These days, more people are looking for ways to offset the cost of home ownership. Not only does a basement suite help reduce mortgage payments, it can also give homeowners a chance to own and live in a neighbourhood that would otherwise be out of reach financially. On a community level, secondary suites also provide more affordable housing choices, typically with minimal impact to neighbourhoods.
Both Edmonton and Calgary are encouraging more opportunities for income suites. Proposed changes to bylaws for basement suites in Edmonton could allow for new income suites in other types of housing, such as duplexes and row homes. And as of March 2018, secondary suites in Calgary no longer require approval by city council — something that used to take up to 20 per cent of council’s time. Instead, applications are processed and approved by public servants in the planning department.
If you’ve been thinking about adding a legal basement suite, now’s a great time to do some research and take notes on Alberta building code requirements. We’ve put together a secondary suite checklist to help get you started.
In addition to this checklist, which summarizes the Alberta Building Code requirements for any secondary suite, don’t forget to check for municipality-specific bylaws (City of Calgary basement development permit or City of Edmonton basement development permit).
Between size requirements, configuration rules, and other safety considerations, it can be challenging (or downright risky) to choose windows and doors for your basement suite without some expert advice. Your Gienow Sales Consultant can walk you through the options and ensure windows and doors meet the appropriate requirements.
If you’re considering adding a legal secondary suite in Calgary or Edmonton, and need some professional advice regarding windows and doors, we’re happy to help. Book a free quote online and we’ll help ensure that everything egress-related is up-to-code and safe.