Everything You Need to Know When Planning a Basement Development in Calgary
Although the sun still shines here at the tail end of summer, no Calgarian can ever fully forget the fact that winter is coming. Cold weather largely calls a close to outdoor activities, and once again the house starts to feel confining. Those long, dark months makes a person wish their house was just a little bit bigger. If only there were one more room to spread out into.
Cue your basement.
That desolate room used to store your winter gear in the summer and your summer gear in the winter could be so much more. It’s a good thing you thought of this while the weather is still warm so that come snow season, you can be watching movies from your projector in your cozy basement hideaway.
But what about all the regulations and permits and such?
Worry not! Alberta, and more specifically Calgary, does the best it can to make the information, forms, and inspectors easily accessible for those who are planning their own basement development.
First of all, remember to do the paperwork before you do any construction. It can be done afterwards, but it saves a lot of effort to do things in the proper order. That being said, you’re going to be getting to know some of the Alberta Building Code as well as the Land Use Bylaw. Think of the Land Use Bylaw as the key to interpreting the Alberta Building Code in Calgary.
When your house was built, the Alberta Building Code made sure it was safe for habitation before it was allowed to be sold. Now, these laws ensure that anything an owner does to a house doesn’t compromise its basic safety tenets.
You can find downloadable pdf versions of all Calgary permit applications here.
Basically, you need to have plans for rooms, windows, doors, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, and structural changes. Unless you have expert knowledge of contracting, you’ll at least want a consultation by professionals who know how to do those things safely and legally. If you’re planning on making exterior changes, you’ll need a Development Permit along with a Building Permit, but if it’s all interior changes, you most likely only need the Building Permit.
In addition, to pass inspections, the Land Use Bylaw specifies certain requirements about several aspects that you may or may not be including in your Basement Development project. New windows and new basement entries to the outside have size requirements, and new projects require meeting energy efficiency standards. There are also extra standards in place for engine or mechanical rooms and kitchens or wetbars. Concealed wiring and plumbing also require their own permits. Here you can check all of these basement finishing requirements. Also, don’t forget about insulation, because, as mentioned before, winter is coming.
After these plans are drawn up and submitted, you can start your basement development. As you do, though, you need to get inspections on each individual aspect of the job (plumbing, electrical, etc.) It is imperative that you stay on top of these inspections! You don’t want to find yourself tearing out excellent craftsmanship just to fix a minor problem six steps back. Here you can request an inspection inspection.
Still with me? If all of this seems overwhelming, you can hire somebody to translate your artistic visions into reality, or even to write some artistic visions for you! Alliance is certified by the province of Alberta to take care of each of these steps, and they guarantee to meet their deadlines. Enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labor, why don’t you?
You can check out some of our Calgary Basement Development work here.
Call Alliance for a consultation today at (403) 228-2000.
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