Secondary Suites – A Sweet Addition to your Home

There are all sorts of reasons to add a secondary suite to your home. Renting out a secondary suite (if it’s legal in your area) can be a great way to offset mortgage payments. Some build a second suite to host elderly relatives or kids returning from college, and others prefer to have a guest suite for visitors or to use as a bed and breakfast. Whatever your reasons, HouseplanHunters.com has a variety of suite options that will suit nearly anyone.


Perhaps the most extreme form of “secondary suite”, building a duplex combines two full houses into one. If you have a large lot, this can be the best way to go, especially if you’re looking to rent out the other half to people you don’t know. Some great duplex plans that HouseplanHunters offers include:

Cozy DuplexThis modern duplex may be compact, but it’s definitely not small on features. Each unit has a master suite with ensuite, two additional bedrooms, and a covered deck over a single bay garage. The two units are offset slightly, giving a bit of style to the overall design.

DuplexThis simple duplex plan mirrors a great starter home to boost potential income and livability.

Basement Suite

Basement suites are what most people think of when “secondary suites” are mentioned. These semi or fully private living spaces are great for lots that don’t have a lot of extra room, and for homeowners who are okay with a more integrated living experience with whoever inhabits the downstairs suite.

Plan No.141972This beautiful basement suite sits below a lovely house full of features. The basement suite can be entirely separated from the main living area, and has its own entryway.

Detached Cottage

When modifying an existing house, sometimes it’s easiest to simply build a totally new structure for guests or tenants. If your city allows laneway housing, these small cottages might be just the thing for you.

Plan No. 323305This beautiful little cottage makes an excellent guest house or studio. Its small size might discourage a long-term tenant, but it makes a charming place to house guests for a couple of nights.

Plan No. 415189This tiny house takes up just 448 square feet! However, the detached living area and bedroom makes it a good choice for renting out to singles.

Carriage House

Can’t decide between building a garage or renovating the basement into a suite? There’s no need to decide when you build a carriage house. HouseplanHunters.com has some great garages that incorporate suites above the garage area.


Plan No. 136254This two-bay garage has a generously-sized single bedroom suite overtop, making it a great option that allows both owner and tenant to keep their cars under cover.

Plan No. 195201This compact carriage house combines a double-garage, a single-bay carport, and a single-bedroom suite! Excellent for maximizing space and livability, it also features a vaulted livingroom ceiling that belies its small size and an area for laundry facilities.