Frequently Asked Questions

+ answers regarding costs, design, permits, construction, and other important factors associated with building a garage suite

Frequently Asked Questions

+ answers regarding costs, design, permits, construction, and other important factors associated with building a garage suite

Can your property host a garage suite?
Get a 100% free, no-obligation site evaluation!

Evaluate My Property

Can your property host a garage suite?
Get a 100% free, no-obligation site evaluation!

Evaluate My Property

Most Common Questions

In general, the cost of building a garage suite starts in the mid $100,000s and can easily go up to $250,000 or more. Exact pricing for a new garage suite will vary depending on a number of factors such as level of customization and lot construction challenges to name a few.

It depends on the dimensions of your lot and existing zoning. As part of our free site evaluation, we find out if your lot coverage and zoning will let you build a backyard suite.

Yes, you do! We build secondary suite add-ons to your home’s existing structure as well as at-grade carriage houses, both of which are great alternatives to explore if you’re unable to build a garage suite.

The maximum allowable size of a garage suite building cover is 75 square metres, or about 804 square feet at-grade (per floor, if you will). Depending on your suite configuration, you could very well have much more than 804 square feet of living space.

#1 – Free site evaluation – #2 – Preliminary discussion and iterations on design / features – #3 – Proposal phase – #4 – Conceptual drawing – #5 – Development permit – #6 – Building permit – #7 – Construction consultation – #8 – Construction – #9 – Project walkthrough and completion phase — Learn more details about each step of our process here.

For the development permit, you are looking at a wait time of more than 3 months. For the building permit, it takes over 2 weeks. So, your total permitting process should be just shy of around 4 months.

In early 2022, Enmax changed its rules on power pole clearances. Therefore, if you do have a power pole on your side of the alley you may or may not be required to replace the power pole in order to meet the new clearances set by the City of Calgary.

Aren’t sure if you can afford to replace a power pole? We will be happy to take a look at your lot in person and let you know what your options are!

We offer standard suite floorplans to give you an idea of what these units look like inside and out. However, we understand every property is different, therefore customization is always offered and / or required for each garage suite project we build.

Apart from the permitting process, building your garage suite will take anywhere from 3 to 6 months depending on existing site conditions and current weather conditions. Total time to build your garage suite can take anywhere from 6 to 9 months.

We are committed to providing clients with fixed prices so that they are confident building their garage suite project with us. This also helps you to apply for a loan with a mortgage broker as a fixed amount is more handy during the evaluation process.

General Questions

A garage suite – also known as a “backyard suite” by the City of Calgary – is a second detached residence located behind or beside a primary residence. They also are referred to as laneway houses, carriage houses, or sometimes garden suites.

A carriage house is an accessory residential dwelling built at-grade, or “ground level.” Think of a carriage house as a garage suite but without the garage.

A secondary suite is a dwelling unit contained within a property’s main residence. A backyard suite is a dwelling unit in a detached building separate from the main residence.

No. Every garage suite needs a new foundation due to engineering and bylaw requirements. Thankfully, the added cost of demolishing your existing garage and building a new one to accommodate a garage suite is still affordable with the packages we have to offer.

No, you cannot build on top of an existing foundation as we are required to construct a frost wall with a minimum depth of 4-feet to meet Alberta’s residential building codes.

No, you cannot. You will need to decide on what’s more beneficial for your investment goals: leaving the secondary suite open or shutting it down and building a garage suite instead.

  • We evaluate existing utility infrastructure and how difficult it will be to connect your suite’s services (water, gas, sewage, electricity) from the house
  • We check to see if the suite will meet the setback requirements
  • We check to see if there are any site features that will make construction difficult and / or unfeasible due to potential costs associated with overcoming these challenges
  • We determine if there are any existing accessory residential buildings such as sheds that are too big which will affect the lot coverage of the property
  • We answer any questions you may have about building a garage suite and provide you with additional documentation on costs and other important information
  • We discuss any preliminary details and / or features you would like to see included in your garage suite

Yes, we can accommodate these types of requests. If you’re an electrician, for example, and have a company, we can hire you as our contractor for the electrical service no problem!

No, we currently do not offer financial services for potential clients. However, we do have a handful of mortgage brokers as close contacts who can help you acquire a loan for your garage suite project. Ask us, and we will be happy to introduce you!

Benefits

of a garage suite

Types

of garage suites

Costs

of garage suites

Benefits

of a garage suite

Types

of garage suites

Costs

of garage suites

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WORKING HOURS

8:30am – 5:00pm

DIRECT LINE

EMAIL

WORKING HOURS

8:30am – 5:00pm