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Do I Need a Building Permit?

A building permit is required for most forms of development within the Town.

The Land Use Bylaw outlines the types of development allowed in each land use district and the rules and regulations governing those uses. Not all proposed development requires a building permit.  Smaller accessory structures and decks may not require a building permit. Section 1.2.1 of the Land Use Bylaw outlines developments that do not require a building permit.

Considering making some changes to your home, please review the relevant information guidelines to determine whether you will require a building permit for your construction project.

Are you buying or selling a house? Building a deck, garage, shed or finishing your basement? Be sure you know when you need building permits. 

What is a Building Permit?

A Building Permit can be regarded as formal permission from the Town of Okotoks to begin construction, demolition, addition or renovation to a property.  The Safety Codes Officer must review the building plans to ensure that they comply with the Alberta Building CodeFire Code and Safety Codes Act, and the Land Use Bylaw, and other applicable regulations.

When You Need a Permit

Building permits are required for the construction, demolition, and alteration of any building in the Town of Okotoks. Some of the projects requiring a permit include:

  • Building a house or addition
  • Building a garage, shed,gazebo, accessory building etc.
  • Finishing a basement
  • Building a deck
  • Installing a pool
  • Installing a wood stove 
  • Furnace replacements

To confirm whether or not a project requires building permits, contact Safety Codes Services.

Next Step:  Development & Building Permits

When a Permit is Not Required

Building permits are not required for minor repairs and replacements that do not affect the structural integrity of a building. Some of the projects that do not require a permit include:

  • Re-insulating or adding insulation
  • Window or door replacement providing the opening is not enlarged
  • Repair or replacement of plumbing fixtures
  • Re-roofing, except where structural work is involved
  • Minor exterior repairs

To confirm whether or not a project requires building permits, contact Safety Codes Services.

Why are Permits Required?

The building permit process protects both the owner's interests and those of the community at large. It also helps to ensure that any structural change is safe. Failure to obtain proper Building Permits can result in costly construction delays, legal action and/or the removal of work already completed.

Alterations/Additions to Your Home

Applying for a Residential Accessory Building Permit when you are building a deck, shed, garage, installing a hot tub or finishing your basement comes with many benefits:

  • Protects your personal safety and your family’s safety by ensuring it meets safety standards.
  • Helps ensure you are covered by insurance. If a fire, or other damage to your property happens in an unpermitted area that does not meet safety code, it is possible it will not be covered by insurance. 
Selling a Home

When you prepare to sell your home, the realtor is likely to ask for permits for finished basements, hot tubs, sheds etc. Or, at a minimum, the realtor will make the buyer sign a waiver. If you need to get the permits in order to sell your house, there may be extra costs if you need to remove drywall so inspectors can see the wiring, plumbing etc.

Buying a Home

Buyer beware! Make sure you ask for permits on the home you are looking to buy. If you purchase it and then need to get permits, you may end up paying more and be responsible for deficiencies that need to be corrected after the inspection. 

Get your building permit to ensure your safety and avoid added costs later on. Visit okotoks.ca for further information or email safetycodes@okotoks.ca for any questions. 

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