Accessory buildings are a great addition to any property, but they can also be a point of frustration when completing your Real Property Report.

If you have ever thought of adding a small shed or outdoor structure to your property, then you’re not alone. Small sheds, gazebos, pergolas, greenhouses and other outdoor buildings can offer a great benefit to anyone’s back yard. These buildings often provide a great deal of functionality and enjoyment, not to mention protection from the weather. But did know that the City of Calgary has certain bylaws pertaining to the size and placement of these structures?

If your accessory building does not meet the current City of Calgary bylaws, then it could spell trouble for you when it comes time to submit your RPR for a compliance stamp. The City of Calgary classifies sheds, gazebos, pergolas and any object of this nature that is over 10sqm in size as an accessory building. Much like any other structure on a property, accessory buildings have bylaws that are required to be followed.


Is it under 10sqm in size?

The first bylaw looks at the size of the accessory building. Measuring one side and multiplying by the other will give you the total square meters or feet of the building. If the accessory building falls under 10 sqm in size, and it’s not sitting in a Right-of-Way, then the City does not have any bylaws in place as to where it can be placed on property. Find out more about Right-of-Ways located on your property here.


Is the accessory building over 10sqm?

Accessory buildings that measure over 10sqm in size come under the following set of bylaws.

  1. Must be a least 1 meter in distance from the main dwelling or garage.
  2. Must be 0.60m from the side and rear property lines. In other words, you cannot place accessory buildings that are over 10sqm on your property lines.
  3. Must have maintenance free siding. If the siding on the accessory building is maintenance free, then it can be placed up to the side property line, but not the rear property line. 0.60m is still the required distance to the rear property line.



The city classifies maintenance free siding as the following:

  1. Stucco
  2. Vinylsiding
  3. Hardi Board siding

Wood siding is not considered maintenance free.


It should also be noted that sheds and accessory buildings that are physically attached to the main dwelling will fall under the bylaws concerning the main dwelling, no matter what the size of the accessory building is. This often happens when a homeowner places a shed in the side yard between the house and the fence line. Accessory building that are in this area and are attached to the house will not receive a compliance stamp from the City of Calgary on their RPR.


The most common issues we see concerning Real Property Reports and accessory buildings are:

  1. The accessory building or shed is attached to the house and thus falls under the house bylaws.
  2. The accessary building is over 10sqm in size and sits too close to the house – less than the required 1.0m
  3. The accessory building is sitting in an Overland Drainage Right-of-Way. If you have a concrete drainage swale running through your property, then there is generally a Right-of-Way on either one or both sides of the swale. Small sheds and accessory buildings that are located within a Right-of-Way will be flagged at the City when the RPR goes for a compliance review.



If you have an accessory building on your property and you would like to make certain that it falls under the City of Calgary bylaws before you complete your Real Property Report, then give us a call (403-277-1272) or drop us an email at We have seen just about every issue involving accessory buildings and Real Property Reports and would be happy to help.


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