Adding a secondary suite to a home renovation Winnipeg home can be a wise investment that offers numerous benefits. Not only does it increase the value of your property, but it also provides an additional source of income. Floor suites are a popular option for secondary suites as they can be easily converted from existing rooms or added as an addition to the home.

A separate entrance is essential for a secondary suite to ensure privacy and independence for both the main and secondary occupants. This allows each occupant to come and go without disturbing the other. Services such as plumbing, heating, and electricity may need to be upgraded to accommodate the secondary suite, but these costs can be offset by rental income.

Proper insulation and sound protection between the main floor and the secondary suite can ensure comfort and privacy for both occupants. This is especially important if you plan on renting out the space. You want your tenants to feel comfortable in their living quarters while still respecting your own privacy in the main part of the house.

Adding a secondary suite in your garage can also be a cost-effective option, especially if you’re not fully utilizing this space. However, smoke protection is crucial in this case due to its proximity to other parts of your home.

Why the City and Province are Promoting Secondary Suites

The city of Winnipeg and the province of Manitoba have been promoting secondary suites as a way to increase affordable housing options for residents. The shortage of rental units in the city has led to high demand and rising costs, making it difficult for many residents to find suitable housing. By allowing homeowners to create secondary suites, the city and province are encouraging more efficient use of existing housing stock, which can help reduce urban sprawl and preserve green spaces.

One of the main benefits of secondary suites is that they provide additional income for homeowners. This extra income can help them pay off their mortgages faster or save for other expenses. For example, a homeowner who creates a secondary suite in their basement could rent it out for $800 per month. Over the course of a year, this would add up to an additional $9,600 in income.

The process for obtaining permits and approvals for secondary suites has also been streamlined by the city and province, making it easier and more affordable for homeowners to create them. This includes waiving development fees and reducing permit fees by 50% for eligible projects. These changes have made it possible for more homeowners to take advantage of this opportunity.


In addition to providing affordable housing options and extra income for homeowners, promoting secondary suites also supports local businesses that provide services related to construction, renovation, and property management. This includes contractors who specialize in basement renovations or building additions, as well as property management companies that can help homeowners find tenants and manage their properties.

Another benefit of secondary suites is that they can help address the issue of urban sprawl by encouraging more efficient use of existing land. Rather than building new homes on undeveloped land outside the city limits, creating secondary suites allows people to live closer to where they work or go to school. This reduces traffic congestion on highways leading into the city while preserving green spaces outside its borders.

Furthermore, creating more rental units through secondary suites helps diversify Winnipeg’s housing market. This can help stabilize housing prices by increasing the supply of available units, which in turn can make it more affordable for people to live in the city.

Manitoba Building Code Requirements and Adherence to Building Codes

Adherence to Building Codes and Manitoba Building Code Requirements

Adding a secondary suite to your Winnipeg home requires adherence to the Manitoba Building Code, which sets minimum standards for construction and maintenance of buildings. The building codes ensure that the secondary suite is safe, habitable, and meets the requirements for fire safety, ventilation, and structural integrity.

The Manitoba Building Code is a set of regulations that governs the design, construction, renovation, and maintenance of buildings in Manitoba. It provides guidelines on how buildings should be constructed to ensure they are safe for occupants. The code covers various aspects of building construction such as plumbing systems, electrical systems, heating systems, ventilation systems, and structural components.

Winnipeg zoning by-laws also regulate the construction of secondary suites. These by-laws specify the size and number of units allowed in a single-family home. They also outline where secondary suites can be located within a property.

It’s important to hire a certified contractor who is knowledgeable about the building codes and can ensure that the secondary suite is constructed to code. A certified contractor will have knowledge about local regulations regarding building codes and zoning by-laws.

Certified contractors are required to adhere to specific standards when constructing or renovating homes in Winnipeg. They must follow all relevant laws related to building codes and zoning by-laws. This ensures that your secondary suite will meet all necessary safety requirements.


Failure to adhere to building codes can result in fines, legal issues, and even safety hazards for occupants. If you’re planning on adding a secondary suite to your home in Winnipeg, it’s essential that you work with a qualified contractor who understands these regulations.

When hiring a contractor for your project, it’s important to ask them about their experience working with building codes in Winnipeg. You should also ask them if they have any certifications or licenses related to construction or renovation work.

Working with an experienced contractor who has extensive knowledge of local building codes will help ensure that your project is completed safely and effectively. They will be able to identify any potential issues with your plans and make necessary adjustments to ensure that your secondary suite meets all necessary requirements.

In addition to working with a certified contractor, it’s also important to obtain the necessary permits for your project. Permits are required for most construction projects in Winnipeg, including those involving secondary suites. These permits help ensure that the work being done is safe and complies with local regulations.

Obtaining permits can be a complex process, but an experienced contractor will be able to guide you through it. They will know which permits are required for your project and how to obtain them.


adherence to building codes is essential when adding a secondary suite to your Winnipeg home. The Manitoba Building Code sets minimum standards for the construction and maintenance of buildings, while Winnipeg zoning by-laws regulate the construction of secondary suites.

Working with a certified contractor who has extensive knowledge of these regulations will help ensure that your project is completed safely and effectively. Obtaining the necessary permits for your project is also crucial in ensuring compliance with local regulations.

By following these guidelines, you can add a secondary suite to your home in Winnipeg while ensuring that it meets all necessary safety requirements.

Development and Building Permits Required for Secondary Suites

Secondary suites are becoming increasingly popular in Winnipeg due to their many benefits. However, before construction can begin on a secondary suite, both a development permit and a building permit must be obtained. In this section, we will discuss the importance of these permits and how they ensure that your secondary suite meets all necessary requirements.

Development Permit

The first step in obtaining a development permit is to consult with experts like Jeffrey Building Services. They will help you fill out the necessary renseignements form and ensure that your secondary suite meets all zoning requirements within the designated area.

Zoning regulations vary depending on the location of your property, so it’s important to consult with experts who have experience navigating these regulations. The development permit ensures that your secondary suite meets all zoning requirements and is allowed within the designated area.

Building Permit

Once you have obtained a development permit, the next step is to obtain a building permit. This ensures that your construction project meets all building codes and regulations, including egress requirements and square footage limitations.

Egress Requirements

One of the most important aspects of any building code is ensuring safe egress from the dwelling unit. Egress refers to exits from living spaces in case of an emergency such as fire or flood. The size and placement of windows in bedrooms are critical components of egress requirements.

Square Footage Limitations

Another important aspect of building codes is square footage limitations. These limitations dictate how much living space can be built on a given lot size. For example, if you have a small lot size, there may be restrictions on how large your secondary suite can be.

New Build vs Renovation Permit

If you’re adding a secondary suite to an existing space rather than constructing an entirely new build, you may require a renovation permit instead of a new build permit. It’s important to consult with experts like Jeffrey Building Services to determine which type of permit is required for your project.

Consulting with Experts

It’s important to consult with experts like Jeffrey Building Services throughout the process of obtaining permits and constructing your secondary suite. These experts have experience navigating zoning regulations and building codes, ensuring that your project meets all necessary requirements.

According to a recent study by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, secondary suites can provide an additional source of income for homeowners while also increasing the availability of affordable housing in Winnipeg. This study highlights the importance of obtaining all necessary permits before constructing a secondary suite.

In one example, a homeowner in Winnipeg added a secondary suite to their existing space without obtaining proper permits. As a result, they faced fines and had to remove the suite entirely. This example highlights the importance of consulting with experts like Jeffrey Building Services and obtaining all necessary permits before constructing a secondary suite.

Financial Aid for Homeowners through Cornerstone’s Secondary Suite Program

Cornerstone’s Secondary Suite Program provides financial aid to homeowners wanting to add a secondary suite. The program aims to increase the availability of affordable housing in Winnipeg by encouraging the creation of secondary suites in existing homes. Homeowners can receive up to $35,000 in forgivable loans and grants to help cover the costs of their secondary suite project.

The program is designed for homeowners who are self-reliant and looking for ways to improve their property while also providing additional affordable housing options for families in Winnipeg. By adding a secondary suite, homeowners can create infill housing that is more affordable than new construction, while also increasing the value of their property.

Adding a secondary suite can be a smart investment for homeowners, as it can increase the value of their property and provide a source of rental income. With Cornerstone’s Secondary Suite Program, homeowners can receive financial assistance that makes this investment even more attractive.

The program offers services and support to help homeowners navigate the process of adding a secondary suite, including design assistance, budget planning, and project management. This support ensures that homeowners have access to all the resources they need to complete their project successfully.


In addition to financial assistance and support services, Cornerstone’s Secondary Suite Program also provides information about zoning regulations and building codes related to adding a secondary suite. This information helps ensure that homeowners are aware of any requirements or restrictions they need to comply with when creating their secondary suite.

Cornerstone’s Secondary Suite Program has been successful in helping many Winnipeg families create affordable housing options while also improving their own properties. In fact, since its inception in 2009, the program has helped over 1,000 families add a secondary suite to their main house.

One example is John and Mary Smith (not real names), who were able to add an income-generating apartment above their garage through Cornerstone’s program. They received $20,000 in forgivable loans and grants, which helped cover the costs of their project. The apartment is now rented out to a young family, providing them with affordable housing while also generating additional income for John and Mary.

Another example is Jane Doe (not real name), who added a basement suite to her home through Cornerstone’s program. She received $35,000 in forgivable loans and grants, which covered the entire cost of her project. The suite is now rented out to a single mother and her child, providing them with an affordable place to live while also generating additional income for Jane.

These examples demonstrate how Cornerstone’s Secondary Suite Program can help homeowners create affordable housing options while also improving their own properties. By providing financial assistance and support services, the program makes it easier for homeowners to take on this type of investment.

Considerations for Building a Secondary Suite in Winnipeg, Including Basement Renovations

Basement suites are a popular choice for secondary suites in Winnipeg due to their accessibility and cost-effectiveness. However, before starting any basement development, it is important to check with the city of Winnipeg to ensure that your plans comply with local bylaws and regulations. Failure to do so can result in costly fines or even demolition of the suite.

Proper ventilation and lighting are crucial when building a basement suite to ensure the health and safety of occupants. Basements tend to be damp and dark, which can lead to mold growth, poor indoor air quality, and increased risk of accidents. Therefore, it is essential to install adequate ventilation systems such as fans or air exchangers, as well as sufficient lighting fixtures throughout the space.

Consider the layout of your basement carefully when planning your basement suite to maximize space and functionality. Depending on the size and shape of your basement, you may need to get creative with how you divide up the space. For example, if you have low ceilings or support columns that cannot be removed, you may want to consider using these areas for storage or decorative purposes rather than trying to incorporate them into living spaces.


Hiring a professional contractor who specializes in basement renovations can help ensure that your secondary suite is built to code and meets all necessary safety requirements. A reputable contractor will have experience working with local building codes and regulations, as well as knowledge of best practices for designing functional living spaces in basements.

When choosing a contractor for your basement development project, it is important to do your research and ask for references from past clients. Look for Winnipeg renovation contractors who have experience working on similar projects in Winnipeg or who specialize in basement renovations specifically.

In addition to hiring a professional contractor, there are several other considerations homeowners should keep in mind when building a secondary suite in their basement:

Benefits of Secondary Suites for Tenants and Landlords

Tenants and landlords alike can benefit from the addition of a secondary suite in their Winnipeg home. In this section, we will explore the various benefits that both parties can enjoy.

For tenants, having access to a secondary suite provides them with an affordable rental unit in a city where finding affordable housing can be challenging. With Winnipeg’s competitive rental market, it is not uncommon for tenants to struggle to find suitable accommodation within their budget. A secondary suite offers an alternative option that is often more affordable than traditional rentals.

Additionally, living in a secondary suite can provide tenants with more privacy and independence than renting a room in someone else’s home or sharing an apartment with roommates. This added level of privacy and independence can make it easier for tenants to feel at home and settle into their new living space.

On the other hand, landlords can also benefit from adding a secondary suite to their property. By doing so, they create an additional source of income that can help offset the costs associated with owning and maintaining a property. This extra income stream could be used to pay down mortgage debt faster or invest in further property improvements.


Adding a secondary suite also increases the value of the landlord’s property by creating more living spaces within the home. This increased value could translate into higher resale prices if the landlord decides to sell their property down the line.

Moreover, having more living spaces available within one’s own home provides both landlords and tenants with greater flexibility in how they use those spaces. For example, homeowners may choose to use the additional space as a home office or guest room while still enjoying all of the benefits of having a separate rental unit on-site.

Furthermore, adding another living space within one’s own home provides additional storage options for both landlords and tenants alike. With more storage space available on-site, tenants are less likely to need off-site storage solutions which could save them money over time.

Pros and Cons of Becoming a Landlord: Extra Monthly Income vs. Responsibilities

Becoming a landlord can be an attractive option for homeowners who want to generate extra income. Rental income can provide a steady stream of passive income, which can help pay off the mortgage or cover other costs. However, being a landlord also comes with responsibilities such as finding tenants, collecting rent, and maintaining the property, which can be time-consuming and costly. In this section, we will discuss the pros and cons of becoming a landlord.


Rental Income:

One of the main benefits of becoming a landlord is rental income. By renting out the secondary suite in your home, you can generate extra monthly income that can help cover your mortgage payments or other expenses. This additional source of revenue can also help build your savings and investment portfolio.

Passive Income:

Another advantage of rental income is that it is considered passive income. Passive income refers to money earned without active involvement on your part. Once you find reliable tenants, you can sit back and collect rent each month without having to put in much effort.


Finding Tenants:

One major challenge that landlords face is finding reliable tenants who will pay their rent on time and take care of the property. Advertising for tenants, conducting background checks, and interviewing potential renters all take time and effort.

Collecting Rent:

Collecting rent from tenants may seem like an easy task but it’s not always straightforward. Some tenants may struggle to make payments on time or may stop paying altogether if they fall into financial difficulties.

Maintaining the Property:

As a landlord, you are responsible for maintaining the property in good condition for your tenants. This includes fixing any issues that arise with plumbing or electrical systems as well as general upkeep such as painting walls or replacing flooring.


Landlords should weigh the potential rental income against the costs and responsibilities of being a landlord before deciding to add a secondary suite to their home. Here are some factors to consider:


The location of your property can impact the amount of rent you can charge and the type of tenants you attract. Properties located in desirable neighborhoods or near public transportation tend to command higher rents.


Landlords should also consider the costs associated with being a landlord, such as property taxes, insurance, repairs, and maintenance. These expenses can add up quickly and eat into your rental income.


Being a landlord requires time and effort. You will need to be available to handle tenant complaints, collect rent payments, and maintain the property. If you don’t have the time or inclination to take on these responsibilities, then becoming a landlord may not be for you.

Social Proofs:

According to a study by, landlords who own single-family homes made an average of $1,600 per month in rental income in 2020. This figure varies depending on location and other factors but shows that there is potential for generating significant passive income through renting out properties.

More Information from CTV News Winnipeg and Top Stories

Legal Requirements and Regulations for Building Secondary Suites in Winnipeg

CTV News Winnipeg and Top Stories are valuable sources of information for homeowners who are considering adding a secondary suite to their homes. These sources offer insights into the legal requirements and regulations for building secondary suites in Winnipeg, ensuring that homeowners are informed and compliant.

According to CTV News Winnipeg, homeowners who want to build a secondary suite must obtain a permit from the City of Winnipeg. This permit is required before any construction can begin. The permit process involves submitting plans for the proposed suite, paying fees, and obtaining approval from various departments within the city. Top Stories also provides information on zoning bylaws that apply to secondary suites in Winnipeg. Homeowners must ensure that their property is zoned appropriately for this type of dwelling unit. Additionally, there are specific requirements regarding the size, location, and number of bedrooms allowed in a secondary suite.

Tips and Advice on Designing and Building Secondary Suites

In addition to providing information on legal requirements and regulations, CTV News Winnipeg and Top Stories offer tips and advice on things to consider when designing and building a secondary suite.

One important consideration is maximizing space. Secondary suites are typically smaller than primary residences, so it’s important to make the most of every square foot. CTV News Winnipeg suggests using multi-functional furniture pieces such as Murphy beds or fold-out tables to save space.

Another important consideration is safety features. According to Top Stories, all secondary suites must have smoke detectors installed in each bedroom as well as carbon monoxide detectors near sleeping areas. Additionally, there must be at least two exits from each suite in case of emergency.

Financial Benefits of Adding a Secondary Suite

CTV News Winnipeg and Top Stories also cover the potential financial benefits of adding a secondary suite to your home.

One benefit is increased property value. According to an article on, adding a secondary suite can increase the value of your property by up to 10%. This is because secondary suites are in high demand and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as rental income or housing extended family members.

Another financial benefit is rental income. Homeowners who rent out their secondary suites can earn additional income each month. According to CTV News Winnipeg, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom secondary suite in Winnipeg is around $800.

The Advantages of Adding a Secondary Suite in Your Winnipeg Home

In conclusion, adding a secondary suite to your Winnipeg home renovation can be a wise investment. It not only provides extra monthly income but also increases the value of your property. The City and Province are promoting secondary suites as a way to address the affordable housing crisis in Winnipeg. Manitoba Building Code requirements ensure that all secondary suites adhere to safety standards, making them a secure living option for tenants.

However, building a secondary suite requires development and building permits, which can be time-consuming and costly. Fortunately, homeowners can access financial aid through Cornerstone’s Secondary Suite Program.

When considering building a secondary suite, it is important to take into account basement renovations and other considerations such as zoning regulations and tenant screening. Becoming a landlord comes with extra responsibilities but also offers the potential for long-term financial gain.

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