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The Ultimate Guide To Garden Suites

The Ultimate Guide To Garden Suites: Investment, Costs, Housing Potential, and More

The growing trend of garden suites is not only a stylish but also a sustainable housing solution that's capturing the attention of homeowners and investors alike. Also known as "coach houses,"or "accessory dwelling units," garden suites offer numerous benefits—from additional income streams to sustainable living. This comprehensive guide delves into the investment prospects, associated costs, housing potential, and other attractive factors of garden suites.

What are Garden Suites?

Garden suites are stand-alone housing units, generally situated in the backyard of an existing residential property. These compact, self-contained structures come with their own living space, kitchen, and bathroom. They serve as an additional living area apart from the main house and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as guest accommodation, rental income, or a home office.

Investment Opportunities

Rental Income

Perhaps the most immediate financial benefit is the potential for rental income. Depending on your location and the amenities offered, a garden suite can fetch a handsome monthly rent, thereby serving as a steady income source. This is particularly beneficial for homeowners looking to offset mortgage payments or other expenses.

Property Value

Adding a garden suite can significantly increase the resale value of your property. A well-designed and strategically placed garden suite not only enhances the property's aesthetic appeal but also its functional utility, thereby making it more attractive to potential buyers.

Tax Benefits

In some jurisdictions, building a garden suite could qualify you for tax deductions, particularly if it's used for rental income. Always consult a tax advisor to understand the possible tax implications in your specific case.

Costs Involved

Construction Costs

Building a garden suite involves various costs including labor & materials (hard costs), and permits (soft costs). On average, expect to spend anywhere from $400/Sqft on Hard Costs for a Standard Rental grade and up depending on how extensive you want to go with all the components that make up the build. The total cost can vary based on factors like the size of the unit, quality of materials, and labor costs for when you decide to begin the process.

Maintenance Costs

It’s crucial to factor in ongoing maintenance costs, such as utilities, repairs, and general upkeep. These costs can eat into your rental income, so it’s essential to budget for them.

Permit Costs

Building a garden suite will likely require permits and inspections, the costs of which vary by jurisdiction. Make sure to consult with an experienced Laneway/Garden suite consultant who knows the ins and outs of applying for the city permit.

Housing Potential

Aging in Place

Garden suites offer an excellent solution for aging family members who wish to remain close to loved ones while maintaining independence.

Community Building

Having a separate living space allows homeowners to accommodate extended family or friends, fostering stronger community ties and shared responsibilities.

Addressing Housing Shortages

Garden suites contribute to increasing the housing supply, thereby alleviating the stress on overpopulated urban centers. This is particularly significant in areas where housing is scarce or unaffordable.

Other Attractive Factors


Many garden suites are designed with sustainability in mind. Features like solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and sustainable building materials can make these units eco-friendly.


The versatility of a garden suite is one of its most attractive features. Whether you're using it as a home office, an art studio, or a rental unit, the space can easily adapt to various needs.


Unlike traditional rental arrangements, garden suites offer a unique blend of proximity and privacy. Tenants can enjoy a separate, self-contained living space while still having easy access to the main house.


The rise in popularity of garden suites is well-justified. As an investment opportunity, they offer a range of financial benefits from rental income to property value appreciation. While the initial costs can "seem" significant (Which they are not, considering that in today's market you can expect to pay upwards of $1,100/sqft for any property in the City), the long-term gains, both financial and social, make garden suites an attractive option for many homeowners. However, it's essential to approach this as a long-term investment, keeping in mind both the potential gains and the ongoing costs. With the added advantages of sustainability, flexibility, and housing potential, garden suites are undoubtedly a housing solution for the future.

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