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When building a new infill home or making improvements to an existing home in Calgary, it is very important to know the City of Calgary Land Use Bylaws and Alberta Building Codes as these largely dictate what you can and cannot build. Building any permanent structure without acquiring a permit from the proper authorities may result in a fine and demolition of the entire structure or the parts that do not comply with the aforementioned bylaws and codes.

The City of Calgary makes a clear distinction between infill properties and other types of properties. Previously having enforced strict rules (that govern construction) to discourage overcrowding of the inner city, the city has now relaxed the rules somewhat in order to redevelop the urban area and utilize the under-utilized properties. Therefore, the structural requirements for building are slightly different (read: stricter), but the permits you are required to obtain are the same.

Building permits and other permits:

According to the City of Calgary Land Use Bylaws, you are required to obtain building permits for the following:

  • To erect a new building or structure (including swimming pools,  hot tubs, detached garages and carports,  secondary suits, and retaining wall of over 1.2 meter height)
  • To demolish, repair, alter or relocate an existing building or structure or make additions to it.

In addition to the above, you will also need to acquire separate electrical and plumbing permits before you can start building your house or making any structural changes, including additions. You may also have to obtain a development permit before you can apply for the building permit. This is especially true if you are building in an infill area.

Demolition Permits
If your infill lot already has an existing structure, you will have to obtain an additional permit for demolition. Your builder is usually responsible for obtaining this type of permit on your behalf.

How to apply for the building permits:

Applying for the building permits is a pretty straight forward process. You (or your builder) are required to submit an application along with the building plans and site plans. The application will then be reviewed and examined to ensure that they comply with the Alberta Building Code and the Calgary Land Use Bylaw. Based on that, the building permit will be issued which requires you to commence construction work within 90 days.

It is essential that you get expert advice from your Calgary infill home builder when you are obtaining these permits. At Sunset Homes, we can identify which permits you will require for your project so that it stays on schedule. Contact us for an initial consultation on building permits you may require for your custom home.

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