Builder licensing engagement

Albertans provided input on a builder licensing program designed to strengthen consumer protection in residential home construction.

Status: Concluded Mar 2017
Ministry responsible: Municipal Affairs

Overview

This engagement helped determine the best approach for developing a builder licensing program for Alberta's residential construction and renovation industry.

Builder licensing could require builders to demonstrate they are in good financial standing and have the competencies and skills to work in residential home construction. Combined with mandatory home warranties, builder licensing would improve builder accountability and residential construction quality.

Builder refers to individuals and companies who construct residential buildings, and could include aspects of renovations to homes and condominiums.

Goals of a builder licensing program

Licensing builders could help to prevent issues before they occur. In order to engage in residential home construction, builders may be required to maintain an active license to demonstrate they possess the competencies, skills, and financial health so as to not pose a significant risk to homebuyers.

Establishing a builder licensing program in Alberta may:

  • protect consumers by helping them make more informed decisions
  • give Albertans peace of mind that their home is being built to a safe standard
  • increase accountability for builders
  • improve the business practices of builders
  • improve builder competencies
  • increase the quality of residential construction
  • increase consumer protection in the homebuilding market
  • align Alberta with several other provinces across Canada

Public and stakeholder engagement

Focus groups and an online survey were open to the public until March 2017. The following groups were consulted during the engagement:

  • home owners and consumers
  • builders
  • renovators
  • architects and engineers
  • warranty providers
  • municipalities
  • trades unions
  • external government stakeholders
  • other provinces such as British Columbia that have builder licensing in place and can provide information on what worked well, and what challenges were encountered

More than 1,200 Albertans completed the online survey and 130 participants attended 11 engagement sessions across the province. In total, 78% of survey respondents were in favour of government exploring options for licensing builders.

The feedback from the stakeholder engagement has been compiled into a What We Heard (1.6 MB) document and will inform the development of an effective builder licensing program in Alberta.

Outcomes

Feedback from this engagement was used to inform legislation to establish a builder licensing program.

Under the program, residential builders will require a licence to build homes and secure warranty coverage starting Dec 1, 2017.

Contact

builderlicensing@gov.ab.ca
1-866-421-6929