Process to Build
Looking for a simple breakdown of the process to build a Backyard House 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 Backyard House 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
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.
Backyard House 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, email@example.com
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 Backyard House are zoning and lot size. Most lots in Edmonton do allow Backyard Housing. Use this table to determine if your lot is eligible for a Backyard Housing.
Create Concept Plan & Organize financing
Before submitting your application for a Backyard Housing, 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 Backyard Housing 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 Backyard Housing 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
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.
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 Backyard House. 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.
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 ;)