Edmonton Wants You! (to build a garage suite)
Summer is arriving in Edmonton, which always brings to mind projects around the house we’ve either been planning all winter or putting off for a few summers. Summer 2020 is different; however, thanks to some unforeseen circumstances, there is extra time to finally get to those projects.
This is a great time to be thinking about ways in which to add income to your bank accounts, and if you’re a homeowner, this may be the right time to consider adding a basement suite or garage suite to your property.
If you’re like me and live in an older neighbourhood, chances are you have a detached garage that could use an upgrade. If you live in a newer neighbourhood, maybe that unfinished basement can finally be put to good use.
The good news is, over the last three years, the City of Edmonton has been relaxing the rules around garage and basement suites to get more built around the City. And so far, it’s worked; since 2017, there have been over 200 new garage suites and nearly 2,000 new basement suites built!
The relaxation to the rules are:
- Any residential property that has a single-detached house, semi-detached (commonly referred to as a duplex) or townhouse on it is now allowed to have either a garage suite or a basement suite in addition to the primary residence
- Any residential property with a single-detached house on it can have BOTH a garage suite and a basement suite
- Minimum parking requirements for both the primary house and the garage or basement suite were reduced
- Garage suites can be bigger than before, up to 1400ft2
And this is just the beginning! The City is about to undergo a major overhaul to their development rulebook (the Zoning Bylaw 12800), which could bring additional relaxations to continue the positive momentum already created by previous amendments.
With more people taking advantage of the rule changes, there are now a plethora of builders and contractors that specialize in building garage and basement suites. In addition, organizations like the Infill Development in Edmonton Association (IDEA) and YEG Garden Suites now provide a wealth of support and resources to those interested in building suites on their property. Not to mention companies like Eins Consulting that specialize in getting through the design and permitting processes. It never has been easier to get a new suite in your home.
If you’ve been considering adding a garage or basement suite to your property, I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. Feel free to reach out by phone (780.298.4179) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).