Are you thinking about building a backyard suite in Calgary? If so, you’re probably wondering just how much a garage suite or carriage house will cost you.
With dozens of projects in our portfolio to date, we have the knowledge and experience to tell you just how much it’s going to cost to build a garage suite on your property.
Cost of a Calgary Garage Suite
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Garage Suites Ltd. offers several standard packages starting from $180,000 + GST, with larger models starting at $255,000 +GST. Some of our most popular standard plans and their prices (as of February 2022) are as follows:
- $180,000 – Maisley – ~440 square foot suite, bachelor to one-bedroom suite w/ one-car garage and covered carport
- $200,000 – Willow – ~550 square foot suite, one bedroom w/ two-car garage
- $235,000 – Benjamin – ~680 square foot suite, one-bedroom + den option w/ two-car garage
- $245,000 – Halden – ~600 square foot suite, large one bedroom w/ three-car garage
- $270,000 – Xavier – 850 square foot suite, up to two bedrooms w/ two-car garage
The most expensive project we’ve taken on to date was in the high $300,000s.
The cost of your garage suite build depends on a handful of factors such as its size, complexity, and utility connections to name a few. Additionally, many homeowners opt in for upgrades above and beyond our builder’s grade specifications, which may add anywhere from just a few hundred up to several thousand dollars to the cost of your laneway home project.
What Can Change the Cost of My Backyard Suite?
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#1 – Customization
Every single project we have built to date has been highly customized to fit the wants and needs of the owner. Therefore, as mentioned above, prices for garage suites can sometimes range much higher than the mid-$200,000s.
For example, a recent high-end project we have designed and are currently building was priced at just under $290,000 + GST. This max-sized garage suite features several high-end upgrades including full James Hardy exteriors, black trim triple-pane windows, aluminum roofing, full glass garage doors, heated flooring and garage pad, and more.
#2 – Lot Challenges
When building a garage suite in Calgary, costs might go up depending on any challenges presented by your lot. A few examples include:
I. Sloped Lots
If your lot has a slope, we may need to use retaining walls to prevent water seepage into the foundation of your suite. Depending on the type required for your development permit, retaining walls can be a significant charge and drive up the cost of your backyard suite by anywhere from four to five figures.
II. – Utility Connections
Challenging utility connections or old piping are two more challenges that may drive costs up for your laneway home. Older properties are notorious for using cast-iron piping which, if disturbed, may crack. Therefore, these sewer and water lines may need to be replaced entirely because their structural integrity may be compromised. These pipes were used before we knew about the toxicity issue they present as they contain impurities such as lead and iron.
Also, suppose your lot is in a suburban community and is far away from the nearest transformer box – those big green electrical boxes you see around your neighbourhood. In that case, we may need to develop a unique solution so that ENMAX doesn’t have to trench a large distance for a high cost.
For example, in some instances, we may be able to use gas appliances so that your suite doesn’t need as much power, reducing your costs substantially versus connecting to the power for a 60A to 100A electricity supply.
III. – Power Pole Replacement
Utility providers present a third challenge that may create additional costs for your garage suite. For example, to meet power pole clearances, ENMAX may require that you relocate or replace a power pole.
While we are aware of distances required between structures and electric poles, sometimes ENMAX may have to step in and relocate a pole altogether, and you won’t have a choice if you want your development permit to pass.
Power pole replacement can cost five figures. We’ve been quoted anywhere from $15,000 to $22,500 for various backyard suite projects that have needed a replacement. However, this rarely happens, so that’s good news!
IV. – Tree Trimming & Removal
A fourth lot challenge that may boost costs is if your suite needs clearing of on-property trees to be built. For example, you may need to remove a large pine tree or have it trimmed to meet the bylaws set forth by the city for clearances.
While trimming a tree may cost you around $800 give or take, cutting down a large tree may cost $2,000 or more if a crane is required to perform the task safely.
More often than not, this type of extra cost is determined after your suite has been surveyed/designed and is in the development permit stage of the process.
While we always try to account for these costs, sometimes it is hard to do given the difference of opinions in City Permitters.
V. – Extra Permits
If your suite requires a relaxation permit to pass with the city, you can expect to pay several hundred dollars or more for it. Calgary has different fees associated with different permits, so this varies depending on what you’re looking to do.
Why would you need a relaxation permit?
- If your suite’s design is larger than the maximum allowable size per floor (~800-850 square feet)
- If your suite’s setbacks do not meet the city’s requirements from the side and back property lines
- If you don’t have the minimum 15 feet required between the suite and the house
Contact us anytime about your backyard suite permits and we will be happy to have a full discussion with you!
#3 – Changes Outside the Original Proposal
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Every laneway home we build has a standard specifications sheet outlining the materials we use for countertops, flooring, baseboards and other features of the sort.
Sometimes clients change their interior specs later in the design process, so your suite’s price will adjust accordingly. While we always try to include all details in our original proposal and estimated quote, the client may make changes that incur extra costs later on.
You will always be credited for whatever feature is being replaced, and the cost difference will be applied to your project’s bottom line.
Get a Free Quote for Your Calgary Backyard Suite
Want to know how much a garage suite in Calgary will cost for your property? Give us a call anytime at 403-797-4918 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be happy to discuss your potential project. We are looking forward to connecting with you!