Information

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Building 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 your work was inspected by The City. Remember, any work completed on your home is ultimately the owner’s responsibility. If you’re working with a contractor, setting your expectations at the beginning of the project in a written contract is a good way to protect your investment. For more tips, visit hiring a contractor.

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

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.

Homeowners

Homeowners book an inspection

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

Homeowners who have applied for their permits through apply.calgary.ca, can now book and manage their inspections through the Inspections Booking System using their 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.

Homeowners that do not have a myID account can continue to book their inspections by contacting 311 and providing the permit number and address.

Support

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

Contractors book an inspection

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.

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.

ePermit

Login to ePermit at calgary.ca/vista, or use our mobile friendly site inspections.calgary.ca.

  • Book, reschedule and cancel
  • Receive instant scheduling confirmation
  • View inspections required for each project phase
  • View inspection results and reports online
  • View inspection status

Vista

Login to Vista with a user ID or Job Access Code (JAC)

  • Book phase inspections only
  • No rescheduling or cancellation ability
  • View inspection status

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. Issues in using the Inspection Booking system, customers who contact 311 will be directed to our Technical Assistance Centre.

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 in order to provide the best customer service, the Inspector will decide which type of inspection to use based upon 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 Duo App. The Google Duo App can be downloaded from iOS App Store or Google Play Store
  • A camera-enabled mobile device such as a smart phone 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 directed by the inspector.
  • We will likely have you scan the room to ensure we don’t miss anything.

Watch the video to prepare for your inspection:

How to prepare for your video inspection: Home improvement permits

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.

Inspection types


Please ensure all applicable requirements are met prior to the inspection. Please note that the inspection process is dynamic and an inspection outcome depends on the construction method and site conditions at time of inspection. The information provided below is a general list of inspection requirements and is not an exhaustive list.

Please submit any pre-inspection documents that are required 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.

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.

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 gas lines must be installed by an Alberta certified journeyman gas fitter.

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 by phases throughout the project. All work for each phase must be complete before that phase’s inspections can be booked. Individual disciplines cannot book inspections separately and the previous phase must have passed all inspections before the next phase inspection can be requested. If one discipline did not pass inspection, the whole phase must be called for re-inspection; however, only the aspects that were not acceptable will be inspected again.

Additional forms and documents may be required at certain inspection phases (e.g. As-Built Engineering, Concrete Verification, Form A, reclaimed water design and specs, Real Property Report, Screw Pile conformity report, Soil Bearing report and 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.

Ground work inspection (if requested)

This inspection covers all piping, backwater valves and clean-outs required prior to the basement slab being poured and occurs prior to 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 take place to ensure the building is being built according to 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

During an electrical inspection, The City’s safety codes officer (SCO) must have access to all areas where electrical work has been completed.

Before booking your inspection, please ensure that:

  • There is no exposed live wiring.

  • All electrical devices that are required as part of the minimum life safety requirements are installed and operational.

  • Hardwired Smoke/CO detectors are installed and interconnected.

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.

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.

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@calgary.ca 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
Outcomes: ​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.​​​
Outcomes: ​Acceptable with conditions Home Improvements: ​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. New Homes: ​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.​
Outcomes: ​Not acceptable Home Improvements: ​Multiple items need correction. A re-inspection or accepted VOC is necessary before proceeding.
New Homes: ​Multiple items need correction. A re-inspection or accepted VOC is necessary before proceeding.
Outcomes: Verification of compliance (VOC) Home Improvements: ​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 accept​ed​ by The City.

Please see your verification of compliance (VOC) form for submission options.
New Homes: ​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.
Outcomes: ​Not required Home Improvements: ​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.


New Homes: ​​A site inspection will not be done. Proceed to the next phase of construction.
Outcomes: ​Cancelled by contractor Home Improvements: ​Inspection was cancelled prior to 8 a.m. the day of the scheduled inspection. New Homes: ​​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.

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. A homeowner trade permit cannot be issued for work that has been done without necessary trade permits. To have the inspection completed, the owner must hire a licensed trade contractor. The contractor will have to obtain the permit and check that the work complies with 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 visitCalgary 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 infractions are found, the inspector will issue warnings or potential fines until proper permits have been 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-inspection Fee


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, a re-inspection fee can be issued 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 2022 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:

  • Visit https://dbacart.calgary.ca/public/login.aspx.
  • Click the Vista or myID User Access sign in button to begin.
  • Sign in with their user access credentials.
  • Click on pending fees tile.
  • Select fee and click add to cart.
  • Enter payment information.
  • 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.


Planning Services Centre

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

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

Live chat:
calgary.ca/livechat

Call:
403-268-5311

In person:
Whitehorn Multi-Services Centre
3705 35 Street N.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. ​