So you’re interested in building a new garage suite on your lot in Calgary and aren’t sure which builder to choose for the job. After browsing online, you find a handful of construction companies that say they build backyard suites but still aren’t sure which one to go with.
As with any service you use, you should begin with some more thorough research. Ask yourself:
Q: How many past projects have they built in my area?
Q: Do they take care of the permits for the project?
Q: Does it sound like they know what they are talking about?
If you’re not sure about the answers to the questions above, it’s essential to call the builder for more information. And if you’re still left in the dark, you should probably sit back and reflect on which builder to use more thoroughly.
As with any building project such as infill homes in Calgary, for example, you’ll want to use a company with experience in the type of construction you’re looking to purchase. Hence, here are a few reasons why it matters which builder you choose for backyard suites in the Calgary area. Also see:
- 3 Questions to Ask a Garage Suite Builder
- Backyard Suite Utility Connections: 10 Questions & Answers
#1 – Bylaw Requirements
First and foremost, the City of Calgary has a specific set of bylaws for backyard suite projects relating to a number of specs such as the height of the build, setback requirements and several others we will not mention.
Therefore, the design of your suite, such as the dimensions with respect to the lot and exterior elevation, must adhere to the city’s bylaws if it is to pass the development permit phase without hassle.
A builder with little experience in backyard suite construction may not be familiar with the design requirements for such projects, which can delay the overall completion time amid the permitting phase.
Don’t settle for less than – find a home builder with years of experience in building backyard suites as proven by their list of past projects, overall knowledge and online reviews.
#2 – Permits Take Time
Obtaining a development permit (DP) is one of the most time-consuming phases of any garage suite project. Therefore, you must have an architectural designer who knows the ins and outs of what will and will not pass within the city’s bylaw framework..
But what’s also important is that the designer knows what the municipality’s utility provider(s) will or will not approve.
In Calgary, for example, Enmax has a monopoly on the electricity system. If your lot has a power pole in the back lane, for example, and your suite’s design and/or position contribute to it not meeting certain clearances, then you may have to replace the pole altogether.
In this situation, you’re looking at the DP process extending itself another three to six months depending on Enmax, the time of which they review is at the utility provider’s sole discretion. Naturally, not every homeowner is going to be happy about such a lengthy delay. Also, a power pole replacement can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000 or more depending on several factors.
Hence, hiring the right garage suite builder for the job – one familiar with what’s required to get your DP approved – is vital to ensure your project isn’t unnecessarily delayed by months on end. Also see:
#3 – Project Timelines
An experienced backyard suite builder will know exactly what it takes to build a project to completion. With this experience comes quality, as each step in the construction phase is executed after the other without delay.
It also means ordering the materials required to build your backyard suite in due time.
Current supply chain challenges have delayed the arrival of some materials by two to three months, if not longer. Therefore, an experienced builder will know when it’s the right time to order your lumber, windows, etc.
Don’t risk having your project delayed because of an unorganized homebuilder. Instead, hire the right one for the job off the bat, and have peace of mind that your project’s construction will go smoothly and on time. Also see:
Questions about Backyard Suites in Calgary?
Get the best advice from Calgary’s premier garage suite builder! Call us anytime at 403-797-4918 or get in touch via our contact page today and we will be happy to discuss your backyard suite goals! We are looking forward to connecting with you!