Pinnacle Renovations | What Calgary Home Renovations Require a Permit?

According to the City of Calgary, interior home renovations and changes to existing spaces do not typically need a permit when the work consists of minor cosmetic upgrades. For example, if you’re wanting to try a bold new paint colour or replace tired bathroom fixtures, you likely won’t require any permits. However, there are a number of home renovation projects, including some that might be considered DIY, that will require a permit. It is important to know when a permit is or isn’t required to ensure your renovation project complies with local bylaws and building codes.

To better understand why your project might require a permit, let’s first look at the different types of permits available.


Types of Permits When Building a Home

1) Building Permit

Calgary Building Permits

(See more from the above renovation in Gallery 43)

A Building Permit is often required when a renovation changes the structure of a home through projects such as adding or removing walls, adding a storey or addition, and even creating new windows or enlarging existing ones. If your renovation project falls outside of ‘Contextual’ guidelines according to City of Calgary; you will need a Development Permit. This typically includes additions that eclipse 40 SM in size, and/or require special considerations like side yard clearances or vertical height compliance, and other special considerations may require a ‘Discretionary’ application.

2) Electrical Permit

Calgary Electrical Permit

An Electrical Permit is required when wiring a new home, or altering any existing electrical branch circuit wiring.

3) Plumbing Permit

Calgary Plumbing Permit

(See more from the above renovation in Gallery 63)

A Plumbing Permit is required when a plumbing system is constructed, extended or altered, or if the water and sewer lines in or around your home are replaced.

4) Gas Permit

Calgary Gas Permit

(See more from the above renovation in Gallery 59)

A Gas Permit is required when installing, altering or adding to a gas system.


What Calgary Home Renovations DO Require a Permit?

Here is a point form list of some popular Calgary home renovations that do require a permit.


What Calgary Renovations DO NOT Require a Permit?

Here is a list of some popular Calgary home renovations that will not require any permits.

  • Refinishing existing cabinetry
  • Swapping out a bathroom vanity
  • Ripping up your carpet and replacing it with hard flooring
  • Replacing appliances (excluding electric to gas)
  • Changing light fixtures
  • Painting or wallpapering
  • Installing new countertops


What Exactly Do Home Permits Provide?

According to you can expect the following once you have obtained a permit:

  • access to expert advice before costly mistakes are made
  • record of having done your due diligence to comply with the codes and standards
  • informs the jurisdiction with the responsibility for administering the Safety Codes Act that the project is taking place
  • additional oversight at the early stages of a project through services such as plans or design review
  • an inspection by a trained and certified safety codes officer


Hiring A Contractor

Hiring A Contractor Calgary

(See more from the above renovation in Gallery 63)

Hiring the right contractor to help bring your Calgary home renovation dreams to life means that the design and build aspects of your project will be completed professionally, while also ensuring the work is completed to code with all necessary permits in place.

Therefore, choosing a qualified contractor to work with is a very important step when starting to make renovation plans with your family. Take the time to do your homework, and book consultations with your top Calgary Renovator candidates so that you will ultimately have an exceptional level of trust with the professional you hire.

When you hire a professional such as Pinnacle Group Renovations, all your permitting requirements, and engineering will be handled for you. And to be clear, if your project does not require a Building Permit given it is more cosmetic in nature, but you are changing wiring or plumbing; Pinnacle’s vetted trade partners provide all those permits with a completely worry-free process.

At Pinnacle Group Renovations, we have made it a mandate to raise the bar in providing our Client Families with honest, ethical and transparent business practices. We are proud to put our past client reviews and testimonials on full-display, and have even gone a step above most competitors by retaining Client Insight, a third party client assessment service. Client Insight allows us to conduct in-depth surveys and customer interviews, that help us capture a true to life synopsis of our projects directly from our clients’ perspectives. These definitive reviews are exceptionally detailed and help us to continually improve internally as a group, while also assisting our future clients by giving them as much information as possible to help them make informed decisions.

In addition to the mandate mentioned above, we have also engaged in a level of transparency unlike most renovators in Calgary, and that involves opening up our ‘in-progress’ renovations for a Pre-Board Tour which showcases all the permit-related items mentioned above. Not only does this allow us to showcase the amazing trade work for you to see, but also shows ultimate transparency in having nothing to hide; there are no unscrupulous shortcuts that are the stories one might see on HGTV’s “renovation practices and companies to avoid”. These Pre-Board Tours are very well-received and well attended by Calgarians considering a renovation.


Are Permits Required to Sell Your Calgary Home in the Future?

According to Dan Saklofske, Calgary Real Estate Agent with Charles Real Estate, “It’s true, some homeowners will choose not to pull the necessary permits for renovation work to save money, keep their property assessments lower, or because they had planned on staying in their homes forever. While permits for renovation work completed by a seller or previous owners are not necessarily required to sell your property, by disclosing the lack of permits, you may scare off potential buyers who no longer feel comfortable purchasing the home and ultimately impact a buyer’s valuation of your property.”

It’s also important to note that without permits, there is no guarantee that a home’s renovations have been done to code. This can impact future home insurance claims and even your ability to complete future renovation work of your own.