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 several suites under our belt to date, we have the knowledge and experience to tell you just how much it’s going to cost you to build a project like this in your backyard.
Costs Associated with a Calgary Garage Suite
Garage Suites offers several standard backyard suite packages starting from $145,000 and ranging up to $245,000 (GST not included). Some of our most popular standard plans and their prices (as of January 12th, 2022) are as follows:
- $145,000 – Maisley – 372 square foot suite, bachelor to one-bedroom suite w/ one-car garage and covered carport
- $170,000 – Willow – 470+ square foot suite, one bedroom w/ two-car garage
- $205,000 – Benjamin – 570+ square foot suite, one-bedroom + den option w/ two-car garage
- $215,000 – Halden – 597 square foot suite, large one bedroom w/ three-car garage
- $245,000 – Xavier – 750+ square foot suite, up to two bedrooms with two-car garage
Please note: square footage for “+” options above depend on if the suite uses an internal or external access stair. Some of these packages can be expanded in size depending on the placement of the stair.
What Can Change the Cost of My Backyard Suite?
#1 – Customization
Keep in mind that every single project we have built to date has been highly customized to fit the wants and needs of the owner, therefore prices for garage suites can sometimes range much higher than the $250,000 + GST as well.
For example, the highest cost project we’ve built to date sold for in the mid $290,000s. This max-sized garage suite featured several high-end upgrades including full James Hardy exteriors, black trim triple-pane windows, other upgraded exterior materials and several interior upgrades above and beyond our standard specifications.
#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 that will 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
Another challenge that may drive costs up is having utility connections that require unique solutions OR owning a property built in the mid-1900s. Older properties are notorious for using piping which, if disturbed, may crack. Therefore, these lines may need to be replaced entirely because their structural integrity is compromised. To add, these pipes present a toxicity issue because they contain impurities such as lead and iron.
Also, if your lot is in a suburban community and located far away from the nearest utility box, we may need to come up with a unique solution so that ENMAX doesn’t have to trench a large distance and foot you with the bill, which may make your suite unfeasible from a cost perspective.
For example, in some instances, we may be able to use gas appliances so that your suite doesn’t need as much power supply, reducing your costs substantially versus connecting to the power grid for a garage suite designed to draw power under 40 amps.
III. – Power Pole Replacement
A third challenge that may create additional costs for your garage suite is dictated by the utility providers. For example, ENMAX may require that you relocate a power pole because of its proximity to your suite.
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 to comply or not. This rarely happens, however, 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 in order to meet the bylaws set forth by the city for clearances.
While trimming a tree may cost you $800 give or take, cutting down a large tree may cost $2,000 or more as a crane must be used to perform the task accordingly.
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
Another reason for increasing costs to build your garage suite in Calgary is permitting costs. If you’re looking to design a suite that is larger than the maximum allowable size per floor (~800 square feet) and need a relaxation permit, you’ll have to account for the costs required for the extra permit(s) to make this happen.
Additionally, as your third-party representative with the city, we may require some extra permitting/design fees to account for the extra time spent taking care of your needs.
#3 – Changes Outside the Original Proposal
Every Calgary garage suite we build has a standard interior specifications sheet included that details what will be used for the interior such as countertops, flooring and baseboards.
Sometimes clients decide to change their interior specs later on 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
Do you 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!