Do you want to add value to your home? Are you looking to create a source of income or wanting to add a safe place for family? A secondary suite is fantastic way to accomplish this. 

Legal suites

The best way to ensure you and your tenants are protected is by adding a legal suite. Why go legal? Here are the basics:

  • Having an illegal suite voids a homeowner’s monthly home insurance.
  • Homeowner’s could end up in a costly legal battle for damages if anything happens to a tenant’s belongings if the proper safety systems aren’t installed in their home.
  • Tenants can be removed by the City if the suite is not legal. 
  • Homeowner’s could be forced to spend thousands to remove an illegal suite in their home.

What makes a suite legal?

Safety systems are what separate legal suites from illegal ones:

  • Fire alarms, interconnected smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Proper fire separation in the units: from fire rated walls and ceilings to fire rated self closing doors.
  • Proper venting for appliances
  • Proper access and fire egress
  • Ducting and heating requirements

For every situation the solution for each of these can look very different…

Our goal at All In Contracting is to ensure we find the best solution for your home, all while maintaining the most comfortable suite we can create.

If you are considering a secondary suite, the very first step is to contact us for a free discovery phone consultation. We can discuss the viability of a suite and what some of the big considerations might be so that we can ensure your suite will be up to code.


“What if I add an in-law suite?” 

his is just another name for an illegal suite that became popular in the 1980’s and 90’s. However, these are not allowed and there are very strict building codes and bylaws in place to ensure homeowners aren’t building one.

“What is the average cost of a new suite?”

In an unfinished part of the home the average cost of a suite is  $120 – $160 / sqf 

“DO suites require a permit?
Yes suites require extensive planning and city inspections. They also require to be registered with the city as a second unit to your home, this gives you additional garbage collection and a second mailing address. This is also so that if in an emergency, emergency services know where to go. 

“What if I have a suite, and want to legalize?”

The building code still requires that we add proper fire separation, fire doors, and alarms. All walls and ceilings and floors between suites require a minimum level of fire separation, so this means that depending on what is going on, we have had to pull out kitchens, renovate bathrooms and do extensive work to ensure the fire separation is continuous.   There are many ways to achieve a legal suite  and talking with an experienced builder is important. The BC building code has many ways to work around things, and each district interprets the rules differently.