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Garage, shed, greenhouse, carport

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

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.) – if it is under 10 m2, please review our section for buildings under 10 m2.
  • It is attached to a house – please visit the additions page.

In most situations, garages 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.

Electrical Permit

An electrical permit is required for all electrical installations and renovations.

Fees

Planning Approval - Development Permit (if applicable)​​ ​Permit fee ​Advertising fe​e ​Development Completion Inspection ​Total
Planning Approval - Development Permit (if applicable): Proposed land use bylaw relaxation for a garage, shed, greenhouse, or pergola
Permit fee: ​$384 Advertising fee: ​$32 Development Completion Inspection: ​$163 Total: ​​$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
Building Safety Approval - Building Permit: New garage
Permit fee: $332
Safety Codes Council Fee (4%): $13.28
Total: $345.28
Building Safety Approval - Building Permit: New carport, shed, greenhouse, or pergola
Permit fee: ​$202 Safety Codes Council Fee (4%): ​$8.08 Total: ​$210.08​
Building Safety Approval - Building Permit: ​Renovation to an existing garage, shed, greenhouse, or pergola Permit fee: ​$202 Safety Codes Council Fee (4%): ​$8.08 Total: ​$210.08​​

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

Location

Building setbacks

In most land use districts, accessory residential buildings, such as a garage or shed will have a minimum building setback of 0.6 m (1.9 ft.) required 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 siding and stucco) or the owner of the adjacent parcel grants a private maintenance easement. (This requirement does not apply to buildings under 10 m2).
  • All water drainage off of the building remains on the property.
  • There is no eave overhang onto the adjacent lot.

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.).

diagram showing 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 Click before you dig 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 403-292-7500.

If you have any questions regarding clearance from utility lines and boxes, contact ENMAX at 403-514-3716.

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

Design

What is your property's zoning?

The zoning of your property will dictate specific rules for the design of your garage, for example, the allowable parcel coverage or how many parking stalls are required on your property.

Please visit our Land use districts / zones page in order to determine your properties zoning.

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. See the graph below to determine your allowable lot coverage.

Land Use District Allowable Coverage (%) Parcel Area <= 300 m2
Parcel width < 10 m
Parcel Area <= 300 m2
Parcel width < 8.7 m
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
 

  1. Find the allowable coverage for the property based on your land use district.
    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.



 

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.

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.

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

 

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 would always require a development permit (planning approval) because it does not meet the Land Use Bylaw specifications.

Please review our Development Permits process page for more information on the processes for these applications.

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.

Construction

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

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, they must comply with the rules listed under location and design.

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 rules of the Land Use Bylaw listed under location and design.

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.

Building within 0.6m of the side property line

When building within 0.6m (1.9 ft.) of the side property line, accessory residential buildings which are 10 m2 (107 sq. ft.) or larger have the following requirements for fire-ratings and permitted locations of eave projections:

Fire rating:

5/8" Type X drywall is required to be installed from floor slab to underside of roof sheathing on the interior face of wall assemblies located within 0.6m (1.9 ft) of the side property line.

Eave projections:

Eave projections are 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 remain on the property. A non-vented soffit (underside of eave projection) is required for eaves within 1.2 m (3.9 ft.) of a property line shared with an adjacent property.

If the eaves will project towards the lane instead, the roof trusses will likely be resting on the beam over the overhead 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.

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

Temporary tent garages

Temporary tent garages on residential properties do not require a building permit, however; they must comply with the rules listed under location and design.

Note: tent garages are not considered maintenance free structures, so the setback rules apply.​​

Step 2: Prepare your application


  • Use the Garage permit checklist to determine the application and drawing requirements for your project.
  • Note: if you are using engineered roof trusses, only a site plan is required.
  • 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.

Sample drawings

You can use these sample drawings as a reference while preparing your application.

Step 3: Apply


​​​​​Apply online​​

In order to get started, create a myID account.

​​​​Create a myID account​​

Businesses can register for a myID business account. A business account is intended for myID services to be submitted on behalf of a business or organization. Please follow the steps outlined on the myID business account page.

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


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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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Click before you dig

Always contact Alberta One Call before you dig. Click here​ in order to submit a locate request or contact 1-800-242-3447 for more information.

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