Process to Build

Looking for a simple breakdown of the process to build a Garden Suite in Edmonton? Here it is. The diagram below will take you through the main steps involved in building a suite; from determining if your lot is eligible for a Garden Suite to getting your Occupancy Permit. Be sure to click on the links embedded in the diagram to learn more and get additional information. 



Determine if your lot is eligible for a suite (find out here)


Work with a designer to create a concept plan, talk to a financial expert about financing


Schedule and attend infill pre-application meeting with the City



Inspection by the City


Construction can begin


City approves your application 


City reviews your application 


These steps have been adapted from the City of Edmonton's Garden Suite How-To-Guide. Below are more detailed descriptions of each step. 

Occupancy Permit Issued by the City

Watch the construction of an Edmonton Garden Suite from start to finish. Suite by Jeff Klotz -

Additional resources

Development Process

Here is another simplified version of the process to build a Garden Suite in Edmonton. 

Garden Suite How-to-guide

The City of Edmonton has worked to develop a Garden Suite How-To-Guide. This guide provides you with everything you need to know about what it takes to build a suite. It walks you through the stages of planning and provides you with information on key regulations and bylaws. From zoning to height maximums, this guide has got you covered! See the City of Edmonton's How-To-Guide in the link below.


Suite Construction videos

Watch this short time-lapse of Edmonton's first net-zero laneway home being built. This suite is complete with a solar wall, heat pumps, and 10'' thick walls. Suite by Carbon Busters - Shanthu Mano,

Here is a 7 minute video of a suite being built in Edmonton. This suite is by Jeff Klotz. 


Determine if your lot is eligible 

The two things to consider when determining if your lot is eligible for a Garden Suite are zoning and lot size. Most lots in Edmonton do allow Garden Suites. Use this table to determine if your lot is eligible for a Garden Suite. 


Create Concept Plan & Organize financing 

Before submitting your application for a Garden Suite, you must have a concept plan of what you are planning on building. If you don't have design experience yourself, this is where you would want to reach out to a builder or designer with Garden Suite experience so that they can help with your concept plan. This is the stage at which you would also want to reach out to a builder and mortgage specialist at your financial institution to speak with them about financing your suite.  A builder can help you determine the costs associated with building a suite. 


Infill Pre-Application Meeting

The City of Edmonton offers free pre-application meetings to people that are looking at building a Garden Suite in an established neighbourhood. This is an opportunity for city planners to provide feedback on your concept plan and give you guidance about what should be considered for your final design. This can help expedite the permitting process. The more detail you can provide about your design at this stage, the better. 


Submit permit Application

You will want to submit a development permit and building permit for your Garden Suite. If you are demolishing an existing garage or structure, you will also want to submit a demolition permit. 


Application review

At this point, the City of Edmonton reviews your application. It is important to remember that as long as your design is within the current rules and regulations and does not conflict with a bylaw or need a variance, it cannot be denied by a development officer or appealed by neighbours. This is why the pre-application meeting is so important as it ensures your design follows all rules and regulations. 


Application approval 

You must have approval of your demolition permit (if applicable), your development permit, and your building permit before construction begins. If your permit was approved with a variance, a notice will be sent to your neighbours at this time, giving them an opportunity to appeal your suite. This is also the stage at which you must have a Development Permit Notification Sign made by the city and placed on your lawn. This must be done within 14 days of receiving permit approval. 



At this stage, construction can begin. It's always a good idea to be in contact with your neighbours at this point to let them know about any disruptions.  


Inspection by city 

Periodic inspections will take place at certain points during the construction process and at the end of construction. 


Occupancy Permit 

Once you are done construction and all necessary inspections are complete, you will receive your occupancy permit!



Celebrate because you just built a Garden Suite! Woo! Yay! Show off your suite to your neighbours by throwing a suite warming party, relax in your backyard escape, or call YEGarden Suites so we can feature your hard work on one of our tours ;) 

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