Building inspections

Find out more information on how to prepare for and book your inspections, what inspections you might need and more.

Preparing for your inspections


Why do you need an inspection?

Inspections are part of the approval process and are included in the permit price. Your permit is not complete until your work has passed all required inspections.

Inspectors verify that your completed work meets safety or approval standards, and they can assist if you encounter problems with your project. Having permits approved and completed allows future buyers to verify that The City inspected your work. Remember, any work completed on your home is ultimately the owner’s responsibility. Create a written contract to set clear expectations when working with a contractor. This is a good way to safeguard your investment. For more tips, visit hiring a contractor.

Please note that City inspections are different from third-party home inspections. We ensure that the minimum safety standards of construction and installation are met. For information regarding third-party home inspections, visit buying and selling your home.

Before you book your inspection

Before you can book your building, electrical and plumbing inspections, you need to complete the following steps:

Step 1

Register for myID account to access city services.

Step 2

Apply for your permit via online services application form.

Step 3

Wait until you receive a confirmation email that your permit has been issued.

Step 4

Book and manage your inspections online using your myID or VISTA account on Building Safety & Inspection Services website. You can find your permit using your Job Access Code (JAC). 

  • Prepare for Your Inspection

    Once you’ve booked your inspection, prepare by completing all the inspection requirements for your inspection type.

  • Support

    If you have any questions regarding booking an inspection, please contact the Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5311.

How to 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.

Book and manage your inspections online using your myID or VISTA account at inspections.calgary.ca. You can find your permit using your Job Access Code (JAC).

What is a Job Access Code (JAC)?

Your Job Access Code (JAC) allows you to access information about your permit application. You can use this number to check the status of an application and book inspections. Applicants can find their JAC after submitting a permit as part of the permit confirmation email. As the JAC is confidential, homeowners or consultants looking for a JAC should contact the permit applicant to request the JAC.

How to book your inspection with a Job Access Code?

Step 1

Log into Building Safety & Inspection Services website.

Step 2

Create or sign into myID account to access city services.

Step 3

Search for your permit using your Job Access Code. The permit must be issued before you can book your inspection.

Step 4

Use the calendar to select the day you would like the inspection. Indicate what the site access is, description and location of the work and if there will be any pets on site. This helps our Inspectors prepare for the inspection.

Once you’ve clicked “book inspection” an email confirmation will be sent to the email address on filePlease ensure that an individual over the age of 18 is present for the inspection.

Homeowners

Homeowners can book inspections for:

  • Building permits
  • Electrical permits
  • Plumbing permits

Inspections occur Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Book online using the inspections booking system. You will need a JAC to book your inspection.

Once your building, electrical or plumbing permit has been issued, book and manage your inspections through the Inspections Booking System, using your myID account. Our enhanced website provides a more streamlined experience for homeowners to better manage their inspections. Homeowners can book, reschedule or cancel their inspections all through the online tool using your VISTA login.

Support

Watch our video for detailed instructions on how to book and manage your inspections online.

If you experience any difficulties with the Inspections Booking System, please call 311 and ask to speak with the technical assistance centre.

If you need support with your myID account, please visit the myID page.

Contractors

All contractors can book inspections online through the Inspections Booking System.

Our enhanced Inspections Booking System provides a more streamlined experience for contractors to better manage their inspections. Contractors can book, reschedule or cancel their inspections all through the online tool, using their VISTA login.

Please note, inspections can be booked up to 10 business days in advance and 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.

Online Booking

All contractors are encouraged to book their inspections online through the Inspections Booking System.

Using the Inspections Booking System requires a myID business account. Contractors that do not have a myID business account can sign up online or contact the planning service centre at 403-268-5311.

If you experience issues in using the Inspection Booking system, contact technical assistance centre by calling 311 or submit a building code inquiry service request .

Virtual and in-person inspections

The City is now able to resume in-person site inspections in residential properties. Video Inspections are still available; however, to provide the best customer service, the Inspector will decide which type of inspection to use based on the permit type and availability.

After you book your inspection, the inspector will walk you through the video inspection process.

For a video inspection, you will need:

  • The Google Meet App. The Google Meet App can be downloaded from iOS App Store or Google Play Store
  • A camera-enabled mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet.
  • A strong Wi-Fi or mobile connection on your device.
  • A flashlight, portable construction light, tape measure and multi-bit tool, depending on your type of inspection.

If you don’t have these things available, we recommend you get someone to help. This could be your contractor or someone else in your household. Otherwise, you can delay your inspection to a later date.

When it’s time for your inspection:

  • You will receive a phone call from the inspector to confirm you are ready for the inspection. Once complete, the inspector will video call you through Google Duo to start the inspection.
  • During the inspection, move the camera in slow, steady movements as the inspector directs.
  • We will likely have you scan the room to ensure we don’t miss anything.

Watch the video to prepare for your inspection.

 

Inspection types


Please ensure that you meet all applicable requirements before the inspection. Please note that the inspection process is dynamic, and an inspection outcome depends on the construction method and site conditions at the time of inspection. The information provided below is a general list of inspection requirements. It may not include all necessary items.

Please submit all required pre-inspection documents for your permit.

Home improvement permits

In most cases, only one inspection a framing (rough-in) inspection is required to complete a residential improvement or renovations. Secondary suites are an exception and will always require two inspections. Please note, that there are cases where a safety code officer may determine that a second inspection is necessary.

Garages

Framing (rough-in) inspection requirements:

  • The garage must be at lock-up stage, where all doors and windows are properly installed, with the building secure and the site safe.
  • Garages can be built into the side yard, close to the property line. Fire rating standards must be completed, with fire-rated materials installed. 
  • The garage inspection can occur when the project is complete, or at the framing stage when doors and windows are installed.
  • Rough-in, install and complete all electrical components that are required under associated permits.

Uncovered decks and balconies

Framing (rough-in) inspection requirements:

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

Home renovations and basements

Framing (rough-in) inspection requirements:

  • Install and complete any structural changes.
  • Install and complete all the wall and ceiling framing.
  • Install proposed windows and exterior doors.
  • Install and complete any HVAC changes.
  • Rough-in, install and complete all plumbing and electrical components that are required under associated permits.

Retaining walls

Framing (rough-in) inspection requirements:

  • Complete the retaining wall.
  • Install guards.

Additions

Framing (rough-in) inspection requirements:

  • Install and complete any structural changes.
  • Install and complete all the wall and ceiling framing.
  • Install proposed windows and exterior doors.
  • Install and complete any HVAC changes.
  • Rough-in, install and complete all plumbing and electrical components that are required under associated permits.
  • Do not install insulation, vapour barrier or drywall over any work that requires inspection prior to concealing.

Heating, cooling and ventilation

Framing (rough-in) inspection requirements:

  • Install and complete and structural changes.
  • Install and complete the wall and ceiling, and as well the framing for the fireplace.
  • If fire rating is required, please ensure it is in place for the inspection.
  • Install fireplace as per manufacturer’s installation instructions. Do not drywall or cover up until inspection has been completed.
  • Install and complete all the walls and ceiling, and framing.
  • Any gas lines that run to a fireplace must be done on a separate gas permit. Please be aware that an Alberta-certified journeyman gas fitter must install gas lines.

Hot tubs, pools and ponds

Final inspection requirements:

Hot tubs:

Pools:

Secondary suites

Two inspections are required.

Framing (rough-in) inspection requirements:

  • Install and complete any structural changes.
  • Install and complete all the wall and ceiling framing.
  • Install proposed windows and exterior doors.
  • Install and complete any HVAC changes.
  • Rough in, install and complete all plumbing and electrical components that are required under associated permits.
  • Have requested documentation on site.
  • Do not install insulation, vapour barrier or drywall over any work that requires inspection prior to concealing.

Final inspection requirement:

The construction should be completed and the suite should be ready for occupancy.

New home building permits


Inspections are booked in phases throughout the project. Before booking inspections, all work for that phase must be complete. It is not possible to schedule separate inspections for individual disciplines. The previous phase must pass all inspections before requesting an inspection for the next phase. If any discipline fails inspection, the entire phase will require re-inspection. However, only the areas that did not meet the standard will be inspected again.

Additional forms and documents may be required at certain inspection phases, such as:

  • As-Built Engineering,
  • Concrete verification,
  • Form A: manufactured stone used in exterior wall cladding systems
  • Reclaimed water design and specs,
  • Real Property Report,
  • Screw pile conformity report,
  • Soil bearing report
  • Soils test. 

These documents will be listed as permit conditions and will 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.

Groundwork inspection (if requested)

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

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 foundation
  • Electrical underground / quick trench
  • Plumbing sanitary and storm / quick trench

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. See inspection documents for more information.

Additional documents typically required at this inspection:

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

Pre-possession phase

All inspections must be accepted from 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 are completed to confirm that the construction of the building conforms with 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
  2. Pre-possession
    Roof peak geodetic survey must be submitted to geodetic.review@calgary.ca

See inspection documents for more information.

Trade permits

Electrical trade permits

The following tasks must be completed before booking an inspection. Please note it is not necessary to have drywall installed for a final inspection.

Please review the green service label policy to determine if you require a green service label (sticker).

Rough-in requirements

  • Have all wiring and interior of outlet boxes readily visible.
  • Remove vapour barrier and insulation where it’s covering any wiring. The exception is for wiring fished into walls.
  • All wiring must be supported.
  • Remove outer sheath of wiring and terminate all wiring into outlet boxes and fixtures.
  • Ensure all splices are made and all grounding is complete in outlet boxes and fixtures.
  • Do not secure devices (plugs, switches) to outlet boxes. Leave all wiring and terminations visible.
  • Cables may be terminated into the panel board, but wires should not be on breakers.
  • Never energize exposed wiring.
  • Rough and underground inspections should be combined.
  • Expose the trench on at least one end to confirm depth.
  • Access must be provided to all areas where electrical work has been completed.
  • For secondary suites, use the secondary suite electrical load calculation sheet to ensure your current electrical service is adequate. When complete, please email the form to us. If the main electrical service must be increased from 60 amps, 100 amps, or 200 - amp service, ask your contractor to contact ENMAX.

Final requirements

  • Do not have any exposed live wiring.
  • Install all devices, receptacles and light fixtures.
  • Any open outlet boxes or unfinished wiring must be properly secured and installed in a junction box with an approved splice cap and a junction box cover.
  • Install, terminate and energize all breakers, if safe to do so.
  • Complete the panel board breaker directory, all breakers must be labeled correctly.
  • Access must be provided to all areas where electrical work has been completed.

For more information, review the homeowner electrical wiring guide.

Plumbing trade permits

What you need to complete before you call for each plumbing inspection:

Rough-in inspection

  • Install and complete all plumbing drainage and venting.
  • Install and connect water lines to the rest of the water distribution system.
  • Properly support all drains, vents, and water lines.
  • Install the bathtub/shower valve.

Final inspection

  • Install and ensure all fixtures and equipment are ready for use.
  • Ensure the bathtub and shower water temperature does not exceed 49 degrees Celsius.
  • Seal all piping designed for future fixtures with an approved plug or cap.
  • Provide a shut off valve for all toilets.

HVAC / Mechanical trade permits

Following an inspection, The city’s Safety Codes Officer (SCO) may identify corrective action to comply with the National Building Code (Alberta Edition). In place of a re-inspection, the SCO may provide an option to submit a verification of compliance (VOC).

Other inspections


Development completion permits

The development completion permit (DCP) is a document issued by The City. It's issued after our inspection confirms that a development complies with the corresponding development permit, and is in line with the permit's previously approved plans and conditions. Please note the criteria for a development completion permit is different from that of a building occupancy.

Residential demolition permits

Once you've received your demolition permit, you must provide secure site fencing and place your construction contact information sign on the fence.

Before demolition, the building must be inspected by a professional asbestos removal company. The applicant must either obtain confirmation that there is no asbestos or have the asbestos professionally removed. Visit the government of Alberta’s website for information about Occupational Health and Safety.

After the demolition or move is complete, call 311 to book a post-demolition inspection.

Commercial building permits

Please note that the inspection process is dynamic, and an inspection outcome depends on the construction method and site conditions at time of inspection. Please contact the Technical Assistance Centre for more information.

Special event building permits

You will be asked on the building permit application when you would like to book your inspection. If you would like to make a change to your requested inspection date after applying, contact 311.

Please note, inspections take place both as part of the building permit and licensing approval process and also proactively during large events such as the Calgary Stampede. City of Calgary safety codes officers may also exercise discretion to conduct additional inspections. If a fire inspection is required, submit your request  through 311.

Inspections booked outside of our normal operating hours will no longer be charged an after-hours inspection fee. This includes inspection after 4 p.m. on weekdays, all day Saturday, Sunday and Holidays.

Applications submitted online will require you to pay the fee up front, however this fee will be refunded within 2-3 business days.

Condominium permit application

While the permit is under review, you’ll get an email about when you can book an inspection. When you get this email, you can book the condo inspection through live chat at calgary.ca/livechat or by calling 403-268-5311.

Existing construction

Building permit

All work requires a permit. If you don't obtain a proper permit and work has been completed; obtain the proper permit and call for an inspection. The building permit application can be submitted by the homeowner. The applicant must follow the same requirements as an application for new work. This process may require any work concealed by drywall to be exposed for inspection.

Visit calgary.ca/homeimprovement for information about your project.

Trade permit

Contractor trade permits, like electrical, plumbing, gas, or mechanical, must be obtained by a contractor if the work has been concealed. We cannot issue a homeowner's trade permit for work that was previously completed without the required trade permit. The homeowner must hire a licensed trade contractor to have the work inspected. The contractor must obtain the required permit and confirm that the work complies with all applicable codes. However, the homeowner is responsible for any previously concealed work.

Safety concerns & complaints

Land Use Bylaw complaints

The city's inspections team ensures that development aligns with necessary approvals, including the Land Use Bylaw, the Municipal Government Act, and any other applicable legislation. We rely heavily on education and awareness to encourage compliance. When necessary, however, we may issue stop work orders, violation tickets, and/or take other legal action.

To make a complaint regarding Land Use Bylaw infractions, please contact the Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5311 or chat with us.

Unsafe conditions

Construction sites

Safety is our number one priority. As a member of the Coordinated Safety Response Team, we collaborate with the provincial government and law enforcement to investigate and respond to potentially unsafe sites. Please visit Calgary construction and public safety for more information.

Rental units

Complaints related to building safety issues in a rental unit can be investigated by contacting 311. Before calling, please:

  • Ensure you provided written notification about your concern to the landlord.
  • Be prepared to provide us with the landlord’s telephone number.
  • Arrange access to the property for the safety codes officer.

More information for landlords and tenants is available through the provincial government and The Centre for Public and Legal Education Alberta. Learn about minimum housing and health standards.

More information is also available about filing other types of complaints with The City.

Working without a permit

These inspections are conducted by a safety codes officer for work which has been started without the proper permits. If there are infractions, the inspector will issue warnings or potential fines until the necessary permits are obtained.

To file a complaint regarding work without a permit, please contact 311​ or download the Calgary 311 mobile app. To follow up on a notice regarding building without a permit, please contact the inspector listed on the notice document.

Re-inspections

It’s our continued desire to have a close working relationship with the building industry and to further enhance the spirit of cooperation and respect for each other. To maintain our high level of inspection service and to reduce the number of unnecessary site inspections, we can issue a re-inspection fee for the following reasons:

  • Failure to fully correct any previously noted deficiency recorded in the inspection report.
  • Disregard by the contractor/owner to ensure correction of a deficiency or to provide a document requested through an inspection or plans examination report. 
  • Incorrect inspection address is supplied to The City.
  • Work is not ready for inspection on requested inspection date.
  • Failure of contractor/owner to ensure safe accessibility to an inspection site.
  • If the work to be inspected has been covered or concealed prior to the inspection.

As of January 1st, 2022, the re-inspection fee has been reduced from $338 to $163.50. This change is reflected in the building & trade permit fee schedule. Additionally, customers can now pay their re-inspection fee via the shopping cart using your VISTA or myID account following these instructions:

  1. Visit the shopping cart.
  2. Click the Vista or myID User Access sign in button to begin.
  3. Sign in with their user access credentials.
  4. Click on pending fees tile.
  5. Select fee and click add to cart.
  6. Enter payment information.
  7. Press pay now.

In alignment with Safety Codes Permit Bylaw (39M2018), there is no longer an appeal period for a re-inspection fee. All inquiries regarding a re-inspection fee will be directed to the Safety Codes Officer whose information will appear on the notice email.

Cancel or reschedule an inspection

Homeowners

Homeowners who booked their inspection using the Inspections Booking System can cancel or reschedule their inspection using the online tool. Please be advised that 24 hours’ notice would be appreciated when cancelling or rescheduling an inspection.

Contractors

ePermit inspections may be cancelled online via ePermit Inspections.

Inspections can be cancelled or rescheduled by going to the Inspections Booking System.

Permit expiry

Extend or reinstate a permit

If you have received an expiry letter and are not ready for an inspection before the expiry date, review extension and reinstatement information at permit changes - manage your permit application.

After your Inspections


Inspection documents and outcomes

If an inspection document is required, please submit it before requesting an inspection. If you applied through ePermitupload your inspection documents in ePermit.

Pre-inspection documents

Examples of pre-inspection documents include:

  • Quick trench photos - provide before requesting the pre-backfill inspection on a single construction permit (new house construction). If you applied through ePermit, upload the photos. All photos must be in .pdf format.
  • Soil bearing report- provide before requesting the pre-board phase inspection on a single construction permit (new house construction).
  • Hydronic heating certified design - if you are installing hydronic heating, upload the certified design documents to ePermit. For permits that are not applied through ePermit, email your documents to plumbing & gas inspection prior to the inspection with the permit number. Otherwise, ensure you have a hard copy on site at the time of inspection.

Documents needed at inspection

When your inspector arrives, you will need:

  • Access to approved drawings
  • Permit conditions
  • Equipment manuals

If there are structural changes, you may need an onsite engineer field review. If required, it will be listed in your permit conditions.​​​​

Inspection outcomes

There are different inspection types. Review the requirements for your project.

A City of Calgary Safety codes officer or development inspector will complete a review and note all deficiencies. An inspection may have one of the following outcomes. For more information about the coordination of multiple permits, read about permits and the review process.

Permit Services Reports are produced once all inspections are completed. The report summarizes inspection outcomes and explains the resulting permit condition(s). Permit Services Reports are available upon request to property owners and permit holders. To request a Permit Services Report log into VISTA or contact the Planning Services Centre.

Outcomes Home improvements New homes
​Acceptable You do not have any deficiencies that require correction at this point. Proceed to next phase if needed. You do not have any deficiencies that require correction at this point. Proceed to next phase.​​​
Acceptable with conditions Minor deficiencies have been found, but don't require a re-inspection. It is the owner's responsibility to correct these deficiencies. Proceed to next phase with conditions to be corrected before next inspection. Minor deficiencies have been found, but don't require a re-inspection. It is the owner's responsibility to correct these deficiencies. Proceed to next phase with conditions to be corrected before next inspection.​
Not acceptable Multiple items need correction. A re-inspection or accepted VOC is necessary before proceeding. Multiple items need correction. A re-inspection or accepted VOC is necessary before proceeding.
Verification of compliance (VOC)

Deficiencies have been found. A re-inspection is not required if the deficiencies are corrected and the VOC letter is signed by the property owner, property owner representative, or contractor, and accepted by The City. Please see your verification of compliance (VOC) form for submission options.

Deficiencies have been found. A re-inspection is not required if the deficiencies are corrected and the VOC letter is signed by the property owner, property owner representative, or contractor, and accepted​ by The City. Please see your verification of compliance (VOC) form for submission options.
Not required A site inspection will not be done. Proceed to the next phase of construction.​ Trade permit: Homeowner would be notified by phone if an inspection was requested, but not required. ​​A site inspection will not be done. Proceed to the next phase of construction.
Cancelled by contractor Inspection was cancelled prior to 8 a.m. the day of the scheduled inspection. ​​Inspection was cancelled prior to 8 a.m. the day of the scheduled inspection.​

Post-inspection documents

The inspector may ask you to submit documents following an inspection. For example, during an inspection, the inspector will identify items that must be corrected to comply with the applicable codes and standards. In place of a re-inspection, the inspector may provide an option to submit a verification of compliance (VOC). This document lists the infractions found during the inspection. Once the deficiencies are fixed, the property owner, property owner representative, or contractor, shall sign and submit the VOC to The City.

Please see your verification of compliance (VOC) form for submission options. If submitting via ePermit, upload the signed VOC.

Planning Services Centre

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

Live chat:
calgary.ca/livechat

Call:
403-268-5311

In person: 
Planning services centre,
3rd floor, Municipal building 
800 Macleod Trail SE

Book an eAppointment for in person services at appointment.calgary.ca

Trade Permit Centre

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

Email:
Trade.permits@calgary.ca

Call:
403-268-1488

In person:
Planning Services Centre,
3rd floor, Municipal Building
800 Macleod Trail S.E.


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. ​