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Secondary suites help provide Edmontonians with a diverse range of housing choices.

Read about up-to-date COVID-19 related service adjustments for development, permit, licensing, and construction & inspection services.

A secondary suite is a separate dwelling located within a single-detached, semi-detached, or row house with its own living, cooking, sleeping and sanitary facilities. A suite may be created through the development or conversion of a basement or other interior space within a house, accessed without passing through the principal (main) dwelling, such as through common interior space, or directly into the suite from outside.

A secondary suite is not permitted in an apartment or a boarding/lodging house. No subdivision is fundamental to the use and definition of a secondary suite. A secondary suite remains subordinate—secondary—to the principal dwelling or suite.

To see if your property is zoned for a secondary suite, check your property’s zoning designation. Visit maps.edmonton.ca to see if secondary suites are listed in your zone. Secondary suites are typically allowed in zones where single detached, semi-detached, duplex or row houses are allowed. You can also consult a Development Officer at the Edmonton Service Centre.

Important Information About Permits

  • For detailed information regarding secondary suite design requirements and considerations, please refer to the Secondary Suite Design Guide
  • Plans for heating and ventilation, plumbing, gas or electrical systems are not reviewed prior to the issuance of permits, as code compliance is audited during inspections. Homeowners and/or contractors are responsible for ensuring that design and construction meet code.
  • Inspections may be required at various stages of your project. Review your building permit conditions to understand when to request inspections.
  • Projects may require both a development permit and a building permit. Separate permits are required for heating and ventilationplumbinggas, and electrical work.
  • Any Secondary Suite, regardless of the construction year, that exists without the required Development Permit is subject to double the regular application fees.
Who can apply for permits?

Application Requirements

Site Plan

The site plan shows the entire existing property. City staff need the site plan to understand where tenants and firefighters will enter the suite.

A site plan must include:

  • Property address
  • Suite entrance location
  • The distance between the house and fence on both sides of the house (side setback measurements)

Drawing Tips

There are different ways to make a site plan:

Floor Plan

City staff need a detailed floor plan to make sure your application follows the zoning bylaw and building code requirements.

The secondary suite floor plan must include:

  • The layout of the suite including stairs, doors, and windows
  • Room labels (e.g. bedroom, kitchen, living room, storage, etc.)
  • Bedroom window labels including dimensions and window style (e.g. awning windows, sliders, basement hopper windows, etc)
  • Utility and mechanical room details including furnaces, baseboard heating, Heat Recovery Ventilators, etc. (primary and secondary heating and ventilation sources)

City staff might ask for a main floor plan if they need more information about how the main floor connects to the secondary suite. 

Drawing Tips:

Noise - Sound Transmission Confirmation Form

Sound absorbing material (e.g. batt insulation or cellulose fill) must be installed in walls and in the ceiling between the secondary suite and the main dwelling, as well as between the suite and common area where noise may be generated. 

Noise protection details must be included in the: 

Pictures of the outside of the house (Exterior Photographs)

City staff need pictures to understand how the fire department will access the secondary suite in the event of a fire.

In the application, please include pictures of the:

  • front of the house
  • left side of the house
  • right side of the house
  • back of the house

Please see the Sample (front, left, right and back) pictures for reference.

Elevation Drawings

Elevation drawings are required if you are making changes to the outside of the house. (eg. enlarging windows, adding windows, adding exterior doors). Elevation drawings show four sides of the house and the types of exterior finishing materials.

Elevation drawings must:
  • Show existing exterior walls and proposed alterations, including any windows and doors, and their dimensions
  • Specify finishing materials for walls (e.g., brick, stucco), roof (e.g., asphalt shingle, concrete tile), fascia, soffit, etc
  • Provide dimensions of:
    • grade to top of finished main floor
    • top of the finished main floor to the eave
    • eave to roof ridge (highest point)
    • see the Zoning Bylaw for definitions and diagrams
  • Provide sufficient detail about the intended changes, the materials involved, methods of installation or construction, and any supporting documentation for materials not found in Alberta Building Code
Structural and Engineering Documents

If there are changes to the structure of the house (beams, posts supporting beams, load-bearing walls, floors, wall opening enlargement or new openings in foundation walls), engineer stamped drawings are required.

Submit Your Application

Fees

Most projects require a development permit and a building permit. City staff will determine which permits and fees apply.

Starting work without permit(s) is subject to penalties.

Secondary Suites constructed before January 1, 2007 are not subject to Sanitary Sewer Trunk Fees. 

Each application is unique. Typical applications involve the following fees:

Fixed Price Application Fees
Permit Type Permit Fee Safety Codes Fee Total
Development Permit $293 - $293
Heating, Cooling or Ventilation (HVAC) Permit $112 $4.50 $116.50
Plumbing Permit $112 $4.50 $116.50
Gas Permit $112 $4.50 $116.50
Sanitary Sewer Charge (after Dec 31, 2006) $758   $758

 

Building Permit Fee
Construction Value Building Permit Fee Safety Code Fee Total
$0 - $5,000 $112 $4.50 $116.50
$5,001 - $10,000 $160 $6.40 $166.40
$10,001 - $25,000 $276 $11.04 $287.04
$25,001 - $50,000 $513 $20.52 $523.52
$50,001 - $100,000 $994 $39.76 $1,033.76
$100,000 + $1935 $77.40 $2012.40

 

Electrical Permit Fee
Construction Value Electrical Permit Fee Safety Code Fee Total
$0 - $24,000 $149 $5.96 $154.96
$24,001 - $80,000 $150.60 - $341(1) $6.02 - $13.64(3) $156.62 - $354.64
$80,001 - $100,000 $339.20 - $352(2) $13.56 - $14.08(3) $352.76 - $366.08

 

(1) Calculated as $69 + 0.00340*(Construction Value)
(2) Calculated as $276 + 0.00076*(Construction Value)
(3) Calculated as 4% of the permit fee with a minimum of $4.50 and maximum of $560

Construction Value: total cost of materials and services.

Construction Value does not include: landscaping, parking lots, sidewalks, furnishings, appliances, interior window coverings, temporary service connections, insurance or bonding, interim financing, permit fees, professional consulting fees, GST.


See the 2021 Residential Permits and Fees for more information. Additional fees may apply.
There are several ways to make a payment.

Online Application Checklist

Required For All Applications:

  • Site plan
  • Floor plan
  • Sound Transmission Confirmation Form
  • Exterior Pictures

Additional documents required for specific cases:

  • Elevation Drawings (for adding / changing the exterior windows and doors)
  • Engineer-stamped drawings (for making changes to the structural components)

File Instructions:

  • Name files to describe contents and project address (Example: “Site Plan - 321 45 Street NW)
  • One combined file or multiple files are accepted
  • Ensure the project address is included within every file
In-Person Application Checklist

To apply in person complete the following documents and visit the Edmonton Service Centre located in the Edmonton Tower Building. There are several ways to make a payment.

Required For All Applications:

Additional document required for specific cases: 

  • Elevation Drawings (for adding / changing the exterior windows and doors)
  • Engineer-stamped drawings (for making changes to the structural components) 

File Instructions:

  • Ensure the project address is included on every file
  • Do not include personal information on site plans or drawings

After You Apply

Application Processing

City staff will review your application to ensure your project complies with the City of Edmonton Zoning Bylaw and applicable Safety Codes.

Application processing times vary. See up-to-date processing times for building permits and inspections

City staff may request additional information at various stages of the Development Permit and Building Permit process. To learn how to reply to a more information request in selfserve.edmonton.ca, see the More Information Requested (MIR) Guide.   

 

Changing Your Application or Permit

Changes to your submitted application may be subject to additional fees. To make changes while your application is in progress Contact Us. To make changes after your permit has been issued contact the Permit Issuer identified on your permit.


Cancellation And/Or Refund Request Form

Scheduling Your Mandatory Inspection

The Building Permit holder should request inspections online at selfserve.edmonton.ca.

To learn more, visit Safety Codes Inspection Services.

Construction Site Management

Consult the Working With Neighbourhoods page for a listing of resources and tips for best practices for building. 

Temporary use or crossing of the road right-of-way for demolition, deliveries, and construction requires On-Street Construction and Maintenance (OSCAM) Permits. This is to ensure you are not damaging the boulevard, sidewalk or City-owned trees while you access your site. You should apply for your OSCAM Permit once your Demolition or Building Permit applications have been submitted.

For More Information

Development and Building Permits
2nd floor, Edmonton Tower
10111 - 104 Avenue NW
Edmonton AB T5J 0J4

Telephone

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

TTY 780-944-5555
Email developmentservices@edmonton.ca

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