What You Need to Know Before Building a Secondary Suite
December 20, 2022

With the rising interest rates, homeowners and property owners feel pressured to improve their homes’ value and increase their revenue. Many homeowners have started considering utilizing their basement and turning it into secondary suites. While secondary suites are a fantastic option that will help you increase your income, not every home is suitable for a secondary suite. According to the rules and regulations regarding developing secondary legal suites in Edmonton, some homes aren’t fully equipped to have a legal suite and require significant changes before putting their home on the market. Read on to learn more about the rules and regulations of building a secondary suite in Edmonton.

1. Heating and Ventilation

When building a secondary suite in your home, you must have a separate, independently-controlled ventilation and heating system. While all homes have a heat source, that heat source will typically serve the entire home and is not independent for the suite. Property owners sometimes install an individual forced-air furnace for the suite with independent ductwork to ensure that they have an HVAC system in their suite.

2. Fire Separations

If your secondary suite must be separated from the central unit by walls, floors and ceilings which meet minimum fire-resistance requirements. If a fire occurs in the home, the partitions allow both units to evacuate quickly before the fire spreads. As most secondary suites are located in a basement, gas-fired furnaces and water heaters must be installed in an enclosed room with fire-protected ceilings and walls. This is crucial in any secondary suite in Edmonton as it prevents the spread of fire to other areas of the unit and reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

3. Interconnected Smoke Alarms

While smoke detectors are essential in any household, they must be linked in both the main house and the secondary suite. If, in any case, a fire occurs in either suite, occupants will receive an early warning and be able to evacuate the building immediately.

4. Suite Entrance

A secondary suite requires a separate and safe exit in case of an emergency. While some homeowners would like to keep one entrance for both units, their houses might require two separate entrances. It’s also good to consider privacy when building a secondary suite; some homeowners prefer secondary access to maintain privacy between the central unit and future tenants.

5. Bedroom Windows

Windows are often overlooked when building a secondary suite, especially bedroom windows. For all secondary suites, the windows must meet the minimum size requirements put in place by the City of Edmonton in order to provide occupants with an alternative exit for emergencies.

Ready to Build Your Secondary Suite?

Whether you’re looking for a few upgrades or building your secondary suite from scratch, you need a team of professionals who are well-versed in the rules and regulations of building a secondary suite in Edmonton. At Peak Improvements, we guarantee success with every project. We have developed a six-stage process that allows us to be fully transparent with homeowners and gain their trust. Contact us today to learn more about building secondary suites in Edmonton.

Title ×