Uncovered decks and balconies

Step 1: Review

Do I need a permit?

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

  • It is higher than 0.6 m (2’-0”) above grade at any point - if it is under 0.6 m (2’-0”) please review our section for patios​
  • You are replacing, rebuilding or extending an existing deck or balcony, that is higher than 0.6 m (2’-0”) above grade at any point.
  • You are replacing any structural components of an existing deck or balcony that is higher than 0.6 m (2’-0”) above grade at any point.
  • You are adding stairs to an existing deck or balcony.
  • If your deck has a roof that is attached to your house, visit the additions page.
  • If your deck has a roof but is not attached to your house, visit the garage, shed, greenhouse, carport page.

In most situations, decks or related structures only require a building permit (building safety approval). If your location or design does not meet the land use bylaw specifications, you will also require a development permit (planning approval). The development permit would be applied for prior to submitting a building permit application. Further information regarding the development permit process can be found by visiting the development permit process page.


Planning Approval - Development Permit (if applicable) Permit fee Advertising fee Development Completion Inspection Total
Proposed land use bylaw relaxation for a deck or balcony $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 Deck $202 $8.08 $210.08
New Balcony $202 $8.08 $210.08
Renovation to an existing deck or balcony $202 $8.08 $210.08

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

How long will it take to get a permit?

To avoid delays, make sure your application includes all the required documents, plans and information listed on the checklist:

Permit Timeline

Planning Approval (Development Permit)

10 - 12 weeks

Building Safety Approval (Building Permit)

Approx. 7 days

When does my permit expire?

You will receive a permit expiry reminder in the mail. If you need more time, you can extend your permit. Review the extend or reinstate your permit section.

Permit Type Expiry (from date of issuance)
Building Permit 180 days
Contractor Trade Permit 330 days
Homeowner Permit 330 days

Step 2: Prepare

Use the information below to prepare your application. Follow the rules in the location, design and construction sections to help make sure your application meets the City's requirements.


Deck setbacks

All decks:

  • Must not project into any side or front setback area.
  • May project a maximum of 1.5 m into any rear setback area. In most cases it must be at least 6.0 m from the rear property line.
illustration of minimum side and read setbacks

Front decks within the developed area

Due to the more immediate aesthetic impacts on the neighborhood, decks built in the front yard in developed areas are subject to different rules than those built in side and rear yards. At the minimum, decks must be 3.0 m from the front property line. This minimum setback may increase depending on the contextual front setback. See the example below on calculating your contextual front setback.

Illustration showing the calculation of the contextual front setback for decks in the developed area. 

Zero lot lines

Zero lot lines allow you to build a deck to your side property line. Zero lot lines commonly exist in conjunction with a maintenance access right of way on the opposite side of the lot. Review your maintenance access right of way (MARW) document attached to your property's certificate of title for specific regulations. If you are building within the MARW, you must provide a copy ot the document.

Illustration of a zero lot line and a maintenance access right-of-way. 


Rules vary for balconies based on whether they are open or recessed. Open balconies must not project more than 1.85 m from the building façade to which it is attached. A recessed balcony must not exceed 10 m² in floor area.

Illustration of a balcony unenclosed on 3 sides. 

All balconies:

  • Must not project into any side or front setback area.
  • May project a maximum of 1.5 m into any rear setback area. In most cases it must be at least 6.0 m from the rear property line.
  • May be a maximum length of 3.1 m when located in a rear setback area

Pergolas and trellises

If a pergola or roof structure is being attached to a house, the structure is considered an addition. Please refer to the additions page. If the structure being built is detached from the house, it is considered an accessory residential building and must comply with the applicable Land Use Bylaw rules. For more information see detached garages and sheds, and other accessory residential buildings.

You may require additional information for these types of permit applications and a review from a professional engineer.

Illustration of the difference between an attached and detached pergola. 


Deck height

In the developed area, the maximum height for a deck that is not located on the same facade as a basement walkout entry is 1.5 m. To find out if your property is located in a developed area, enter your address in the property information bar.

In both the developed and developing areas, a deck located above the same facade as a walkout entry can exceed 1.5 m, but if must not exceed 0.3 m above the main floor level of a house.

Illustration of deck height maximums in developed and developing areas. ​

Privacy walls

A deck or balcony that is attached to a semi-detached, rowhouse or townhouse building requires a privacy wall when the deck is located within 1.2 m of a shared property line. The privacy wall must be no less than 2.0 m and not greater than 3.0 m in height, measured from the surface of the deck. If a privacy wall is being installed on a balcony for a single detached dwelling, the maximum height is 2.0 m.

Illustration of a privacy wall located within 1.2m of the side property line and extending the full depth of the deck. 

Construction (Building Code information)


Patios 0.6 m (2’-0”) high or less typically do not require a permit. To avoid encroachments, ensure you check your Real Property Report to locate your property lines and any potential rights-of-ways. If you are extending your driveway, or proposing a new driveway or front parking pad, visit the driveways page.

Railing height

A railing 0.90m (3’-0”) high is required if the distance from the surface of your deck to adjacent ground level is less than 1.8m (6’-0”)

A railing 1.07m (3’-6”) high is required if the distance from the surface of your deck to adjacent ground level is equal to or exceeds 1.8m (6’-0”)

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

Spacing requirements between railing balusters

The maximum rail opening is 0'-4" wide.​

Pile width and depth

  • The minimum pile diameter is 0’-10”.
  • The minimum pile depth is 4’-0” below grade.

If you are using screw piles, you will need to provide site specific engineering. Please provide the CCMC listing number if applicable.​​

Composite decking material

If you are using composite decking, you will need to provide the CCMC listing number.​​

Building code questions

If you have questions or need clarification on the Building code information above, contact the Technical Assistance Centre.

For all other inquiries contact our Planning Services Centre.

Step 3: Apply

To apply online, you need a myID account. Create a myID account.

We’re currently experiencing higher than seasonal application volumes, we apologize for delays. To check the status of your permit, go to vista.calgary.ca and enter in your Job Access Code (JAC) number

Apply in person

Once you have gathered all required documents, you can apply for your permit in person by visiting the Planning Services Centre.

Complete Application Requirement

An application for a permit may be refused if, within ninety (90) days from the date of receipt, adequate information and documentation is not supplied as requested by the Safety Codes Officer. Should a permit be considered for refusal the applicant will be given notification in writing and 30 days to resubmit the missing information. For more information, please review Building Advisory A19-002 Building Permit Complete Application

Step 4: Track

After you submit your application online, you will get a confirmation email with a Job Access Code (JAC).

To track your application and check its status, enter your Job Access Code in Vista.

If you need help or have questions, contact our Planning Services Centre

Step 5: Changes

Step 6: Inspect

Visit Building inspections for information on how to book an inspection, cancel or reschedule, permit expiry and the applicable requirements for each inspection type.

Building permit inspections you will need

Uncovered decks and balconies

Framing (rough-in) inspection requirements:

  • Complete the deck structure, hand rail and stairs.
  • Ensure there is access to the structural components under the deck such as beams, posts, and joists.

Book an inspection

Inspections occur Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The City continues to do our best to accommodate booking requests, however some dates may be unavailable due to inspection capacity. Inspections can continue to be booked up to 10 business days in advance.

You will receive a confirmation e-mail on the morning of your inspection that states your inspection window (8 a.m. to noon or noon to 4 p.m.). If you have not received an email by 8:30 a.m. on inspection day, please call 311.


Call 311 to book an inspection over the phone.


If you have a Vista account:

If you do not have a Vista account:

Planning Services Centre

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. (MT)

Live chat:


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

Click before you dig

Always contact Utility Safety Partners before you dig. Submit a locate request online or call 1-800-242-3447 for more information.

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. ​