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Building Regulations to Consider when Building a New Home or Adding a Home Addition in Calgary, AB


When planning your dream home build or considering a home renovation it’s easy to incorporate and involve your creative mind and imagination to it. As you consider a suitable architectural engineer, interior designer or contractor, the possibilities are endless and exciting. However, it’s important that your feet stay grounded to ensure the best outcome.


With planning home addition renovations, remodeling or a new home build its important to stay updated on everything from the housing market and trending products, to rules, regulations and restrictions. While some may be aware of the specific building regulations that are required for the project they are planning, many are not. Don’t let the process of permits and planning hinder your home improvements. Kay2 Contracting can assist you with this intricate process and beyond to execution. Our supportive and award-winning team is experienced with first-hand knowledge and can help you in understanding the building processes and regulations required in your area.

General Building Regulations to Consider While Building a House in Calgary

The first step when planning a home addition or new home build is to educate yourself with fundamental building codes and regulations of your municipality. Here are a few small aspects for your assistance:

  • Approval of The Lot

Having ownership over a lot or parcel of land does not mean you can build any structure you desire on it. Additionally, bylaws and building codes can and do change over the long run, so the presence of a current structure on a lot does not mean it is there legitimately. However, property records are accessible to anybody and at first glance you will have an idea of what is permissible on your land based off of its zoning.


  • Zoning

The requirement for a Development Permit is not because of Code; it’s because of Bylaw and Zoning restrictions. Therefore, it is important to have a sound knowledge of what your zoning means. The bylaws of zoning cover information like what type of building is allowed on the land or how the land can be utilized. For example, an R-1 lot is a Residential One Dwelling District (R-1) and an R-2 lot is a Residential One / Two Dwelling District (R-2). R-1 lots are a residential designation in developing areas that is primarily for single detached homes while R-2 lots are a residential designation in developing areas that is primarily for single detached, side-by-side and duplex homes. Single detached and side-by-side homes may include a secondary suite in Calgary. 

The information about zoning is accessible to the public. Go online or contact your municipality’s zoning office to get the data identifying your parcel’s zoning to ensure there are no limitations that would keep you from building what you’re planning. However, in many cases, a lot can be rezoned through a redesignation or has discretionary uses that can be applied for.  A redesignation changes the land use district of a property to allow for a development that is currently not allowed. When things get tricky, it’s best to use a professional to assist you.  

  • Lot Coverage

While many different aspects of municipal bylaws will affect the layout of your design, one major aspect is the parcel coverage. Your municipality will outline the maximum space that your dwellings can cover and therefore can directly affect the size of your new home build or home addition in Calgary. For example, the maximum parcel coverage for an R-1 lot is 45.0 per cent of the area of a parcel, which percentage may need to be reduced to accommodate parking areas. R-2 lots have a maximum parcel coverage of 45.0 percent or, unless otherwise specified, a Semi-detached Dwelling or Duplex Dwelling is 50.0 per cent of the area of a parcel. Again, with R-2 lots the percentage may need to be reduced to accommodate parking areas.

There is no general building code for the size or structure of a home addition in Calgary. Development Permits and Building Permits are all based on the local municipality having jurisdiction. Therefore, it’s depends on what city you are in, and every city is different. If you are not comfortable with the building code or unsure if the rules – hire a professional like Kay2 Contracting. Whether you live in Edmonton, Canmore, Banff or Calgary and surrounding areas, our team of experienced and highly qualified contractors, architectural engineers and designers can conveniently help you with every aspect of your home build or home renovation. From planning and permits to design and construction, contact us today for a free no-obligation consultation.

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