October 30, 2012

Answers to Questions about Building Vancouver Laneway Homes

A Vancouver Laneway House DesignLaneway homes are part of a Vancouver initiative to create more affordable housing closer to downtown by allowing people to build additional rental or family suites on their property. A benefit of building a laneway home in Vancouver is not only to create a great rental suite, but it can also serve as a separate space for home owners looking to downsize or have a suite for additional family members to stay. These fully separate homes can give elderly parents or adult children a space for themselves while still keeping them close enough that they won’t have any excuse to miss the family dinner.

There are many questions people have when considering building a laneway home in Vancouver, here are some the more common ones we hear:

How do I know if I can build a laneway home on my property?

If your lot is in a RS-1 or RS-5 single family zone and 33 feet or wider then you are already looking pretty good, there might be the rare exception but those are the two big ones. If you’re not too sure of what your property is zoned for, don’t worry, the city of Vancouver has an easy to use map that will help you out or you can dial #311.

How big can my laneway home be?

There are many things that go into determining the size and footprint of your new laneway home. For the footprint of the new laneway home you need to follow a few rules. Firstly, the home may take up no more room than is allowed for the garage and it must be a minimum of 16ft from the main home. When determining the square footage for the laneway home a rough rule of thumb is take the area of your lot and multiply it by 0.125 and you will get the maximum allotted square footage, meaning a standard Vancouver lot of 33’ X 122’ will get you a maximum 500sqft space. Each property is different however so it is best to contact us to help you determine accurate numbers for your property.

How many storeys can my Vancouver laneway home be?

Your new laneway home can be one and a half storeys high. This means that the top floor of the home can only account for a maximum of 60% of the base footprint of the home. This is done to protect the impact on the surrounding neighbors while still allowing for more housing in Vancouver.

What about the design of my laneway home?

The overall design of the home is entirely up to you and there many great and creative design ideas that will help maximize the usable space. As a trusted Vancouver laneway home builder Wallmark works with a large network of designers that can tailor a home to your unique needs.

Laneway homes can be a great way to add a little extra income and value to Vancouver homes. Not to mention the benefits and peace of mind of being able to keep your family members close to you but still being able to give them their own space.

If you’re thinking about building a laneway home or have any questions contact Wallmark Homes today.