Debating adding to your passive income by creating a legal basement suite in your home? If the lower half of your residence is going largely unused, creating a secondary suite can be a viable way to invest in your future, as long as you are mindful of the City of Edmonton’s rules and regulations. While the prospect of renting out unused space can often sound appealing, it’s important to be aware of the many challenges that come with developing secondary suites, as well as the investment required upfront. Carmax Consulting is pleased to partner with homeowners all throughout the capital region when it comes to a variety of residential projects, including basement renovations and more. If you’re considering a legal secondary suite project, below are a few aspects we strongly recommend to keep in mind before moving ahead.

1. Is Your Property In Alignment With Legal Requirements?

While there is no shortage of options available when it comes to basement renovations, your first step will need to be conducting an inspection of the entire property (both upstairs and downstairs) to ensure that your home adheres to all zoning and bylaw standards, as well as to uncover any areas that will need to be tended to. Depending on the results of this inspection, as well as your current budget, your initial timeline may need to remain flexible in order to accommodate all required alterations. This means that if you’re expecting a fast turn around and profit, you may find yourself feeling disappointed.

2. Can You Handle The Realities of Tenant Wear And Tear?

Another aspect that homeowners sometimes fail to consider is the fact that your tenants will likely be far less invested in caring for your property the way you would like. This translates to accelerated wear and tear, and requires some planning to compensate. You’ll want to choose materials that are durable enough to stand increased demand, as well as set aside some extra funds to cover any major mishaps that may occur.

3. Suite Design Requirements

As we’ve mentioned above, building a secondary suite requires you to adhere to a unique set of standards in order to comply with all relevant zoning and bylaws. Working with an experienced team makes it easy to design a legal residence that not only fits well with the structure of your home, but makes it easy for tenants to settle in. Secondary suite specific renovations include:

  • Installation of egress windows for emergency exiting
  • Separate and private entrance
  • Interconnected smoke detectors
  • Fire barriers
  • Installation of a secondary heating source
  • Separate electrical services

4. Plan Ahead

The simple reality is, legal secondary suites are rarely a quick renovation to complete, even with the best experts on the case. Before moving ahead, it’s important to be honest about your budget, timeline, and overall expectations to ensure you’re satisfied with the overall results. Carmax Consulting is happy to walk you through every step of a legal secondary suite reno, giving you confidence and peace of mind from day one. Contact us today to learn more!