New Zoning Rules for Kelowna
Tips & Advice from your Kelowna Electricians at Greenway Electrical
In the current Kelowna market, rental occupancy rates are at an all-time low, and many homeowners are considering adding or upgrading their rental or basement suites to serve as mortgage helpers or as a lucrative source of additional income. New zoning rules in the city of Kelowna make it easier to upgrade or install rental and basement suites. But here’s something vital you need to know – all electrical upgrades need to be up to code. And this isn’t just about obeying the law; it’s about guaranteeing the safety and well-being of everyone who lives inside the four walls you call home.
A secondary suite is a self-contained residence, located within your house, that has its own entrance, kitchen, bathroom and living area. Usually a secondary suite is separate from the rest of the home by its own walls, floor, and doors, but this is not always the case. To qualify as a secondary suite, the apartment will need to meet certain zoning, property, occupancy, health and safety, fire and electrical standards. Fortunately, your local Kelowna electrician knows the BC electrical code and how and when to apply it.
A basement suite is an enclosed area, usually called an apartment, that is located below ground (also called street) level. It is located underneath another home, which is often occupied by the owners renting the basement suite. Basement suites must have their own kitchen, bathroom, living area and entrance to qualify as a basement suite. Rent in basement apartments is usually lower than it is in ground units, because some people do not like living below ground level. All bedrooms require interlocked smoke detectors when making an area a legal suite. If the unit shares heat with the principle dwelling, you are required to install an in-duct smoke detector. A basement apartment might be just what you need to provide the added income to make your ideal purchase affordable, but you will need to check your local municipal legislation to determine if you can have a basement suite in your house.
Carriage houses get their name from the out buildings of large manors where owners stored their carriages. Nowadays, a carriage house is defined as a dwelling in a building on a residential property that also contains a single detached dwelling. The carriage house is a structure that is separate and independent from the other dwelling. The requirements of a carriage house – the building of one, or the conversion of an existing structure – are set down in municipal law.
Not only do homes with a rental suite command a premium on their sale price, but mortgage lenders tend to appraise the value of these properties higher, as do potential buyers. You can subsidize some of the many costs that come with home ownership, such as utility bills and home insurance. A rental suite will increase the value of your property and give it enhanced marketability when you come to sell your home. However, it is very expensive if you get caught with an illegal suite, you get a fine, then have to pull a permit with the city, call an electrician, then pay for an electrical permit, and for the electrician to remove your range feeder wire. This can end up costing well over $1000, so it’s important to ensure if you are building a suite or renovating an existing suite that everything is up to standard.
Before you start construction on your new home, or if you’re planning to conduct any substantial renovations on your existing one, it would be extremely beneficial and cost-effective in the long-run for you to order a complete inspection of the building’s electrical system. This would include a full sweep of everything electric – from outlets, smoke detectors and appliances, to an in-depth examination of all electrical wiring – the ‘nervous system’ of your home – to the fail safe switch of the electrical panel. At Greenway Electrical, we offer you a complete electrical service. Our experienced professional electricians are committed to electrical safety and the cost-saving benefits of energy efficiency. From residential to commercial to industrial, we provide the solution. We stay up to date on all the latest coding and legislation, so rest assured that, any time of the day or night, Greenway Electrical is your trusted and dependable 24/7 Kelowna electrician.