Construction of a Garage Suite on a single family lot requires permits be obtained before you start construction.
About the Service
What is a Garage Suite?
In simple terms, a garage suite is a self-contained dwelling within or attached to a detached garage on a single family lot.
The Edmonton Zoning Bylaw (12800) specifically defines a Garage Suite as:
- A Garage Suite is an Accessory Dwelling located above a detached Garage (above Grade); or a single-storey Accessory Dwelling attached to the side or rear of, a detached Garage (at Grade). A Garage Suite is accessory to a building in which the principal Use is Single Detached Housing.
- A Garage Suite has cooking facilities, food preparation, sleeping and sanitary facilities which are separate from those of the principal dwelling located on the site.
- A Garage Suite has an entrance separate from the vehicle entrance to the detached Garage, either from a common indoor landing or directly from the exterior of the structure.
- This Use Class does not include Secondary Suites or Garden Suites.
General Permit Information
Permits are a requirement for many aspects of the construction process including development, building, gas, electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation work.
Process times for applications usually take about 6 - 8 weeks, however, actual time frames may vary for each project due to differences in the applications and requirements.
How Do I Obtain the Service?
Updated Application Forms For New Home Construction
As of February 1, 2014, all new home building permit applications will be required under the New Home Buyer Protection Act (Municipal Affairs of the Alberta Government) to supply one of the following before a building permit can be issued:
- Warranty Confirmation number
- An exemption letter from the Alberta Government
Please ensure you use the updated application forms to provide this required information.
Development Permit Requirements
If the residential development permit is for a new building that will be larger than 47 sq. metres (506 sq. ft.), or an addition to or an alteration of an existing building that will result in the building being larger than 47 sq. metres (506 sq. ft.) the Abandoned Wells Confirmation Form must be submitted with a printout of the map(s) that was used to confirm the absence/presence of abandoned well(s) with the permit application form.
For a new Garage Suite (includes garden suites that have been built without permits)
The permit process has been combined so that the applicant can apply for one permit that will include all of the permits required for the new basic construction of the garage suite.
These permits include:
- The development permit
- The building construction permit
- The basic mechanical permits (plumbing, gas and heating, ventilation and air conditioning-HVAC)
- Electrical permit fees
- Sanitary Sewer trunk charges
- Construction water rates
- Lot grading fees.
- fill out the “Garage with Garden Suite or Garage Suite Housing Application”
- supply the documentation as indicated on the application form
- submit the applicable fees.
For renovations to an existing Garage Suite
An example of a renovation would include the replacement or renovation of an existing kitchen or bathroom in a garage suite that has already been built and previously received permit approval.An example of a renovation would include the replacement or renovation of an existing kitchen or bathroom in a garage suite that has already been built and previously received permit approval.
- The residential building application combines the application process for both the development permit and building permit. If your renovations include work to your mechanical systems such as electrical, gas, heating and ventilation or plumbing, separate permits need to be applied for to cover that work.
- Fill out the 2014 Residential Building Application
- supply the required documentation as indicated in the interior alteration section of the application
- submit the applicable fees
Please note: these suites must already have obtained building permits and development approval to be a garage suite.
If the suite hasn’t received its initial permit approval to construct and operate as a garage suite, the applicant must fill out the Garage with Garden Suite or Garage Suite Housing Application form for new construction rather than the Residential Building Application, which is only for buildings which have already received their development and building permits.
After your application has been reviewed and the appropriate permits(s) issued, applicants are required to contact the City of Edmonton Call Centre at 311 and arrange for inspections. All inspections must be passed before any person can occupy the garage suite.
To prepare for the required inspections in occupied homes, please ensure:
- an individual 18 years of age or older who is responsible for the property is present during the inspection
- clear and unobstructed access to all areas of inspection is provided
- all pets are securely contained
Please note: the Safety Codes Officers are required to wear shoes while performing their duties in your home.
Office Hours: 8am-4:30pm
For new construction and existing Garage suites that have been built without permits
Fees are based on the square footage of the building that is being constructed.
- For applications made after January 1st, 2014 - See "2014 Combined Fee Schedule" for Garage Suites and Garden Suites.
An additional $100 notification fee will be added to all garage or garden suite combo permits that are Class B or require a variance.
For renovations to an existing Garage Suite that has already been issued its original Development & Building Permit:
- For applications made after January 1st, 2014 - Permit Fees may vary depending on the scope of the construction.
Fee will be the total of your Building Permit (based on the construction value of your Secondary Suite renovation) plus a safety code fee, which is charged on all Building Permits
|Value of Construction||
Building Permit - 2014 Rates
Safety Code Fee
|$0 - $5,000||
$10,001 - $25,000
$25,001 - $50,000
$50,001 - $100,000
Construction Value includes:
- Building Components (all materials used in the construction of the building including all building services, electrical, fire alarm and detection systems, and fire protection equipment)
- Plumbing components (fixtures, drainage system, venting systems, water systems or any part thereof)
- Electrical components
- Heating components (systems and equipment for heating, ventilating and air-conditioning)
Construction value does NOT include furnishings, rugs, floor coverings, curtains etc.
Waste management fees
If you are developing a secondary suite, a garage suite or garden suite, you need to know that your Waste Management Services Fee is affected.
Contact the City About This Service
For more information:
Current Planning Service Centre
5th floor, 10250 - 101 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 3P4
Hours of Operation:
Monday to Friday
8am to 4:30pm
In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311
Some properties within Edmonton may have had garage suites constructed without permits. This does not exempt them from the requirement of obtaining permits. In order to find out if permits have been issued for a Garage Suite at your property, submit a "Search of Records" application form to search for Development and Building Permit approval for the Garage suite.
To see if your property is zoned for a garage suite, check your properties zoning designation using the Edmonton Maps page.
- click "enter" to go into program and then "OK" to acknowledge disclaimer
- click on "locate - address" or " locate -legal description"
- Enter in your address and then click "search"
- click on "zoning for this address"
- click on "current Zone(s)" (eg. "RF1")
This will then bring you to the Edmonton Zoning Bylaw page where you are able to check to see if Garage suites are a listed use for that Zone.
To see additional Zoning regulations go to the Edmonton Zoning Bylaw page.
Part I - General Development Regulations
- Section 54 (Parking - see 54.2 and 54.2 Schedule 1)
Part I - Special Land Provisions
- Section 87 (Garage and Garden Suites)
Part II - Overlays (may be applicable)
- Section 822 - Edmonton - Strathcona County Joint Planning Study Area Secondary and Garage and Garden Suites Overlay
For help interpreting these regulations, please contact the City of Edmonton Call Centre (311) and ask to speak with a Development Technical Advisor.