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Garage, shed, greenhouse, carport

​​Garages, sheds, pergolas, gazebos, greenhouses, arbours, workshops, playhouses and carports.

ID: 294

ListCategory: Garages

Title: Step 1: Review

Description: <div class="ExternalClassF3226EB37E5E4F1293F12241D2163AD8"><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

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Step 4: Inspect

​Book an inspection

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Step 1: Review the rules and fees for your project


When is a permit required?

A garage or related structure requires a permit if any of these conditions apply:

  • It is greater than 10 m2 (107 sq. ft.).
  • It is attached to a house.
  • It is in the front yard.
  • It does not meet one of the rules for location or design.

Back yard parking pads typically don't require a permit, but if you would like to build a garage on top of the pad in the future, review the location, design and construction section to ensure placement will not be impacted. Professional engineering services are required for slabs over 55 m2 (592 sq. ft.).

Fees

​Planning Approval - Development Permit (prior to construction)​​ ​Permit fee ​Advertising fe​e ​Development Completion Inspection ​Total
Proposed land use bylaw relaxation for a garage, shed, greenhouse, or pergola
​$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 Garage
$332
$13.28
$345.28
New carport, shed, greenhouse, or pergola
​$202 ​$8.08 ​$210.08​
​Renovation to an existing garage, shed, greenhouse, or pergola ​$202 ​$8.08 ​$210.08​​

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

Location

Building setbacks

In most land use districts, the minimum building setback required is 0.6 m from a side or rear property line. When the side or rear property line is shared with a street, the garage must be 1.2 m (3.9 ft.) from the property line. No accessory buildings may be located in the actual front setback on a low density residential property.

The building may go up to the side property line (as long as the property line is not shared with a street), as long as it meets all of the following requirements:

  • The exterior is maintenance-free (examples of maintenance-free materials include: vinyl and stucco) or the owner of the adjacent parcel grants a private maintenance easement.
  • All water drainage off of the building remains on the property.
  • The wall is fire rated with 5/8" type x drywall from floor slab to underside of roof sheathing to interior face of wall assemblies.
  • There is no eave overhang onto the adjacent lot.

The Alberta Building Code has specific distance requirements for eaves and soffits, as demonstrated in this diagram:

Eave distance from property line
Eave distance from property line

Separation from the main residential building

All accessory residential buildings 10 m2 (107 sq. ft.) or larger must have at least a 1.0 m (3.2 ft.) separation from the main residential building or house. When measuring to determine the minimum separation distance between a proposed accessory residential building and the main residential building, measure from the closest wall of each building (include second floor cantilevers, bay windows, etc.).

minimum distance from main residential building
Minimum distance from main residential building

Zero lot lines and maintenance access right-of-ways

Zero lot lines allow you to build up to your side property line. Zero lot lines commonly exist in conjunction with maintenance access right-of-ways on the opposite side of the lot and on adjacent lots. If your proposed structure projects into a maintenance access right-of-way, the document showing allowance for this type of construction must be presented at the time of application.

Building near utility lines

Contact Alberta One-Call at 1-800-242-3447, to find out where your utility lines are before you build.

For information about building near or over gas lines, contact ATCO Gas at 403-245-7888.

If you have any questions regarding clearance from utility lines and boxes, contact ENMAX at 403-514-6100.

No structures are permitted to be built in a utility right-of-way.

Design

Parcel coverage

The accessory residential building size must not exceed whichever is less:

  • the building coverage of the main residential building (house), or
  • 75 m2 (807 sq. ft.)

In addition, combined parcel coverage of 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 10 m2 (107 sq. ft.) those structures will not contribute to parcel 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
    proposed 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.

*Covered deck is only included in the calculation because it has a roof structure. Decks that are not covered should not be included.

Parking

Number of stalls required

Most properties require one parking space per dwelling unit, unless your property falls into one of the categories below. If you are unsure of your land use district, please enter your address into the property information bar. If your land use district is not noted below, then you require one stall per dwelling.

Two stalls per dwelling are required when located in:

  • R-C1N or R-1N and the parcel width is less than 9 m (29.5 ft.).
  • R-C2 or R-2 and the parcel width is less than 9 m (29.5 ft.) or the parcel area is less than 270 m2 (2,906 sq. ft.).

Two stalls per parcel are required when located in:

  • R-2M and the parcel width is less than 9 m (29.5 ft.) or the parcel area is less than 270 m2 (2,906 sq. ft.).

If your property is an irregular shape and you are unsure of your parcel width, please refer to the example below to see how to measure your parcel width and determine how many parking stalls are required.

Driveway

Parking requirements can be met with a parking pad, driveway or a garage. The required parking stalls must not be located one in front of the other.

Note: many properties in Calgary were developed prior to the current bylaw and its parking requirements. There is also the potential that relaxations for parking were granted on an individual property. In these cases, the current parking requirements may not have to be met.

For information on additional parking required for secondary suites, visit Calgary.ca/suites.

Stall size requirements

For the purpose of parking stall requirements, walls of a garage, fences and property lines are considered barriers.

Parking stall size requirements:

  • If the parking stall abuts two barriers the stall must be at least 5.9 m x 3 m.
  • If the parking stall abuts only one barrier the stall must be 5.9 m x 2.85 m.
  • If the parking stall abuts no barriers the stall must be 5.9 m x 2.5 m.

Parking pad

Although a building permit is not required for a parking pad, if you plan on pouring a parking pad for the purpose of building a garage in the future you should consider the location after reviewing the previously listed Land Use Bylaw rules.

If your garage slab will have an area bigger than 55 m2 (592 sq. ft.), and does not have a concrete foundation that is 1.2m below grade, you will need a concrete slab designed by a professional engineer. Please refer to Building Regulations Bulletin 2014-011.

Height

All accessory residential buildings must not exceed height requirements outlined in the Land Use Bylaw. The structure must:

  • Not be higher than 4.6 m (15 ft.) from the finished floor.
  • Not be higher than 3.0 m (9.8 ft.) from the finished floor to the underside of the eaveline: the intersection of the wall and the roof structure at the highest point.
  • Be one storey in height, but can have an attic without windows, accessed by a removable ladder, used by the occupants of the house for storage. The attic is allowed to have maximum height of 1.5 m (4.9 ft.) measured from the attic floor to the underside of any rafter.
  • Not have a finished floor higher than 0.6m (1.9 ft.) above grade, unless it is a private garage. For example, a pergola on a deck that is higher than 0.6 m (1.9 ft.), would not meet bylaw.
garage height example
Garage height example

Lane grades

If a detached garage is accessing an unpaved rear lane, a lane grade can be established through a Development Site Servicing site visit. This will ensure that the garage floor will be at the correct elevation in relation to the lane. The City of Calgary will assume no responsibility for water runoff into the garage, or access problems arising from construction of a garage, due to a grade that is inconsistent with the design grade approved by Development Site Servicing. There is a fee for this service.

Residential grades requirement list

Rooftop decks and balconies

Rooftop decks and balconies on accessory residential buildings require a development permit.

Similarly, accessory residential buildings, other than a private garage, must not have a finished floor higher than 0.6 m (1.9 ft.) above grade. For example, a pergola on a deck that is higher than 0.6 m (1.9 ft.), would not meet bylaw​.

Semi-detached garages

Semi-detached garages straddle a property line. You will usually only see these when the house is a semi-detached dwelling. However, sometimes the owners of two single detached dwellings will build a semi-detached garage that straddles their common property line.

Two building permits are always required, whether the property has been subdivided or not. If the total garage area is over 75 m² (807 sq. ft.), a development permit is required.

Buildings under 10 m2 (107 sq. ft.)

Accessory residential buildings under 10 m² (107 sq. ft.) in area typically do not require a building permit; however, the building must still follow the rules listed below to comply with the Land Use Bylaw.

Construction

Parking pad

Although a building permit is not required for a parking pad, if you plan on pouring a parking pad for the purpose of building a garage in the future you should consider the location after reviewing the previously listed Land Use Bylaw rules.

If your garage slab will have an area bigger than 55 m2 (592 sq. ft.), and does not have a concrete foundation that is 1.2m (3.9 ft.) below grade, you will need a concrete slab designed by a professional engineer. Please refer to Building Regulations Bulletin 2014-011.

Building within 0.6m of the side property line

Maintenance free materials:

When building within 0.6m (1.9 ft.) of the side property line the exterior of the accessory residential building needs to be maintenance-free. Examples include vinyl and stucco.

Fire rating:

When building within 0.6m (1.9 ft.)of the side property line​ the exterior of the accessory residential building needs to be fire rated with 5/8” type x drywall from floor slab to underside of roof sheathing to interior face of wall assemblies.

Side eaves:

Eave projection is not permitted within 0.45 m (1.5 ft.) of a side property line shared with an adjacent property (excluding rain trough). All water drainage off the building must still remain on the property. If the eaves will project towards the lane instead, the roof trusses will likely be resting on the beam over the garage door. If this is the case, you will need to provide a copy of the beam calculations or manufacturer’s truss layouts when you apply for a building permit.

A non-vented soffit is required for eaves within 1.2 m (3.9 ft.) of a property line shared with an adjacent property.

Sample drawings

Sample drawings for building permits and development permits for detached garages and sheds.

Building Permit sample drawings

Development Permit sample drawings

Note: if you are using engineered roof trusses, only a site plan is required.

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.

Step 2: Prepare your application


  • Use the Garage 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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Chat with us 403-268-5311
planninghelp@calgary.ca​

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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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