Basement Development (Finishing)

Turn your basement into a comfortable living space.

You must first take your plans to the Planning and Development Branch for approval and obtain both building and development permits. As long as you don't make any structural changes, some interior renovations and routine maintenance, such as painting walls or installing new cabinets, do not require development permits.

If you are developing your basement, it's always a good idea to consult with Planning & Development before you begin.

Once your development permit has been approved, a building inspector will review your application to ensure compliance with the Alberta Building Code. You will be issued a building permit if your drawings have all the information required. It is your responsibility to ensure that construction complies with the Alberta Building Code. Detailed drawings may be required by the inspector, depending on the renovations proposed.


Inspection of the basement must be requested at the following stages:

  • Prior to installation of drywall/interior finishes.

Structural Changes

Where the foundation wall, floor structure or other supporting elements are modified, detailed information must be provided to confirm acceptable methods are used. The services of a professional engineer may be required in some cases.

Minimum Door Sizes Required:

  • Entry to basement 32” x 78”
    (810mm x 1980mm)
  • Furnace room 32” x 78”
    (810mm x 1980mm)
  • Bedroom 30” x 78”
    (760mm x 1980mm)
  • Bathroom 24” x 78”
    (610mm x 1980mm)

Smoke Alarms & CO Alarms

A smoke alarm is required on each floor level. Where bedrooms are developed, a smoke alarm must be located inside the bedroom and outside the bedroom within 5m (16 ft.) of the bedroom door, measured following corridors and doorways. Smoke alarms shall be installed on or near the ceiling.

Smoke alarms shall be installed with permanent connections to an electrical circuit and shall have no disconnect switch between the overcurrent device and the smoke alarm. Smoke alarms must have battery backup.

A carbon monoxide alarm conforming to CSA-6.19 must be installed inside or within 5m (16ft.) of the bedroom door(s) and be mechanically fixed at a height recommended by the manufacturer. Carbon monoxide alarms must be connected to the dwelling electrical system.


Opening windows are required in bedrooms to provide natural ventilation and a suitable means of exiting in an emergency. They must be openable from the inside without the use of tools or special knowledge. The minimum unobstructed opening area shall not be less than 3.77 sq.ft. (540 with no dimension less than 15”. Where window wells are required, they must provide a minimum 30” clearance from the opening window.

Other Required Permits

For Plumbing, Gas and Electrical Permits call 780-418-6601.

For further information regarding permit applications and the Alberta building regulations, please contact Building Inspection Services at 780-418-6601.

Application Checklist

To receive a timely decision on your application, please ensure that your application is clear, legible and accurate. If any part of your application is missing, unreadable or inaccurate, your application will be deemed incomplete, and a decision will not be rendered.

Your application must include

  1. Download and Complete the:
    Building / Development Permit Application Form
  2. Fees = $158.50, including:
    • Development permit - $73.00
    • Building permit deposit - $81.00
    • Safety code fee - $4.50
  3. Two (2) copies of scaled floor plan showing:
    • Labelled rooms;
    • Room dimensions;
    • Window location;
    • Ceiling heights;
    • Location of the smoke alarm.

* Please note that rates may change without notice.

A building inspector may request additional drawings. So, it's always a good idea to consult with Planning and Development before you begin work.


Applying for a Basement Development (Finishing) Brochure

Development Applications & Forms


Related Pages

Last edited: December 23, 2021