What to know about building a fence in Calgary

Summer is finally here, Calgary, and you’re going to want to spend as much time outside as you possibly can. However, you sit in the backyard and can’t help but stare at that old, ugly fence you’ve been meaning to replace for years. Naturally, you want to tear down that old eyesore and put up a beautiful new fence that will give you the privacy you want without ruining the atmosphere of your perfectly curated backyard. Here are a few things to keep in mind when building a fence in Calgary.

The first thing to consider is whether or not you will need a permit. You will NOT need a permit if:

  • It’s no higher than two meters at the rear of the yard.
  • It’s no higher than 1.2 meters in the front yard.
  • It’s no higher than 0.75 meters inside a corner visibility triangle.
  • The gate is no higher than 2.5 meters.

In most situations, you will not need a building permit for a new fence. However, if your fence is higher than any of the height restrictions listed above, you will need to apply for one.

If you want to build a retaining wall or garden boxes, you won’t need a permit if:

  • It’s not retaining more than 1.2 meters of soil.
  • The combined height of the wall and boxes within 1 meter of each other do not go above 1.2 meters.

Retaining walls and garden boxes rarely need permits, but if your design does not meet the land use bylaws or goes above the specifications, you will need to be granted a building permit before you can begin.

Skateboarding is a growing sport, and many people are starting to put up ramps in their yards. If you stay within these parameters, you will not need a permit:

  • Less than 1.5 meters high, five meters wide and six meters long.
  • It’s in a residential backyard.
  • It’s 1.2 meters from property lines.
  • It is not attached to any other structures.

Applying for a permit, if one is needed, is all done online. Head over to the City of Calgary webpage on fences and retaining walls so you can run through the application checklist to see if you require a permit or not. If you do require a permit, prepare your application and follow the link on the website to apply. You will also need to book an inspection to ensure everything is built to code. Last but not least, when digging new fence posts, be sure to call 1-800-242-3447 before you dig to be sure you don’t hit any underground lines or pipes.

In no time, you’ll be happy to spend time in your yard without worrying about those nosey neighbours or staring at that old eyesore. Start planning your fence now so that you can build and enjoy it while our summer lasts.