Secondary Suites 101

Posted on: 2017-03-30


For years, secondary suites have often been overlooked or underutilized by many homeowners. Whether you are interested in subsidizing your own mortgage or you want to provide affordable rental housing, a secondary suite could be an excellent fit for many properties. Keep reading for Parabola Developments’ introduction to secondary suites, how to develop them and why you should invest in one.


If a property owner wants to add a secondary suite, they already have the benefit of a very clear definition. According to the City of Edmonton, a Secondary Suite is an independent living area within a single-family detached dwelling with “separate cooking, sleeping and bathroom facilities,” as well as a separate entrance. Since they are developed in a house, secondary suites are different than garage suites or garden suites.


If you want to develop a secondary suite, you should review all requirements carefully. Some restrictions could include (but are not limited to): zoning bylaws, adjacent landowners, neighbourhood policies, proximity to industrial areas, applications, permits and meeting all provincial building and fire codes. Note that, in Edmonton, you cannot develop a legal secondary suite in an apartment, a townhouse, a semi-detached home or a duplex.


While the above restrictions may intimidate some, there are many positive reasons to spend the time, capital and resources. Government grants have been introduced to encourage property owners to invest in secondary suites as affordable rental housing, which helps urban density and development. Secondary suites are relatively quicker and more affordable to develop, they increase property value and their revenue can support an existing mortgage.

If you are interested in developing a secondary suite, let Parabola Developments do the heavy lifting! Our design and contracting experts will ensure your unit not only meets the strict standards, but also attracts desirable tenants. Contact us today!