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Do I Need a Permit For Basement Developments?

If you have decided to take up your basement development project get ready for some work. Whether you want to transform your old basement into a gym, a party area, an extra bedroom or just a usable space, there is a lot to consider. You will need to come up with an initial vision, set out your budget, find a reliable contractor, manage supplies, and also obtain the right permits from the relevant authorities. Obtaining the right permit before actually starting the work is necessary to avoid any legal problems later on and having the City of Calgary inspectors inspect the project to ensure the renovation work has been completed to code.

What Permits Do I Need For a Basement Development?

You may need one or more of the following permits for your basement development project depending upon the nature of work and changes you are going to make:

Development Permit

You will need to obtain a development permit if:

  •    Your property is located within 6.0 m of the floodway and you wish to make exterior alterations.
  •    Proposing an exterior change that disrupts a free and clear side yard required on your property
  •    Proposing a development that is not in compliance with the Land Use Bylaw.

Building Permit

For constructing a new basement and for any home renovations in Calgary (except strictly cosmetic renovations), you will need to get a building permit. Make sure to note that there is an entirely different process if you are converting the basement into a secondary suite.

Trade Permit

If you are planning to take up a DIY, basement development project, you will also need to obtain a trade permit that includes permits for electrical, plumbing, fireplace and gas installation. To get this particular kind of permit, one needs to fulfill the following conditions:

          You should be the owner of the home and have proof of ownership

          You should be living in the home

          You will perform all the work yourself and not use a contractor

Those who are hiring a contractor do not need to have this permit. Be sure that the contractor you use has a valid business license from the City of Calgary and all the relevant permits.

How to Apply For Basement Development Permit?

For obtaining the permit(s) you need to submit the following at the customer service counter of the Department & Building Approvals, located on the 3rd floor of the Calgary Municipal Building:

          Names of all contractors who are going to work on your basement development project

          2 sets of complete building plans

Note that if you are going to add or enlarge windows you will also be required to submit 2 sets each of site plans and elevation drawings showing the side of the home that will be affected by the home renovation project

          Depending on the permit you need, you will be required to submit an application fee as well.

How Long Will It Take To Get the Permit for Basement Developments?

If your application is complete and abides by the laws and regulations of Alberta Building Code and City of Calgary Land Use Bylaw, your basement development application will be processed on the same day.

Calgary Basement Renovations

Even if you are hiring a contractor for your Calgary basement development work, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure that the contractor has a valid City of Calgary business license and all the required permits.

To ensure that you are not being deceived by a contractor, hire one who has the experience as well as a good reputation in this field.

Hiring a reliable contractor, like Aspire Renovations, will save you from getting involved in complicated legal procedures. Hiring a General contractor will save you time and money in the long run and ensure your renovation project is completed the way you always dreamed it would be. Visit their website at or dial (403)796-4044 today to get in touch with Calgary’s best home renovation contractor.


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