By Justin Endresen, Alair Maple Ridge Partner

Home additions in Maple Ridge are becoming increasingly popular.  We’ve had a lot of clients reach out in the past couple years, looking to invest in their homes to create a more functional space for their families. They are looking for more room for growing kids, flex rooms, more bathrooms. We’re also seeing many build a space for in-laws and parents. It’s not just a trend here but one that we’re seeing across the region

Why home additions are so popular

It’s no secret that there’s a high demand for rental units in the lower mainland. Homeowners are looking to build attached suites and garden suites as a source of monthly income. In fact, we’ve completed four suites and two garden suites this year alone! And we have more heading into construction in the new year. 

The house addition trend is so popular that I’ve even taken the plunge.

My wife and I bought a new home in Maple Ridge about two years ago. My parents don’t live in town and they were doing a lot of traveling. As a result, they felt like they didn’t have the chance to see their grandchildren as often as they would like.  What we really needed was a primary house that could accommodate everyone while still giving all of us our own space. 

Building a TRU Suite Home Addition in Maple Ridge

We ended up building a temporary residential unit (a TRU suite) on the side of our home. A TRU suite is meant for in-laws or family members. It is not supposed to be rented out.  It allows you to build a permitted suite with a second cooking facility without the additional code upgrades required when building a regular rental suite.

Out TRU suite is designed in such a clever way that you don’t really even notice that you have someone living beside you. When you need a quiet weekend, it feels private. But when it’s time to have everyone over for Christmas, we open it up and it allows the whole family to connect. (Plus, who wouldn’t want babysitters living right next door!) 

When you are thinking of starting a home addition in Maple Ridge, here are a few things to keep in mind: 

What to consider before building a home addition in Maple Ridge

Before you start any building project, be sure to check your local municipality’s guidelines and bylaws. The Building and Planning department has online guidelines but it is really decided on a case by case basis. 

This is something that a local general contractor like Alair Homes Maple Ridge can help you navigate. Even if it seems like you may not be able to build something, we may be able to make a case for you, present it to the board of variance, and get it accepted for you and your family.

The provincial and federal governments are now even incentivizing local governments on permit costs and approval turnaround times for multi-generational living options. So a “no” today could be a “yes” tomorrow.

Home Addition Must-Haves

It’s important to sit down with the entire family and go through everyone’s wants and needs. Define the items that are a must and identify things that can be compromised on. Does the home addition need to have a separate office or can that area be used for something else? Having a clear picture can prevent upset and frustration later on. 

I highly recommend that you make your suite self-sufficient. It should have a separate heat source, separate access, and ample parking. (Who do you know that even parks in their garage anymore? We all need that extra storage!) 

But as the trend towards densification continues, we’re all going to want to protect our privacy.  A smart floor plan is key. And, I recommend you invest in soundproofing your TRU suite. 

Keep in mind that as you go through this process, you will learn a lot about your home and how it functions. This may require some upgrades to your existing space. The good news is that this usually results in a more efficient house overall and future energy cost savings for all residents. 

What do home additions and suite means for resale value 

Realtors say multi-generational living homes and garden suites are the hottest thing on the market today. Adding these spaces can add huge value to your home. 

We suggest looking at the average prices per square foot of house in your neighbourhood to give you a better sense. And be sure to speak with a local realtor to help better understand the projected increased value. 

If you’re looking to start a home addition in Maple Ridge, whether it’s building a TRU suite, a rental suite or a free-standing garden suite, be sure to get in touch!