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What makes a basement legal in Calgary?

Updated: Mar 5

Thinking of renovating your basement in Calgary? Before you start, it's crucial to understand what makes a basement legal in the city. Here's a quick rundown:

  1. Building Permits: Obtain permits for structural, electrical, and plumbing work to ensure compliance with building codes.

  2. Ceiling Height: Ensure habitable rooms have a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet 11 inches (2.1 meters) to meet building standards.

  3. Egress Windows: Install proper egress windows in bedrooms and living spaces for safe exits during emergencies.

  4. Electrical and Plumbing: Hire licensed professionals to handle electrical and plumbing work to meet safety regulations.

  5. Fire Safety: Adhere to fire safety regulations by installing smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire-resistant materials.

  6. Separate Heat Source: Consider installing a separate heat source for the basement to meet comfort and safety standards.

  7. Inspections: Schedule inspections with the City of Calgary throughout the renovation process to verify compliance.

  8. Secondary Suites: If creating a legal secondary suite, obtain permits and follow zoning bylaws and safety standards.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure your basement renovation meets legal requirements and enhances your home's value and safety in Calgary.

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