Detached Garages & Sheds

Before you begin building a detached garage, shed or similar type of structure, find out what permits you may require, and learn what regulations you'll need to follow.

What is an accessory building?

Your home is considered the primary building on your property, anything else constructed is considered an accessory building or structure. 

This could include:

  • Detached garages
  • Sheds
  • Gazebos
  • Workshops
  • Greenhouses
  • Pergolas
  • Arbours
  • Carports
What are the regulations?

When planning to build a detached garage, or other type of accessory structure on your property, consider the placement, height, and size of the structure, to ensure it complies with the regulations below:

These regulations apply to the majority of properties. Some exceptions may exist.

Placement

  • Cannot be located over a gas line
  • Make sure to call Alberta One-Call
  • May not be located in a front yard
  • The minimum distance from a side property line is 0.90 m (3’)
    • Corner properties may vary
  • The distance from a rear property line varies for each property – see images

Size

  • The total site coverage of all buildings can range from 40-45 per cent of the lot for most properties. You can find the maximum site coverage of your zone in The City's Land Use Bylaw
  • The maximum width of a detached garage or similar structure is 2/3 the width of the lot
  • Here are some example calculations for reference Site Coverage Calculation Example (pdf)

Height

  • The maximum height is 4.5 m (14’9”) and one storey
  • Height is measured from grade to peak
  • If the grade is sloped, then the average height is used
Do I need permits?

A Development Permit and a Building Permit are required for accessory buildings that are: 

  • Greater than 10m2 (107 sq.ft.); or
  • Less than 10m2 (107 sq.ft.), but over 2.8m (9 ft.) high

If the accessory structure is smaller than the criteria above, permits are not required, but must still comply with the placement on the property, of being a minimum distance of 0.9m (3') from the side and rear property lines.

Explanation of Permits

Learn about the different criteria that we review before issuing a Development Permit and a Building Permit. 

Development Permit

A Development Permit is required to ensure that the structure you are proposing to build on your property complies with the Land Use Bylaw in regards to placement, size and height. 

Can I build larger than what the bylaw allows?

As part of your Development Permit application, you can request a variance to any of the Land Use Bylaw regulations. You will explain why you are asking for the variance, and what makes your site unique that a variance should be considered.

How long does it take to process?

Note: During building season (April 1 - October 31), processing times may take longer, due to the number of applications that are submitted during this time.

In most cases, it will take 5-7 business days for review and decision. Depending on the size or location of the proposed building, consultation with neighbouring landowners may be required. If this is the case for your build, the timeline for review is extended by approximately three weeks.

Also important to note, if your project requires a variance to regulations in the Land Use Bylaw, there is a 21-day appeal period before the permit can be issued, if approved.

What are the fees?

Please refer to 'Schedule A' of the Development Permit Fee Bylaw to find the fees associated with the Development Permit.

Building Permit

A Building Permit is required to review the safety components of constructing a detached garage or similar structure, ensuring it is constructed correctly and is safe for you to use.

How long does it take to process?

Note: During building season (April 1 - October 31), processing times may take longer, due to the number of applications that are submitted during this time.

In most cases, it will take 7-10 business days to review and issue. The Building Permit cannot be issued until the Development Permit has been issued. 

What are the fees?

Please refer to 'Schedule A' of the Safety Codes Permit Bylaw to find the fees associated with a Building Permit for garages and carports.

Permit Application Process

Check out what is included with each step of the process, from submitting your applications to beginning construction.

Step 1: Submit your applications

Who can apply?

A home owner or licensed contractor can submit a permit application for a detached garage or similar structure. If you are not the owner of the property, you will need to include a Letter of Authorization (pdf) with the application package.

If you are a contractor requiring a City of Red Deer Business Licence, please visit our Licensing page before submitting your permit application.

How do I apply?

  1. Submit a fully completed Development Permit and Building Permit application package, including all spaces filled out on each application form, and providing all items on the respective requirement lists. A complete application package allows us to start your file.
  2. Once you have the complete Development Permit and Building Permit application packages, email it to inspections@reddeer.ca.

Required Forms

Development Permit Application - Accessory Building (pdf)
Building Permit Application - Accessory Building (pdf)
Letter of Intent (pdf)

If you are unsure of anything on the application requirement list, we have provided example applications to help you out!

Step 2: Processing Your Applications

Once we receive your complete permit applications, the Development Officer and the Building Safety Codes Officer will conduct a review of the permits, ensuring the proposed accessory building complies with the Land Use Bylaw and the Safety Codes Act, respectively.

You will receive email notifications throughout the application process, including:

  • If we need more information;
  • When payment is required;
  • When the permit is issued.

Good to know info...

Did you know that some email servers will block City of Red Deer emails? These emails will often end up in your junk/spam mail folder! Please add @reddeer.ca as an allowable sender to make sure you are receiving our emails.

Step 3: Sub-Trades Permits

Are you putting lights and outlets, heat or plumbing into your accessory building? You will need additional permits to do this work.

  • Electrical - for wiring outlets and lights or sub-panel
  • Heating - for heating devices, such as a wood stove (solid fuel appliance)
  • Gas - for gas appliances, such as a unit heater, radiant heater, furnace or a boiler
  • Plumbing - for floor drains, sinks, showers, wash stations, etc.

Who can apply?

Homeowners:

The City of Red Deer allows homeowners to obtain permits; however, if you have no previous knowledge or experience with these installations, you should engage the services of a licensed contractor to apply for the required permits and complete the work.

There are a few exceptions:

  • Gas permits may only be obtained by a licensed gasfitter
  • Heating permits may only be obtained by a licensed heating contractor
  • Homeowners cannot obtain an Electrical Permit for the following work:
    • hot tubs or pools
    • main service or panel changes
    • duplex, townhouse or any unit with a shared wall
    • secondary suites
    • solar panels
    • rental properties
    • electrical car charging stations

Contractors:

Contractors applying for permits require a valid City of Red Deer Business Licence. Please visit our Licensing page should you require a new or renewed licence prior to applying for your permit.

How do I apply?

Homeowners and contractors can apply online using MyPermits, or submit an application form via email to inspections@reddeer.ca.

 

Step 4: Site Inspections

What inspections will I need?

The required inspections will be determined when the Safety Codes Officer reviews your application, and will be listed on the Safety Codes Building Permit when it is approved and issued. Typically, only a framing inspection is required on a detached garage or similar structure.

If you've obtained any sub-trade permits, you may need two inspections during the course of the respective permit. 

  1. A rough-in inspection before concealing any work
  2. A final inspection once everything is complete

If you obtain multiple sub-trades permits, these inspections will apply to each permit type.

When can I schedule an inspection?

Once your Safety Codes Building Permit has been approved and issued, you will receive an email with instructions of how to schedule an inspection.

How do I know the outcome of my inspection(s)?

You will receive an email notification informing you of the outcome of each inspection.

Questions?

Email: inspections@reddeer.ca
Phone: 403-342-8190