• Home
  • Interior renovations & finishing your basement

    Finishing a home basement or completing other interior renovation work is a popular way to upgrade a home and potentially add to its value. It is important to obtain permits to ensure safety, to avoid re-doing work in order to fix deficiencies and to prevent problems with selling your home in the future. The information on this page will help guide you through your project.

    Residential additions: 
    If you intend to increase the square footage of your home by building an addition onto an exterior wall, visit Additions.

    Secondary suites: If you intend to create or renovate a secondary suite (i.e., basement suite), regulations are different. For information, visit Secondary suites.

    Home-based businesses: If you intend to do renovations related to a home-based business, there are additional considerations. For information, visit Home-based businesses.

    Call us: 780-349-4444
    Email us: planning@westlock.ca
    In-Person: 10003-106 Street, Westlock, AB

    The scope of work being done will determine what permits you require. To apply, see How to apply, below.

    When is a Development Permit required?

    A Development Permit is required for interior renovations when:

    • Your proposed renovation involves an increase to the gross floor area (an addition), or
    • Your proposed renovation is to add or modify a secondary suite in the home, or
    • Your proposed renovation is related to a home-based business.

    When is a Building Permit required?

    A Building Permit is always required for any new development or alteration/renovation to existing development unless the project involves only:

    • Cosmetic changes such as painting, decorating, patching drywall and other similar minor repairs of interior finishes, or
    • Replacement of interior cabinetry (provided that regulated clearances are maintained from stoves), or
    • Floor finishing (carpet, vinyl, tile, hardwood), as long as the structural elements of the floor are not altered or
    • Replacement of doors or windows providing that their size and location does not change

    What other permits/approvals are required?

    Other permits (below) will be required if the interior renovation will involve specific considerations:

    • Electrical Permit: Required for installing or modifying electrical systems, including moving lights or outlets.
    • Gas Permit: Required for installing, modifying or adding to any gas system.
    • Plumbing Permit: Required for installing or modifying plumbing systems or any plumbing equipment.
      NOTE: A plumbing permit is not required for the replacement of existing plumbing fixtures.

    Do it yourself

    As a homeowner, you are able to apply for permits for plumbing, electrical, gas and mechanical work. To apply for any of these  permits, all of the following conditions must be met:

    • You must be doing the work yourself.
    • You must own and reside in the Single Family Dwelling where the work is being performed.
    • You must be capable of performing the work in accordance with the Safety Codes Act.
    • It must be a Single-Family Dwelling (not a condo building, house with a secondary suite, etc.)

    Risks when a permit is not obtained

    If you, as a homeowner or contractor, do not have permits for work that has been started or completed, there could be consequences if you do not take action to correct the situation, such as:

    • Enforcement action issued by the Town or a Safety Codes Officer.
    • A fine for building without a permit.
    • Having to undo work that has been completed.
    • Future legal and financial issues when selling your property or making an insurance claim.
    • Having to do more work than was originally planned and budgeted, to fix deficiencies.
    • Potential liability to you, the homeowner, in the event of an accident.

    NOTE: As a homeowner, you are responsible for paying any penalties, even if you hired a contractor who assured you that permits were not required. For more information, see Hiring a contractor.

    What if I am not the property owner?

    If you are not the owner of the property, then you must get the owner's consent to apply for any changes. Info below: How to apply.

    A Development Permit covers the what and where a development may proceed. It approves what type of development is allowed on a particular property, taking into account land use and setback issues of the Town’s Land Use Bylaw.

    A Building Permit covers how it is built. It allows the construction/demolition of structures contingent on meeting the requirements of the Alberta Building Code.

    Submit an application for each permit, along with other relevant documents, to Planning & Development Services (contact info below).

    1 - Determine which applications you need.
    (See What permits do I need, above). You can then download checklists and forms (below) and complete them.

    NOTE:  Building Permits must be applied for and approved prior to safety codes permit applications.  

    Building Permits & Checklists

    Building Permit Application Package

    Safety Codes Permits

    Electrical Permit Application

    Gas Permit Application

    Plumbing Permit Application

    2 - Have drawings ready:

    • Floor Plan – show dimensions/uses of rooms, locations of windows & doors

    Download or view the Sample Basement Plan PDF.

    3 – Apply with all the required documentation. 

    Application methods:

    In-Person or by Mail to:

    Planning & Development Services
    Town of Westlock
    10003-106 Street
    Westlock, AB  T7P 2K3

     Email to: planning@westlock.ca 

    Payment methods:
    After your application is received and processed, you will be notified by email or phone of the application fee(s). See our Fee Schedule for our current permit fees.


    • Credit card (Visa or MasterCard)
    • E-transfer to finance@westlock.ca (please include "Permit" in the Notes field)


    • Debit
    • Cash
    • Cheque
    • Credit Card (Visa or MasterCard or Amex)

    Mail payment:

    • Cheque

    What if I am not the property owner?

    If you are not the owner of the property, then you must get the owner's consent to apply for any permits.  The Town accepts the following forms of owner authorization:

    • Signature on Development Permit application
    • Letter of consent from Property Owner

    How long will it take to obtain my permits?

    Timelines vary based on the type of application as well as our current application volumes.  Give yourself as much time as possible to complete the permit process prior to your preferred construction start date in case of any complications or revisions required.   

    Inspections for all building and safety codes permits are performed by the Town’s Safety Codes contractor, Superior Safety Codes.

    Inspections can be booked by phoning Superior Safety Codes at 780-489-4777.

    When phoning please have your permit number handy.