9.15.4.3. of the 2014 Alberta Building Code for more information.

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Variables

Row Count: 6
ListCat: Basement - development
ID: 3833

Smoke detectors are required in all bedrooms and hallways servicing bedrooms. They must be hard-wired and interconnected throughout the house. If there are no hallways servicing bedrooms in your basement, smoke detectors are required within common areas.

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Variables

Row Count: 6
ListCat: Basement - development
ID: 3834

Your renovation may be required to meet energy efficiency requirements under Section 9.36 of the Alberta Building Code. If the application for the building of the house was submitted on or after Nov. 1, 2016 any new renovations must comply with these energy efficiency requirements. If the application for the building of the house was submitted before Nov. 1, 2016 you do not need to comply with the energy efficiency requirements of Section 9.36 of the Alberta Building Code.

All renovations to your home must include building construction and mechanical components (furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters, etc.) that perform as well as, or better than, any similar existing construction or mechanical components that are in the home or that are being replaced. All changes must also meet applicable Alberta Building Code requirements.

New heating, ventilation, air conditioning and service water heating systems are always required to be properly certified.

New work and replacement of "like for like" mechanical components and systems normally requires building, gas and/or electrical permits. Please see the Alberta Permit Regulation and the Calgary Building Permit Bylaw for details.

When maintaining and repairing building components or mechanical components in homes, replacements are allowed as long as you replace the component with a similar material or part that performs as well as, or better than, what you are replacing. This includes exterior cladding, windows, doors, mechanical systems, etc.

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Row Count: 6
ListCat: Basement - development
ID: 3835

Your mechanical/furnace room or laundry room is required a minimum 32". All doorways that lead to this room must also be minimum 32" in width.

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Row Count: 6
ListCat: Basement - development
ID: 3836

If you are intending to have a kitchen and bathroom in your basement, you must apply for a secondary suite.

A wetbar may be included in your development but it cannot have a means of cooking (i.e oven, stove, cooktop, microwave).


Sample drawings

Building Permit sample drawings

Development Permit sample drawings

Step 2: Prepare your application


Step 1: Review the application checklist

  • Use the Home renovation and basement permit checklist to determine the application and drawing requirements for your project.
  • For online applications, review the criteria​ for information on how to organize your plans and documents.
  • Complete plans and collect supporting documents. Review the sample drawings if needed.

Step 3: Apply


Apply online

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

Step 4: Inspections and managing your permit application


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.

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Customer support - home improvement

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<div class="ExternalClass9EACBAA523184D0A915A8CFA6234DDC4"><p> Monday - Friday <br /> 8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. <br /> <span class="livechat_button" id="live-chat-button" style="font-size:2rem"> <a href="https://www.livechatinc.com/customer-service-software/?partner=lc_9451334&amp;utm_source=chat_button" target="_blank">Chat with us</a> </span> 403-268-5311​<br /><a href="mailto:planninghelp@calgary.ca" target="_blank">planninghelp@calgary.ca</a></p> <p>Planning Services Centre, <br /> 3rd floor, Municipal building<br /> <a href="https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Calgary+Municipal+Building/%4051.0455957%2c-114.0564404%2c15z/data=%214m2%213m1%211s0x0:0x59565213bbf65222" target="_blank">800 Macleod Trail SE</a> </p> </div>

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Customer support

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Chat with us 403-268-5311​
planninghelp@calgary.ca

Planning Services Centre,
3rd floor, Municipal building
800 Macleod Trail SE

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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.

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