With spring finally appearing on the horizon, Calgary’s construction season will soon be kicking into high gear. Along with all the new homes breaking ground, contractors around Calgary will also be busy helping to undo the damage done by the June floods that struck the city.

With more than 2,600 buildings impacted as a result of the floods, the City has launched a safety campaign aimed at ensuring all the work is completed in proper fashion.

“We want to ensure property repairs and construction work is done safely and meets all safety codes and standards, resulting in a safe building,” notes Kevin Griffiths, chief building official, Development & Building Approvals. “Creating a safe property for our families, tenants or customers requires construction work to meet the standards and requirements of all applicable codes and City bylaws.”

As of February, City Safety Code officers have completed over 4,000 inspections, resulting in the approval of 168 building permits and 1,973 trade permits. However, the City anticipates an increase in construction activity this spring as Calgarians are now ready to put flood recovery plans into motion.

With such a flurry of activity, many Calgary property owners will be on the lookout for a reputable contractor. While the vast majority of contractors are legitimate business people, the demand for labour and expertise does provide an opportunity for dishonest individuals. To help ensure Calgarians don’t find themselves victims of fraud, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends taking steps to protect yourself.

“BBB would advise people to be careful about giving out deposits and any other form of upfront payment this time of year, as people are starting to book their spots to get
work done,” said BBB Marketing and Communications Coordinator Leah Brownridge. “We do not have a way of obtaining quantitative data surrounding deposit related disputes, but it’s a potential problem consumers could run into.”

The City is also hoping to remind property owners that have applied for the Government of Alberta’s Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) that the deadline to obtain permits is March 31, 2014. Property owners that have not obtained permits before this date may not be eligible for assistance from the DRP in the event of a 2014 flood. For more information contact the DRP office at 1-888-671-1111.