Do I Need a Building Permit? Decks: Any uncovered horizontal structure less than 0.6 m above the ground is considered a patio and does not require a building permit. Anything higher than 0.6m from the ground is considered a deck and requires a building permit. Covered porches and decks (including attached pergolas): A pergola or roof structure that is attached to your house is considered an addition and requires a permit. Any sort of roof structure that is detached from the house is considered an accessory residential building. If it is under 10 m² in area typically you do not require a building permit. Fences: A building permit is not required to construct a fence on a residential property. Retaining Walls: A building permit and engineer involvement will be required when the structure is holding 1.2 m (4ft) of soil.
Why Get A Permit? Permits and inspections are safeguards put in place to protect the homeowner, against fly-by-night contractors who do shoddy work and don't follow the permit process, and the contractor. As a homeowner, you are responsible for paying any penalties, even if you hired a contractor who assured you permits were not needed. If you, as a homeowner, do not have permits for work that has been started or completed, there could be consequences if you do not take action to correct the situation, such as:
Enforcement action issued by a City inspector.
A fine for building without a permit.
Having to undo work that has been completed.
Future legal and financial issues when selling your property or making an insurance claim.
Having to do more work than was originally planned and budgeted.
Why Use A Licensed Contractor Like Gateway Outdoor Living? A contractor with a valid City of Calgary license is able to obtain permits on your behalf. Also, you can be assured that a licensed contractor does not have a criminal record.
Is a Written Contract Necessary? A written contract protects the customer and the contractor, and eliminates mis-understandings by clarifying the scope of work, price, payment terms, schedule, etc. Without a written contract, the customer has no protection against faulty workmanship and assumes all liability for injuries and damage that occurs on site.
Is a Cash Deal Available? No! A cash contractor is avoiding paying income tax and GST, which means you and I are subsidizing his existence. If he's dishonest about this aspect of his business, can you trust him with your project?
Is a Deposit Required? No. Contractors requesting pre-payments or progress payment for work must be licensed with the Government of Alberta as a pre-paid contractor. For more info go to www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/ Gateway Outdoor Living is not a pre-paid contractor.