Permits for your residential garage projects

If you are updating or building a garage that is not attached to your home, you need a Residential Improvement Project Permit.

Watch the following video to learn more from our industry expert Jonathan Hasse, safety codes officer, at the City of Calgary. 

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Permit differences between attached garage and detached garage


Attached garage

  • For new homes, a single construction permit includes the construction of the house as well as the attached garage.                                                     
  • If you are thinking about adding improvements to your attached garage, such as electrical, gas or an EV charging station, an electrical or gas trade permit is required. 

Detached garage

  • A Residential Improvement Project Permit is required if you are constructing or renovating a detached garage or accessory residential structure such as a gazebo, pergola, carports or shed.
  • To certify the safety of a detached garage, in addition to the Residential Improvement Project Permit, you must obtain any additional Trade Permits to meet the minimum National Building Code - Alberta Edition requirements.
  • Some examples of the trade permits needed for detached garages include:
    • A gas permit for a new gas line for a gas heater
    • An electrical permit to add new electrical – such as lights or connecting your overhead door
    • An electrical permit for extending, or altering an existing electrical branch circuit
    • A plumbing permit for adding or extending an existing plumbing system
  • If you are building a new detached garage, an electrical permit is always needed to install lights and to connect the overhead door.

If you’re a home builder, contractor or tradesperson


  • If you’re a contractor or tradesperson hired to work on a new or existing property, it’s your responsibility to ensure the correct permits are in place before occupancy.
  • Pulling the correct permits includes ensuring the permit is closed and approvals are granted before occupancy.
  • Note: when an electrical contractor is doing the work only a Master Electrician can obtain an electrical permit.

If you’re a homebuilder or prospective home buyer


  • You can apply for your own permits or speak with your homebuilder, contractor or tradespeople to ensure the right permits are in place for your project. If you are planning on doing electrical work yourself, you can obtain a homeowner’s electrical permit. 
  • You can contact 311 or visit calgary.ca/propertyresearch to request information about your property, before starting your next renovation project. 

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. ​