Calgary’s Costs That Will Affect Your Home Improvement Budget


Calgary is known as the Canadian gas and oil industry hub and one of the country’s cultural city. Its population of about 1.3 million residents makes it the third-largest municipality and Alberta’s largest city. 

The cost of living in this city is estimated at 69.85. This is below average and makes Calgary fall in line with other major cities like Vancouver and Toronto. The cost of buying or improving Calgary homes fluctuates depending on the performance of the economy. Over the last two years, house prices have been decreasing, though there has been a slight increase recently.

Here are some costs that may affect your home improvement budget if you’re living in Calgary.

Housing Costs

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Calgary’s housing market has experienced a 1.4% decrease. Currently, the average price of a home in this city is $411200. However, this trend is projected to change due to the increase in house prices. Home prices vary in communities around Calgary. For instance, in Chestermere, the estimated median list price for houses is $539000, while in Airdrie, it’s $361000. The median prices of home in Cochrane and Beiseker are $415000 and $263000 respectively.

Buying and improving a single-family detached house in Calgary may require your to use over $478000. On the other hand, if you intend to buy a condo and townhome, you’ll pay around $230000and $330000 respectively. 

The sale prices for houses in Calgary also differ depending on the neighborhood. The most popular areas (Whitehorn and Elboya) sell homes at $298000 and $517000 respectively. However, if you have more money to splash and want to buy a house in the expensive Bel Aire neighborhood, you may have to part with $2.5 million. Cliff Bungalow and Red Carpet neighborhoods are witnessing real estate activity slow down and sell their houses at about $450000 and $90000 respectively.

If you don’t have enough money to buy a house in Calgary, you can rent one. The price of renting studio apartments range between $700 and $1000 per month. Two-bedroomed apartments may cost you $800000 to $200000 monthly, depending on the square footage and location. If you have a big family and want to live in a three-bedroomed apartment, be prepared to pay about $1200 and $2800 monthly.

The rents in the North West and South West Calgary are higher than in other areas. The median rent of a Montgomery neighborhood house is estimated at $1220, while that of Brentwood is about $1420. 

Utility Costs

The utility costs in Canada, including heating, electricity, water, garbage, and cooling is about $200 if you’re living in a 915-square-foot apartment. If you live in a bigger house like a three-bedroomed townhome, your total monthly gas and electric bills will be about $350 during winter and $200 during the warmer months. In such homes, sewer, water, and waste collection costs can add up to $110 every month. 

The internet service charges in Calgary will cost you an estimated $60 a month. Most landline TV and internet packages are between $120 and $180 monthly. Mobile phone services for unlimited text, talk, and data may cost $100 per month.

Alberta is said to have the second-highest home insurance premium compared to the other provinces. That’s why its average homeowner’s insurance cost is about $1000 yearly. This is slightly higher than the average insurance premium of other insurance provinces in Canada, which cost about $840 annually. If you want to reside in Calgary or any Alberta neighborhood, you’ll pay an average renter’s insurance of $25 every month.

Food Costs

Research indicates that average homeowners in Calgary spend about $168 weekly on groceries alone. This is slightly low compared to what other Canadians spend. However, it’s projected that food prices may likely become expensive in the whole of Canada. 

Research shows that there may be an increase of up to 4% translating to $487 annually in the future. If this happens, groceries will compose about 33.3% of Calgary residents’ monthly expenditure. You’ll find some affordable grocery stores in Calgary such as No Frills, Giant Tiger, Walmart, Save on Foods, and Canadian Superstore. 

Restaurant Costs

The dining costs in Calgary vary depending on the restaurant you select. If you visit a fast-food restaurant to take a combo meal, you’ll pay around $10, while a basic lunch will cost about $17. Cappuccino lovers will pay about $4.25 days for a cup while cola drinkers will pay about $2 for a 12 oz. bottle. A bottle of water in this city will cost you about $1.55. 

Transportation Costs

Calgary’s vehicle insurance premiums vary depending on postal code, vehicle driven, age, driving record, and other factors. However, most insurances are about $105 per month. If you’d like to use public transportation, you can use trains and buses operated by Calgary Transit. This public transportation provider gives its services through 1224 vehicles. It operates $170 bus roots, 46 train stations, and boasts of a ridership of around 106.5 million trips.

Most city rides are about $3.5 for adults and $2.4 for kids aged between and 6 and 17. Children under five years aren’t charged. Day pass costs $8 for children and $11 for adults. If you opt to pay for it monthly, you’ll spend $79 for kids, and $109 for adults. The least amount you can pay an Uber in Calgary is about $5.95, while a 5-mile taxi ride will cost you about $18.

Healthcare Costs

The Alberta healthcare insurance plan publicly funds Alberta’s health care system. This plan covers essential doctor’s services, psychiatrist’s visits, oral and dental surgical health services, radiology and laboratory procedures, and maxillofacial surgery procedures. If this plan does not cover you, be ready to pay an upward cost of $100 for every doctor’s visit.

In Calgary, there’s one main pediatric acute care hospital and four leading adult critical care hospitals. The four hospitals have more than 2100 beds and 11500 employees. AHCIP doesn’t cover some routine dental expenses that may amount to $190 per checkup, and x-rays amounting to $40. 

Final Considerations

Although Calgary is considered an urban centre with rich Western history, art and culture, winter sports and festivals, its cost of living is 45% less expensive than other Canadian cities. Its economy is built on the gas and oil industry, though other factors that may affect your home improvement efforts include transportation, health, tourism, aerospace, manufacturing, technology, and logistics.