When it comes to wanting to put a basement suite in your Abbotsford home, our team at Coleridge Construction often walks through the process with our clients on the major differences between a legal and an illegal basement suite.  We are always pro legal basement suite, because overall we hate to watch our clients throw money down the drain, and when a client chooses to pursue a suite without legalizing it that is essentially what is happening.  Our team at Coleridge Construction put together a list of some of the major topics that surround renovating a legal basement suite in your Abbotsford home.

What is the main difference between a legal and illegal basement suite:

To be considered a legal basement suite your planning, preparation and construction would need to involve going through the city permit process. Which focus on proper fire protection and overall safety because of the added risks involved with adding another living space to your home.

Does this process cost more:

Yes, but just a minimal amount and the benefits pay forward continually. The process of going through permits does cost a little more, around 2k-4k, with plans, city permit expense and possibly engineering being needed. But the benefits stated above concerning increased home value only happens when you go through the proper channels of a legal basement suite.

What are the risks of NOT doing a legal basement suite:

Unfortunately, there are lots. By not going through the proper channels for renovating a basement suite, you open yourself up to city fines either during construction and even afterwards. Tenants possibly being mandated to leave by the city, fire and other safety hazards and in the end wasting money. The last thing you want is to have to replace aspects of your project after construction is completed in order to get it suddenly permitted. Not to mention time and putting yourself legally at risk for having to break your lease with your tenant for this permit process to take place.

I bought a house with an illegal suite; can I turn it into a legal suit basement suite:

Yes. For this process you typically can not be currently renting your basement suite out and then we would need to submit a permit to the city and they would let us know what areas of your home that they are required to make your home up to code for a legal suite. This would usually include areas of fire protection, ventilation, and possible drywall fixes. Sometimes it will be very challenging and sometimes it is very straightforward. However, the overall priory is the safety of your family and your future tenant’s family.

If you’re in the process of wanting to turn your basement into a legal basement suite, our team at Coleridge Construction would love to connect with you.

See our attached pdf, as to why a legal basement suite could be the best investment for your home.

Home Maintenance Checklist (PDF)

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