Peace of Mind With the Right Contractor

What Is Considered A Secondary Suite?

A secondary suite is a great way to turn extra space in your home, usually a basement, but sometimes a backyard unit, into a self-contained suite with all the amenities one needs to call it home. Renting is usually the primary motivator for those looking to turn a spacious basement or outdoor, backyard garage into a revenue stream. But what makes a secondary suite independent enough to rent out to a tenant?

Secondary Suite Building Code

The reason most people ask “what is a secondary suite” is because depending on where you live and a few other factors, building a secondary suite in your home might be illegal! Building something that’s not up to code could present more than just legal problems. It could drastically undermine the market value of your home. But there’s good news on that front, recently. There’s now a process to legalize secondary suites that were developed without official authorization.

Wondering, what are the building codes for secondary suites in Calgary, or Alberta, more broadly? The long and short of it is that the secondary suite needs to be an independent home, with independent amenities, specifically.

What makes a Secondary Suite Recognized in Calgary?

The legality of a secondary suite is one thing, but what really makes a secondary suite are the practicalities of it. Similarly, while building codes are one thing, the most common thing we see when we transform a basement development into a secondary suite is the “independence” of the unit. Some units are developed without authorization, but they have many separate utilities because the marketability of the rental unit demands it!

Getting your unit up to city code requires some coordination and research, but in the end, it’ll be worth it. At the end of the day, these regulations are mostly about safety. Much of the code is designed around making sure a tenant renting your basement can be reached by emergency services and that a comprehensive set of separate utilities can safely supply both addresses in the house.

That means making plumbing, electricity, and HVAC upgrades to your home. Sometimes, we have to remodel to ensure garage access is sufficiently separated. There’s a lot that goes into making a secondary suite work but hiring a company with experience makes a difference. Not only can we make a suite that’s up to code, but we can make one that tenants will love to live in!

With over 25 years of experience at Calgary Home Renovations by Aspire, we provide professionalism, quality workmanship and attention to detail that will ensure our clients are 100% satisfied with their Calgary home renovations. Our services include Calgary kitchen renovations, bathroom renovations, basement renovations and development, home additions, and garage additions. Contact us today by visiting our website or calling us at (403) 796-4044!

Leave a Comment