Kelowna Accessory Buildings: What You Need to Know

A Kelowna accessory building can provide some much needed added space as a workshop, garage, pool house or a quiet place to dwell. 

A Kelowna accessory building can provide some much needed added space as a workshop, garage, pool house or a quiet place to dwell. 

Accessory buildings are usually small secondary dwellings on one’s property that serve a multitude of purposes. If built right, not only can they increase the value of your property, they can add to your storage space or be used as a quiet place to dwell. They can even provide a small guest suite for your family members and friends to stay when they visit. We answer your questions on what’s required to build Kelowna accessory buildings and how they can be useful by adding to your home’s value and your family’s quality of life:


What’s the Difference Between a Home Addition and an Accessory Building?

Home additions normally include any construction where space is being added or attached to a home. This includes adding a garage or any room additions such as an exercise room, sunroom, an in-law or secondary suite to an existing structure. A home addition can also be the inclusion of an added floor, loft or basement.

An accessory building is the inclusion of a secondary structure or detached building on your property.


What are Some of the Uses for Accessory Buildings?

Accessory buildings serve a number of purposes. Some uses include: 

  • Storage shed
  • Workshop
  • Playhouse
  • Games room
  • Pool house or cabana
  • Greenhouse
  • Studio
  • Gazebo
  • Inlaw suite or guest home


Do Accessory Buildings Require Foundations?

It depends on the size of the structure and what it is being used for. A larger building or anything that will be used as a dwelling will require the necessary footing, foundation and wall design to keep it structurally sound. While a smaller building, such as a garden/tool shed, may not require a foundation. When designing an accessory building, it’s important to look for general contractors such as Rafter 4K Contracting that know about structural requirements.


What’s Required to Construct an Accessory Building on a Kelowna Property?

When it comes to building accessory buildings in Kelowna, there are a few rules that need to be followed. A municipal building permit is required for any secondary structures that are more than 10 square metres in size. A different permit is required if you are constructing a detached building such as a carriage house that contains a dwelling or unit on your property. While a building permit is not required for smaller structures (less than 10 square metres), you will still need to comply with zoning bylaws in regards to setbacks and height requirements.

In addition, there are separate bylaws for those who wish to build accessory buildings such as workshops and storage sheds/garages on land with the Agricultural Land Reserve. In this case, a farm protection development permit will be required.

A reliable building contractor such as Rafter 4K will be able to inform you of what is required from your municipal office or the Agricultural Land Reserve before any construction takes place.


Will an Accessory Building Add to My Property Value?

While some home improvement projects add little to no value to home property values, there are some that can really help with the “sell-ability” of a home if done right. An accessory building is one of them. Studies have shown that the median house addition cost to construct one of these secondary structures can actually increase property values up to 25 percent. This is way above garage renovations and even more value than kitchen and bathroom renovations.

To learn more, read Home Renovations Kelowna Homeowners Do to Boost Property Value.


Rafter4K Contracting is one of the most respected home additions contractors as well as renovation and accessory building construction companies in Kelowna. From foundations to electrical to landscaping, our team is able to handle just about any project, including residential, agricultural and commercial.


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