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Unlocking Potential: Adding a Secondary Suite to Your Edmonton Home

If you're considering renovating your Edmonton home, adding a secondary suite can be a smart move. It not only enhances your living space but also opens up opportunities for rental income. Before you dive into the renovation adventure, let's break down some key aspects.

Costs

Renovation costs can vary, but it's essential to budget for both the construction and potential hidden expenses. On average, expect to invest $50,000+, but this can go up depending on the extent of the changes needed.

Permits

Edmonton has specific regulations for secondary suites. Before you start knocking down walls, check with the city to ensure you're compliant. Permits are required, covering safety and zoning regulations. It's a crucial step to avoid issues down the road. You can visit the official City of Edmonton - Secondary Suites page, with information on permits, guidelines and regulations for suites in Edmonton.

Things to be Aware of

Consider the existing layout of your home and how the addition will impact it. Plumbing and electrical systems might need adjustments. Also, think about the logistics of creating a separate entrance for the suite.

Potential Pitfalls

Renovations can uncover surprises. Be prepared for unexpected challenges, like outdated wiring or plumbing issues. Having a contingency fund will help you navigate these bumps in the road without derailing your project.

Benefits

Adding a secondary suite comes with perks. Beyond extra income from renting it out, it can increase your property value. The additional living space can also make your home more attractive to potential buyers if you decide to sell in the future.

Other Considerations

Think about the type of tenant you want to attract and design the suite accordingly. Also, keep in mind that managing a rental property comes with responsibilities, so be ready to take on the role of a landlord.

In a nutshell, renovating to add a secondary suite in Edmonton can be a game-changer. Just be sure to do your homework, secure the necessary permits, and have a realistic budget in place. It's an investment that can pay off both now and in the future.

Here are a couple more resources that may help:

Alberta - Secondary suites - Building codes

RenovationFind - What is Needed to Build a Legal Secondary Suite in Edmonton

Happy renovating!
Jason

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Water damage is on the rise – is your home protected?

(NC) In recent years, water damage from flooding has become increasingly common across Canada. In fact, the Insurance Bureau of Canada says that water damage accounts for nearly half of all insurance claims, and the frequency and cost of these claims has risen dramatically in recent years.  

Some of this increase in property water damage is due to climate change, with strong storms becoming more frequent and lasting longer. Infrastructure in many areas is old or inadequate and unable to handle the volume of water associated with these new storms as well as flash floods or snowmelt.  

Sewer backups are also occurring more often, both with old systems and with newer ones that are designed to handle both rain and sewer water. Faulty plumbing is another factor that can contribute to water damage, especially in aging, poorly constructed or poorly designed buildings. 

Despite these concerns, a poll from the Insurance Bureau of Canada revealed that more than a quarter of people don’t know if their property insurance policies cover flooding, while another 45 per cent only “think” they do. Not knowing whether you have coverage for water damage can be costly.   

Fortunately, according to Aviva Canada, one of Canada’s largest insurance providers, there are things you can do to help protect your property: 

  • Perform regular maintenance on plumbing systems, including sanitary lines and hot water tanks. Have water and sewer lines scoped to reveal damage from tree roots. Test shut-off valves to ensure they will work in an emergency. 
  • Pay attention to your building envelope. Roof leaks are one of the most common causes of water damage, especially in areas that are prone to freezing weather, strong winds and hail. So, it’s important to maintain the condition of your roof and clear your downspouts and drains of obstructions. Caulk your windows to ensure an adequate seal, and make sure grading slopes away from your premises. 
  • Is your water hard or soft? Depending on where you live, the quality of water can affect your appliances and plumbing systems, causing them to deteriorate much more quickly. Water softeners are available for hard water areas, but you could consider using a softener for soft water areas too, as soft water can lead to corrosion of copper piping. 
  • Technology can monitor and even reduce issues related to fluctuations in building temperature. Water detection and shut-off systems can prevent damage from burst pipes due to freezing or leaking of your hot water tank. Installing these systems can help eliminate or reduce loss to your property,  particularly when you’re not there. 

Talk to your insurance broker about what level of water damage your current homeowner’s insurance covers and what additional insurance you might need. Find one in your area today at aviva.ca/en/find-a-broker. 

 
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Small makeovers, big style impact

(NC) Sometimes you want to create a major change in your home, but don’t want to shell out for an expensive renovation. Fortunately, you can use these tips to makeover any space.


Kitchen. Instantly make this room look sophisticated and transformed with a new backsplash. Since it’s a relatively small surface area, you can splurge on more luxurious tiles to create the aesthetic of your dreams, whether it’s sleek and modern or rustic and country. Finish off the room by swapping out cabinet hardware for a fresh and polished look.


Living room. The right window coverings can add value, style and ambiance to your main living area. Frame the space with custom-designed window treatments from Hunter Douglas that let you choose the perfect fabric, size and style, whether you have patio or sliding glass doors or a bay window. Their shades offer both natural light and privacy, as well as energy efficiency and smart-home operating systems that move the shades automatically to their perfect positions throughout the day.


Bedroom. Switching up the bed linens can have a major effect on the mood in your bedroom, whether you want to go for chic and cheerful or eclectic and bohemian. Just be careful not to be too matchy-matchy with your comforter, sheets and pillows — it screams bed in a bag, which lacks style and personality. Instead, add your own flair with a variety of colours and patterns for space that is unique to you.


Bathroom. It’s wise to keep plumbing where it is, as moving the location of your sink or tub can be a pricey move that isn’t worth the expense. For a more affordable makeover, focus on decorative elements that can give you that home-spa feel. Add a bold frame to the vanity mirror and invest in open storage shelves. Store personal items in drawers or textured baskets, and line shelves with plush towels, candles and live greenery for a lush, comforting ambience.

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