It's Not As Scary As You Think

Planning a renovation can feel like an overwhelming process and there are companies that want to try to capitalize on that, we are not that type of company.  Seven Designs success is built on its education in the construction, design and permitting processes.  We truly believe education is key and that educating contractors and homeowners about the project they are starting always creates a smoother design process.  This section is here to help you find the relevant information you need surrounding a variety of projects in Calgary. 

 

 General information surrounding all renovation and home improvement projects in Calgary

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An interactive map that lets you see information about your lot including your Land-Use District, historical permits, Community Association contact, Ward contact as well as relevant City policies that affect your property.

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The Land-Use Bylaw is the guide that details all of the municipal rules (Bylaws) your project needs to meet - it is a large document, but do not let that discourage you from taking a look.  Below is a quick guide to the sections that are relevant to residential developments.

Part 5 - Low Density Residential Districts

Part 5 is where you will find the majority of information surrounding the bylaws that affect residential districts.

Part 5, Division 1 - General Rules

Division 1 breaks down all of the common bylaws that are the same in all residential districts.  This is where you can find bylaws about decks, garages (accessory buildings), additions, etc. 

Part 5, Division 2 - Division 12 - Residential Districts

If you know your specific district, these divisions are where you will find information relating directly to your property including setbacks, heights and parcel coverage to name a few.  To find your district you can call the City of Calgary (403.268.5311) or you can click the My Property link above and enter your address.

 
 

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The Alberta Building Code is the guide that details all of the rules (Building Codes) your project needs to meet.  Like the land-use bylaw, anyone can get access to this document (follow the link above), but, if you are not familiar with it we strongly recommend you contact a professional to help.

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Hiring a contractor is a big decision and something that needs to be taken seriously.  We have seen it all too often where homeowners are taken advantage of, the truth is, there are only a few key steps you need to take to ensure you are making a confident and educated decision on who will be working on your project.  The above link takes you to the City of Calgary website where you can find additional information, below are a few quick things you should know and should confirm with any builder you are looking to hire:

Business License, Business ID Number (Required)

All contractors require a business license, and if they have a valid business license they have a BID. The BID is not a Corporate Registration Number or a Business Number / GST Number.  It is an approval given to each company from the City of Calgary that allows them to perform work within City limits.  Make Sure Your Builder Has This - and confirm the number with the City!

Provincial License (Optional)

This is a big one, if a contractor is asking for payments (partial or in full) prior to all of the work being completed then they need to be registered with the Government of Alberta.  Basically, if your builder is asking for a deposit or progress payments they need to also have a provincial license.  You can verify by contacting the Consumer Contact Centre at 1-877-427-4088 or visit Service Alberta.

Ask For References

Should go without saying, but you would be surprised how often this is overlooked.  Get references, real references that you personally contact.  Do not simply rely on website reviews, ask for the addresses and contact information of their past clients that they completed a similar project on.  You can then do a simply drive by to see the completed work as well as talk to other homeowners that have worked with your potential builder.