One of the most important parts of the consultation, planning and building process revolves around getting the necessary approval and permits from the City of Calgary. For any professional general contractor, it’s a day to day part of our job, but to the average citizen, or even DIY enthusiast, the process can be daunting, tricky and very overwhelming.
The permit process alone is reason enough for a general contractor to be involved with your next renovation in Calgary. Running afoul of the planning and permit department could quickly break code in your home, causing all kinds of problems with the city authorities or even your home insurance.
Today, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about building permits and why they’re essential to your build.
When do I need a permit?
A good rule of thumb, at least for interior remodels, is that if you are going to be adding or removing walls, a building permit is likely required. There’s a misconception that if you’re not doing any structural alterations, you won’t need a permit, which is false. You need to consider the structure and the building system, as well as the safety codes. If anything could shift in your compliance to safety codes, like losing an egress window or requiring smoke detectors, you need a building permit.
How do I obtain a permit?
It starts with planning. When our team at C Brannon Construction sits down to start planning your renovation or remodel, we work with structural engineers, draftsmen and home design specialists to create a design that will comply with the City of Calgary’s building codes. You can’t just put together a drawing on your own and take it into the city office to get the thumbs up, it requires professionals who have years of schooling, training and experience to put it together. The finished plans can be submitted either electronically, or you can take them yourself to City Hall for review. The permits take a LOT longer for preparation than they do for approval, so while it might take weeks to plan, the approval process can come same day, or at the longest, a week.
Why do I need a permit?
First and foremost, the safety of those living in the house, but there’s also a massive liability factor in doing unpermitted work. Your home is one of the most expensive investments you’ll ever make, and doing work that is not up to code is a major gamble for any homeowner. If you ever turn around and try to sell your home, you could take a serious beating on your asking price if the prospective buyer sees that they’ll have to do anything to bring it up to code.
Do it right, the first time.
Building permits are a big part of our job, and we have years of experience in making sure that the right care and procedure is taken on each and every project. If you have questions about the permitting process, by all means give us a call. We can let you know fairly quickly if your plan needs city approval.
Lastly, if you’re talking to a general contractor and they aren’t able to answer your questions about permitting, you may want to think about a new professional. Any responsible builder should also know this process inside and out.
Do you have a question about the renovation process, or are you in need of a how-to tip? Drop us a line here, or follow us on Facebook or Instagram and we’ll do our best to answer your question in a future blog or video.
If you’ve been dreaming of refreshing your home, chances are it might be easier to make happen than you think. We’re always ready to talk about a project, so don’t hesitate to book your free consultation today.