Can You Build a Small House Behind a Relative’s Home in Edmonton?

Do you want to try and build a tiny home on your property? Maybe you have permission from a relative and want to build a tiny house on their land behind their home, but you aren’t sure what permission you need or how big your home can be. Either way, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about building a small home behind a relative’s property in the Edmonton area.

Inside of a tiny home
Small home

What is a Tiny Home?

A tiny home is a self-contained dwelling unit. It has a living and dining area, bathroom, and kitchen. You also have a sleeping area intended for use all year round. A small home can be used as a primary home or a structure on land that already has a property. Campers, cottages, and recreational vehicles are not considered tiny homes, as they tend to be used on a seasonal basis.

Even though they may be small, tiny homes still must comply with many of the health and safety standards set out in the Alberta building code. It would be best if you also respected local by-laws and municipal zoning regulations. The size of the tiny home you can build will vary depending on the standards set in the zoning laws.

Some municipalities have minimum size requirements, while others have conditions around the maximum size. In every single case, you cannot make your home smaller than the size set out in the current building code.

Adding a Tiny Home to your Property

Before you even think about adding a tiny home to your property, you need to chat with your local planning committee. They can then tell you if you can add or even construct a tiny house within your property or a relative’s property. They can also advise you on the current Edmonton building regulations, zoning and more.

Before you go ahead and start planning your tiny home, you need to think about a few different things. Some of these can be found below:

  • Municipal zoning requirements
  • Building code design requirements
  • Building permits
  • Size requirements, if any
  • Building inspections
  • Parking requirements

Suppose you want to navigate some of the more complex building processes. In that case, it is recommended that you hire a building code designer registered with the Canadian government, an engineer, an architect, and a professional planner. These professionals will help you ensure you get the approval you need, and they can also arrange for various inspections to take place.

If you go through a custom home builder, you shouldn’t have to worry about things like this, as the company you go through will ensure that all regulations have been met. Most people agree that small homes should be less than 450 square feet, but remember, small homes don’t always have to be on wheels. Tiny homes can be on a foundation, and some can even have their own basement!

Requirements for Tiny Homes in Edmonton

There are a few rules that you need to follow if you want to build a tiny home in Edmonton. The minimum ceiling height is 2.1 meters, and sleeping lofts, usually constructed under sloped roofs, do not have to follow the minimum ceiling height as they can be used for built-in bunk beds.

The minimum door height is 1.98m but this changes to 1.89m with a secondary suite. In general, for a dwelling to be considered a tiny home, it must have a sleeping area, a bathroom with either a bath or shower and a cooking area with running water.  The good news is that most of the time, you won’t run into any issues when constructing your tiny home, even if it is not on your land, for example, a relative’s land.

The Canadian government is now encouraging people to build secondary dwellings to increase the housing supply and density. This means you can now get a permit to build a tiny home on a piece of land that already has another property.

If you want to find out more about building a tiny home, contact Timber Haus today to learn more about your options!