The Details On Above Garage Suites

July 12, 2017

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When it comes to an additional suite, most people feel they’re limited to the basement or main floor. This takes up additional room that could otherwise be used for family gatherings, playspaces or entertaining. Edmonton’s best builders have taken notice of the increasing demand for other options. Enter the above-garage suite. 

What is a Garage Suite? 

An above-garage suite is an individual apartment on the upper level of a garage, typically used as a rental or in-law suite. Generally built on top of a laned home, the detached garage is perfect for rental profit or to help make more room for a large family. 

While this is similar to a garden suite, this version still allows the use of your garage as the suite is built above the structure. This creates an affordable way for renters to move into more urban areas and/or more privacy for family members. If you opt to rent the suite out, it also gives you the opportunity to make some extra money to put towards your mortgage. 

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What are The Benefits of Having a Garage Suite? 

  • The potential for extra income
  • Perfect for an in-law suite or student 
  • Unlike a basement suite, a garage suite is completely separate from your home
  • Both you and the renter/ family member can look forward to more privacy and separate entrances
  • You’ll still have use of your garage
  • Perfect for an in-law suite or student coming back home from school abroad 

What are the Bylaws Involved? 

You can find out if you’re in an area zoned for garage suites by checking with the City of Edmonton. These structures require a development permit and must not be any bigger than 645 square feet as per the city’s bylaws. In addition, your garage suite will have to pass all the current water, heating and electrical standards. Building a safe and functional garage suite will give you peace of mind when it comes to renting or furnishing it for your family. 

Do Builders Offer this Feature? 

As these types of suites have only been allowed since 2015, new home builders are just beginning to lay the groundwork for above-garage options. A proficient builder can discuss this option with you and whether or not it’s available in your zoned area. Currently, Sterling Homes Edmonton is looking into this on an accommodation basis, as well as at a pre-planned option to fill in this niche request. 

Now that you have some idea of what will be required for a garage suite, you can decide if this is on your list of wants for a new home. We suggest weighing the options of a garage and basement suite to help you decide what’s best for your unique needs. Talk with your builder about whether or not an above-garage suite is an option for your new home.

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Photo credits: garage suitehappy family

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