Enjoy a 5.99% 30-Year Fixed Rate on select U.S. homes*! Limited time offer. Explore All Promotions


Adding a Legal Basement Suite in Calgary

December 07, 2022
Basement suite at Carlisle 2 at Rockland Park by Brookfield Residential in Calgary AB

Basement suites, otherwise known as secondary suites or income suites, are gaining popularity due to the extra benefits they provide. These multipurpose spaces can provide extra income as a rental property, a comfortable place for people to stay, or a quiet retreat for your own family – all while increasing your property value.

Having a secondary suite can be a great addition for any homeowner. We build a wide variety of homes in Calgary that have a finished basement option that can be turned into and used as a secondary suite.

Let’s explore some of the secondary suite requirements in Calgary and the benefits you can enjoy if you choose to have one in your home.

Basement suite in The Oak at Livingston by Brookfield Residential in Calgary AB

What is considered a legal secondary suite?

A secondary suite is a self-contained residence with two or more rooms, and includes a kitchen, living, sleeping, and sanitary facilities. To be considered legal, it must be built in compliance with all local rules and with the right permits.

All suites must have*:

  • Bedrooms with proper egress windows
  • A separate bathroom
  • Separate cooking facilities
  • An entrance that is accessible from outside, without passing through the main dwelling unit. A shared stairwell is acceptable, but each unit must have a private entrance.
  • Smoke alarms & carbon monoxide detectors

* This list is not all inclusive. Please consult local requirements and building codes for the most up-to-date information

The city of Calgary has an extensive collection of resources for adding a secondary suite including permit process details, building code information, an easy application system, and inspection requirements and booking.

Once your secondary suite has been inspected and passed Alberta’s safety code requirements, it can be registered on the city’s website identifying it as legal and safe. After your final inspection, you’ll receive a secondary suite sticker in the mail to be posted at the main entrance of the suite as a means to promote the space.

Brookfield Residential Livingston Carlisle 2 Basement Suite

What are the benefits of having a secondary suite?

1. Revenue opportunity

A secondary suite allows you to make additional income to help offset your monthly mortgage payments and other expenses. If you ever need to draw against your home’s equity, the value of your home increases from having a developed basement giving you a larger amount from which to draw. If you sell your home in the future, an income suite boosts resale value.

Added bonus? Being a landlord in close proximity to your tenants means you’ll know if any issues arise, and if you go away on vacation, there’s someone there to keep an eye on your home.

2. A comfortable space for others

A basement suite is a great option for offering a private space for others to stay. For short-term accommodations, you can easily provide a welcoming, quiet retreat for family visiting over the holidays.

A secondary suite is also perfect for multi-generational living, whether it’s helping your young adult find their way out of the nest, or keeping an aging parent who needs extra assistance close by. There’s plenty of space to accommodate them, while preserving their independence and privacy.

3. Quiet retreat or workspace for your household

The work-from-home landscape has changed greatly over the last few years. With many companies offering hybrid schedules, finding a quiet workspace in the home has moved up on the priority list. A secondary suite is an excellent place to run your own business or work remotely as you have the privacy you need to focus, without the commute.

Basement suite in Wicklow at Rockland Park by Brookfield Residential in Calgary AB

If I don’t take the option for a finished basement, what comes with my home?

Brookfield Residential is proudly committed to building the best places to call home, including the basement. We ensure our basements can truly function to fit your family’s needs by incorporating windows and walkouts wherever possible, and plenty of lighting to keep the space bright.

If you don’t choose a finished basement option at the time of purchase, your unfinished basement will include windows and outer wall framing with insulation and a poly-vapour barrier. The rest is a blank space ready for you to design to your liking!

Basement suite in Wicklow at Seton by Brookfield Residential in Calgary AB

Owning a legal basement suite has plenty of benefits including additional income and an increased property value. Connect with our sales team to learn more about the Brookfield Residential homes in Calgary with basement options including secondary suites. We’ll be expecting you!