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Construction of a new Secondary Suite within an existing single family home requires permits be obtained before you start construction.

About the Service

What is a Secondary Suite?

In simple terms, a Secondary Suite is a self-contained dwelling within or attached to a Single Detached House.

The Edmonton Zoning Bylaw (12800) specifically defines a Secondary Suite as:

  • A Development consisting of a Dwelling located within, and Accessory to, a structure in which the principal use is Single Detached Housing.
  • A secondary suite has cooking facilities, food preparation, sleeping, and sanitary facilities which are physically separate from those of the principal Dwelling within the structure.
  • A secondary suite also has an entrance separate from the entrance to the principal Dwelling, either from a common indoor landing or directly from the side or rear of the structure.
  • This Use Class includes the Development or Conversion of Basement space or above-grade space to a separate Dwelling, or the addition of new floor space for a Secondary Suite to an existing Single Detached Dwelling.
  • This Use Class does not include Duplex Housing, Semi-detached Housing, or Apartment Housing, and does not include Garden Suites or Boarding and Lodging Houses.

For additional information, see the Frequently Asked Questions section.

General Information about the Service

Permits are required for many aspects of the construction process, including development, building, gas, electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation work.

Projects are reviewed and assessed according to the Edmonton Zoning Bylaw, the Alberta Building Code and the Safety Codes Permit Bylaw prior to permit approvals.

Process times:
Process time for applications usually takes 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?

All Secondary Suite construction requires a development permit.

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 Secondary Suite being built at the same time as a new family home

To apply:

  • Complete the "New Single Family House Permit Application Form." This application will cover the development permit and the construction of the new home as well as the Secondary Suite.
  • Supply the required documentation as indicated on the application form
  • Submit the applicable fees

For a New Secondary Suite within an existing Single Family Home (includes suites that are existing without permits)

(please note secondary suites are only permitted within single family homes)

To apply:

Note: Mechanical work and electrical work is not included in this application. If mechanical work (electrical, plumbing, gas, heating and ventilation) or electrical work is being done, the applicant must apply for separate permits to cover that work. Please see: Electrical, Heating and Ventilation, Plumbing, and Gas topics for additional information and fees.

For Renovations to an existing Secondary Suite within a Single Family Home that has already received its initial development and building permit:

(for example, replacement or renovation of an existing kitchen, bathroom within a secondary suite)

These suites must already have received their initial Development and Building permit for the Secondary Suite otherwise, the applicant would need to follow the application guidelines for the construction of a new Secondary Suite (see above).

To apply:

Inspections

After your application has been reviewed and the appropriate permit(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 secondary 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.

Email developmentservices@edmonton.ca
In Person

City of Edmonton
2nd Floor, Edmonton Tower, 10111 104 Avenue NW
Edmonton AB T5J 0J4

Office Hours: 8am-4:30pm
Monday through Friday

Mail

City of Edmonton
2nd Floor, Edmonton Tower, 10111 104 Avenue NW
Edmonton AB T5J 0J4

Fees

2017 Fees

For a new Secondary Suite being built at the same time as a new Single Family Home

See 2017 combined fee schedule for a single family home

For a new or existing Secondary Suite being built within an existing Single Family Home

Development Permit:

2017 fee: $266 plus Sanitary Sewer Trunk Charge fee (if required) of $693

Building Permit:

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

2017 Rates:

Value of Construction

Building Permit Fee

Safety Code Fee

$0 - $5,000

$105 $4.50

$5,001-$10,000

$151 $6.04

$10,001-$25,000

$261 $10.44

$25,001-$50,000

$485 $19.40

$50,001-$100,000

$941 $37.64

Over $100,000

$1,831 $73.28

For Renovations to an existing Secondary Suite:

***Initial Development and Building Permits must already have been obtained for the Secondary Suite. If these permits have not been obtained - application will use the guidelines and fees as explained in the section for new and existing secondary suites (above)

Development Permit:

  • Development permit fees vary, depending on the project.

Building Permit:

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

2017 Rates:

Value of Construction

Building Permit Fee

Safety Code Fee

$0 - $5,000

$105 $4.50

$5,001-$10,000

$151 $6.04

$10,001-$25,000

$261 $10.44

$25,001-$50,000

$485 $19.40

$50,001-$100,000

$941 $37.64

Over $100,000

$1,831 $73.28

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 or garden suite, you need to know that your Waste Management Services Fee is affected.

Contact the City About This Service

Edmonton Service Centre

2nd Floor, 10111 104 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB  T5J 0J4

Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday
8am to 4:30pm

Telephone

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Email developmentservices@edmonton.ca
FAQ
How do I know if my house already has permits for my existing Secondary Suite?

Many houses within Edmonton may have had 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 Secondary Suite at your property submit a Search of Records application form to search for Development and Building Permit approvals for a Secondary Suite.

Note: you must either be the owner of the property or have written consent from the owner, to apply for a Search of Records.

How do I see if my property is zoned for a Secondary Suite?

To see if your property is zoned for a secondary suite, check your properties zoning designation; refer to 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)" (for example, RF1)

This will then bring you to the Edmonton Zoning Bylaw page specifically to that Zone, where you are able to check if secondary suites are a listed use within that Zone.

What other Zoning regulations are applicable to Secondary Suites?

To see additional Zoning regulations go to the Edmonton Zoning Bylaw page.

Part 1 - General Development Regulations

  • Section 54 (Parking - see 54.2 and 54.2 Schedule 1)

Part II - Special Land Use Provisions

  • Section 86 (Secondary Suites)

Part II Overlays (may be applicable)

  • Section 822 (Edmonton-Strathcona County Joint Planning Study Area Secondary 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.

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