Space in Vancouver is becoming a bit of a luxury these days. Now a “spacious” one bedroom can be under 500 sq feet! So, what can you do to help solve this space issue? Well, if you’re one of the lucky few that own a detached home in Vancouver, I may have something for you. A laneway house. These homes also help the overall sustainability of the city.
What is a Laneway House?
If you’re not quite sure what a laneway house is, I’ll tell you. A laneway house is a smaller detached home where a garage would normally be. Now, these homes haven’t always been an easy reality for homeowners. However, on July 24, 2018, the City of Vancouver amended the zoning bylaws to make it easier and more cost effective to build these homes. Some key changes to note include
- Introducing an outright review process for 1.5 storey homes
- Increasing minimum allowable heights
- Introducing minimum room size requirements
- Changing the method of measuring height.
These were put in place to hopefully help simplify the process of building your own laneway house.
So now you’re reading about laneway houses and thinking, “Hey that sounds like something I’d like, how can I get started?!”. Well, the first step is knowing if your property is properly zoned to allow a laneway house. Any property that is 32 feet or wider in any RS single-family zone is eligible to build one. But if you’re not sure about the width of your property or what you are zoned for, the city has a great mapping tool that will tell you. Just click here to find out your zoning.
Finally, you’ve checked online and you’re ready to go! The city also has another great resource, the laneway housing how-to guide. This guide includes lots of great features to help you begin the process. It also answers many frequently asked questions by other builders.
If this has inspired you to build a laneway house on your own property, amazing! If this has inspired you to look into properties that you can build on, let me know! I would love to help you find the perfect home for you in Vancouver. So if you have any questions or would like to know more about laneway homes outside of the City of Vancouver, please feel free to contact me.
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