Unique Options for Building Rental Properties & Suites: Secondary Suites, Basement Suites & Garage Suites 

Secondary suites are picking up in popularity in Edmonton. There are plenty of options, so whether it’s a guest house, rental property, or an in-law suite, you can easily add an affordable secondary suite to your current home. 


The Top 5 Benefits of Building a Suite on Your Property


Rental Opportunities 

Most people who choose to build a legal suite in Edmonton are looking for additional income from a rental property. If you have unused space on your property, you could use it to help pay for the cost of your home. In some cases, people building a suite on an existing rental property can easily double their income from that single property.


Extra Space

Creating a suite can help you make better use of the space you already have. If you have an undeveloped basement, why not turn that into a place that could be used for visitors, senior family members, or as a rental suite? 


Increased Property Value 

A legal secondary suite can increase the value of a property because it’s a built-in income generator. Homes with a basement suite instead of a finished basement will usually be appraised much higher.


More Housing Diversity in Edmonton

Housing diversity in our city is important. Secondary rental suites can help students, families, and seniors afford the cost of living in mature, desirable neighbourhoods. 


Tax Deductions & Living Expenses 

People with income from a rental property are eligible for additional tax benefits and incentives. Additionally, a rental suite can help pay for living and mortgage expenses, and could even help divide some of the work for yard maintenance between a landlord and tenant. You may also be eligible for grants and funding through the city. 


Choosing the Right Type of Suite for Your Home

According to the City of Edmonton, a secondary suite is “a separate dwelling located inside a single detached, semi-detached, duplex, or row house with its own cooking, sleeping and bathroom facilities, and utilities.” To be legal, the secondary suite needs to be approved with permits and inspected to ensure the proper health and safety requirements are met. 


A few suite requirements in Edmonton include: 

–       Doors and windows that allow access as fire exits

–       Interconnected smoke alarms between living spaces

–       Independent heating and ventilation systems


Garage Suites 

Garage suites are typically created over the existing garage or as an add-on beside the garage. Many garage suites are fairly new to Edmonton (they’ve only been legal since 2015) and there aren’t a lot being built each year. Recently though, there has been a slight increase in garage suites in the city, especially in high-income neighbourhoods. Check out our recent project, which included a fully self-contained one-bedroom garage suite above the detached garage.  


Basement Suites 

Basement suites are by far the most common secondary suite layouts in Edmonton, with plenty of rental accommodations being offered city-wide. Basement suites are common because they are so easy to create from an undeveloped basement. A few additions, including a separate kitchen and heating/ventilation system, are important for bringing the suite up to code. One of the most important requirements to keep in mind in a basement suite are emergency exits, including an exit window, which may require a bit of retrofitting.


Secondary Suites

Exterior secondary suites are also known as garden suites, laneway homes, or carriage houses as they are detached from the home, but located on the same property. Detached garage suites may also be considered as one of these. Secondary suites that are not attached to the primary home allow for more privacy and space, which is a desirable option for those planning on renting the suite out. 


How to Start

If you’ve been considering a secondary suite, the first step is to contact a qualified home building and renovations company in Edmonton. Be sure to connect with a company familiar with the zoning and bylaw regulations. 

At Homes by Tricolor, we are invested in helping homeowners get more out of their homes. From full kitchen and basement renovations to new secondary suites, our experienced home builders and renovators can help you from permit to finishings. 

Connect with Homes by Tricolor today to learn more about how to set up a secondary suite on your property.