Are you a property investor considering maximizing your passive income by turning the lower half of your property into a legal secondary suite? With the City of Edmonton’s newer regulations expanding the rules regarding the development of legal secondary suites, owners have a greater opportunity to explore property enhancement. While the prospect of renting out part of your home can seem promising, it’s important to enter into the process with a clear idea of the many pros and cons of developing a legal suite. Below are a few key points to keep in mind before moving forward with construction.

1. Do You Know The Legal Requirements?

There are plenty of renovation options that can help transform your lower level into a viable suite, but before you begin the process, it’s important to conduct a thorough evaluation of the whole property. Doing so will ensure your property adheres to all zoning and bylaw standards and identify what major areas need maintenance prior to construction. Depending on your budget, you may need to expand your timeline for completion.

2. Are You Prepared To Deal With The Realities Of Renting?

The unfortunate reality of renting out any space is that tenants are less likely to care for the space in the same way that you would. Expect to save a portion of your earnings to compensate for premature wear and tear to flooring, fixtures, as well as any other mishaps that may occur. Carmax will suggest cost effective & durable finishing products to minimize this issue.

3. Enhanced Design Needs

Designing and building a secondary suite has a unique set of requirements in order to comply with all relevant zoning and bylaws. Working with an experienced team like Carmax will make it easy to design a space that works well for the structure of your home, as well as plan for the future. Secondary suite specific renovations include:

  • Installation of egress windows for emergency exiting
  • Separate and private entrance
  • Common space areas (ie. stairwell, mechanical room & potential shared laundry room)
  • Interconnected smoke detectors
  • Fire barriers
  • Installation of a secondary heating source
  • Potential separate electrical services, and more.

4. Have The Long Term In Mind

Whether you’re hoping to resell your property in the near future, or are looking to create a longstanding source of revenue, it’s important to have a plan in mind when discussing renovations with your contractor.

Partnering with the right contractor can help you move forward with a secondary suite swiftly and safely, saving you time and money. With extensive experience in home renovations, commercial properties, and more, Carmax Consulting is here to help. Contact us today to learn more!