A laneway house is a smaller, detached home located where the garage would normally go on a single-family lot which includes a parking accessory (either inside or out). Unlike coach or infill houses, you cannot stratify or subdivide to sell the laneway house separately; it rides with the property like a basement suite. Currently, the maximum permitted floor area for a laneway house depends on the size of the lot it’s built on, but not counting allowable exclusions, they may not exceed 83.6 square metres (900 square feet). Laneway homes typically end up being between 700 and 1,000 square feet if you include the exclusions.
You can build a laneway house on any lot 32 feet or wider in any RS single family zone in Vancouver. Having said that, there are certain requirements & restrictions, one of the primary ones is that you need at least 16’ distance from the main house to the laneway. If you are not sure if your home is in an eligible zone, call 3-1-1 or you can look up your zoning online, using VanMap an online tool created by the City of Vancouver.
Some of the key benefits of why you should build a laneway house includes:
- Multi-generational living & family closeness - ability to have family members close to home, especially as children are getting older and want to have their own place but are having trouble affording property in Vancouver.
- Great for parents who may be downsizing which allows them to rent out the main house for supplemental income.
- Average price to build a laneway starts at approx. $300,000 which would be difficult to find anything to purchase in the city for that price point.
- Additional rental income.
- Increases your lots resale value.
- Helps with the city's affordable housing shortage.
If you are interested in building a Vancouver laneway house, contact us to learn more about our design-build process. We would love to discuss how our team can help you with your project. You can also email, phone, or visit the City's Development and Building Services Centre to learn more about regulations and the approval process of building a laneway.
For a comprehensive guide to laneway houses, please click here.
For the most up to date laneway information from the City of Vancouver, please click here.