Laneway homes are only one way the city is adding density. There really are so many great reasons to build a Lane or Coach House. Building a Laneway House is one way people can get a great home in the city, that they’d otherwise have to move much further away to afford. They are also a smart investment from a purely business sense. A laneway house that costs $170,000 to build: With minimal down payment, current costs to finance are usually in the range of $800 per month. Depending on your location in the city, you would easily be able to rent it out for $1800/month, and even more if it is furnished. Many empty nested, move to the newly build laneway home and rent the main house for over $2800 which can help significantly in their daily life. Maximizing your land use by building a laneway home and ask us in MyHomedesigner.com how to build one with as low as $170,000.
If you live in Vancouver Laneway homes are allowed in all RS single family zones, RT-11/11N and RM-7/7N. In City of North Vancouver it called Coach house. It categorized as Level A (one storey) and Level B (1 1/2 storey) In Pitt Meadows called Garden suite
Find out the rules
Go to your city hall and find out if your property qualifies for this kind of structure. Take note of the regulations, because they will have a major impact on your design. Do you have to provide off-street parking? How many people can live there? How big can it be? Setbacks from the property line and the house? Your designer can help you with some of the too. The city requires that the owner occupy one of the buildings, note that this building can not be stratified.
Talk to a designer/builder
Once you’ve confirmed that you can build a laneway house, get a talk to a designer or a builder to get an idea about the process cost. In many cases the builder will take care of the rest.
Take a site survey
If you hire a builder they will hire a surveyor for you, or you can hire a surveyor from telephone book.
Talk to utilities and city services
This new house will need to hook up to sewer and water, electricity and, possibly, gas. Find out the costs of connection fees and permits so you can plan your budget. Check with your city services, BC Hydro and Fortis. Show them the site survey so they can alert you to any concerns that may affect the design or siting of your laneway house. If there’s an older home on the lot, you might need to update the water line for the sprinkler system or twin the sewer system. It’s important to know these things beforehand. “We always advise customers to contact BC Hydro before they begin the design process to get a connection estimate,” says Mora Scott from Media Relations and Issues Management at BC Hydro. “The amount of work required will vary for each situation so understanding the cost up front can save customers time and money.” Later, in the design phase, applicants are required to work with BC Hydro to complete an electrical feasibility study and a physical feasibility study. To proceed with construction, applicants are then required to obtain an electrical permit from the city. BC Hydro costs associated with a laneway house depend on a number of factors, including height, design and allocation of the laneway house or location on the property.In most cases, BC Hydro will need to add new equipment or upgrade the existing electrical system to provide electrical service to a laneway house. Mora Scott says that, depending on the scope of work required, costs are usually around $500, but they can go much higher for more complex cases. Homeowners could be prevented from building a laneway house if they don’t meet BC Hydro’s standard connection guidelines. “For example, clearance requirements from BC Hydro’s electrical infrastructure are there to keep workers and the public safe,” she says,. “Property owners or parties acting on behalf of a property owner who make an application for electrical service are responsible for ensuring that a laneway or coach house close to the property line meets minimum clearance requirements.” The standard connection guidelines are available here. For more information about the application process, call BC Hydro’s Electric Service Coordination Centre at 1-877-520-1355.
Get a design done. You will need detailed plans in order to get permits. A company with experience designing and/or building laneway homes is a good idea because they’re familiar with the regulations and the kinds of problems that can arise with this kind of project. In fact, if you have them on side from the start, they can guide you through the entire process. Check out the living social deal.
Apply for permits
Once you have your detailed drawings, you take them to the city for approval. Generally you will need a development permit, and once you’ve been approved for that you’ll need a building permit. In Vancouver, the permit process takes about six weeks, although the city recently went back to city council to reduce the length of the process for one-storey laneway homes. A permit for a one-storey costs $1,000 and a two-storey loft costs $1,520.
Build it…If you don’t have any building experience, you better leave it to experts and hire someone who can help you through out the process. All this will cost money. CMHC offers forgivable loans through its Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program if the home is built to accommodate the needs of seniors or people with disabilities. Vancity offers a Laneway Homebuyers’ Bundle that includes free legal and appraisal services, plus a preferred interest rate and the potential to earn up to 2% cash back.
Hopefully you hired a builder who cares about environment and build a green home for you. So, you can enjoy your new Laneway home with minimum operation cost.
Will you be applying for a permit to build a new one- or two- family home on or after January 1, 2015?
Staring January 1, permits for all one- and two- family homes will be processed under the new 2014 City of Vancouver Building Bylaw 10908. Learn what this means for you, and get details of the new building permit requirements:
An overview of the coming changes
The 2014 VBBL includes new requirements and improvements for:
Health and life safety
CEA evaluation of energy efficiency prior to City insulation inspection
Energy modelling report prior to application
- Sprinkler systems
|Requirement for||Measure 2014||2014 VBBL|
|Building envelope||Windows and sliding glass doors||USI-Value of 1.4 W/(K m2) (R4.06)|
|Skylights||USI-Value of 2.4 W/(K m2) (R2.4)|
|Wall insulation||RSI 3.85 (R22) effective|
|Under slab insulation||RSI 2.1 (R12)|
|Attic insulation (traditional attic)||RSI 8.8 (R50)|
|Air tightness||ACH 3.5 changes per hour|
|Solar-ready pipe run||Two 50mm diameter pipe chase for connection|
|Health and life safety||Spatial separation requirements||“Glazed openings” have been replaced with “unprotected openings,” which will include doors, vents, and unrated walls|
|Noise control||HVAC equipment to conform to noise-control bylaw|
|Location of exhaust vents for HVAC/similar equipment||Vertically through roof 1.5 m away from property line or horizontally through exterior wall facing street and 3 m from property line|
|Equipment||Domestic hot water (DHW)||Minimum 78% efficient|
|Domestic hot water (electric)||RSI 1.75 (R 10) tank wrap|
|Hot water pipe wrap||Pipe insulation. 3 metre output, 1 metre input, or all if recirculating|
|Electric vehicle charging||Dedicated 240v outlet in garage or carport|
|Heating furnace or boiler||Minimum 92% efficient. No side yard venting.|
|Gas fireplaces||Intermittent pilot ignition (IPI) Electronic ignition systems must direct vent|
|Wood burning appliances (labels showing)||Max 2.5 grams/hour (catalytic). Max 4.5 grams/hour (non-catalytic)|
|Adaptable housing||Entrance door width||865 mm|
|Entrance door peephole height||1076 mm and 1524 mm|
|Interior door width||800 mm|
|Interior corridor width||900 mm|
|Interior stair width||At least one at 915 mm|
|Kitchen and bathroom faucets||Lever type|
|Kitchen sink drains||“P” trap to drain stack less than or equal to 305 mm above floor|
|Bathroom space||Clear space 750 mm x 1200 mm|
|Bathroom conversion from tub to shower||Structural reinforcement for future barrier free shower|
|Outlet, switch, and control heights||450 mm to 1200 mm above floor|
|Living room window height above floor||One less than or equal to 800 mm|
|Door opening devices||Lever action: Without tight grasping or twisting of wrist|
|Door thresholds||13 mm maximum|
Prior to getting a building permit
Before you can get a building permit under the new bylaw, a new house plan needs to be evaluated by a Certified Energy Advisor (CEA) using EnerGuide Rating System, and the “P-File” submitted with the plans.
Prior to insulation inspection
Before the City’s insulation inspection (pre-drywall), an authorized Energy Advisor must:
Provide confirmation of visual verification of window ratings
Complete a Vancouver Thermal Bypass checklist
- Complete a pre-drywall blower-door test
Prior to final inspection
At the time of final inspection, you must submit:
A copy of the final EnerGuide Report, prepared by the CEA. Further work may be required if the home performs significantly worse than the 3.5 ACH
- A completed checklist by the CEA confirming that electrical, pipe insulation, and other energy requirements of the VBBL were met.
Ready to apply for your building permit?
To learn how to apply for your building permit, and get the process started, visit our Building Permit page for complete details:
Will you be applying for a permit to renovate a one- or two- family home on or after January 1, 2015?
Starting January 1, 2015, all one- and two- family home renovations will be processed under the new 2014 City of Vancouver Building Bylaw 10908. Learn what this means for you, and get details of the new building permit requirements.
An overview of the coming changes
The 2014 VBBL includes the following improvements and additions:
Energy efficiency upgrades based on renovation value
Upgrade unsafe guards, handrails, and stairs to comply with the new bylaw
All new work to comply with the new bylaw
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to be in conformance and installed
When the value of construction exceeds 50 percent of replacement value, building to be sprinklered
- When an alteration creates more dwelling units (other than a secondary suite), the building must be upgraded according to the Upgrade Mechanism Model in Appendix Note A-18.104.22.168 of Division B Book 1 Volume Two
Under the new bylaw, there are energy efficiency requirements for existing one- and two-family homes.
|Construction value||Upgrade level|
|Renovation applications with a value greater than $5,000 but not more than $25,000||Provide an EnerGuide (EGH) report completed with the last 4 years. If work includes replacement of boiler or furnace, annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) must be equal to or great than 90%|
|Renovation applications with a value greater than $25,000 but not more than $50,000||
As above, plus:
If EGH report indicates great than 5 air changes per hour, building envelope air sealing required.
|Renovation applications with a value greater than $50,000||
As above, plus:
If you’re planning a home remodel or addition or build a new home, an architect, architectural technologist, or a home designer can provide you with invaluable help. Any time you are tearing down walls or changing the “footprint” of your home, hiring a professional may not only be a good idea; law may require it. Asking a contractor to give you ideas or suggestions how your house will be better after the construction, is like asking a dentist to do a heart surgery for you. It is important to get advise and hire the right people for any services.
Vancouver in known for it’s solid and strong real estate market and many investors are cashing good profit from this opportunity. Many others either don’t have the knowledge or are afraid of the challenges involved or don’t have enough fund available for such a move. That’s where we come in and ease up the path. Here is how it works: We buy a property, build a new home and sell it for profit. How? First we put together investors or an investor under a contract and register a corporate. Second when we buy the property, each investor will be on the title, so his/her investment would be secure. All the steps will be done with the present of a lawyer and legally registered. We, the management team, will hire the construction team, build the home and the profit will be distributed within the share holders according to their share after the house is been sold. The whole process will take place about 14 months. We don’t give any guarantee, but so far within past 10 years the market gave us over 30% profit. We will need to collect between $900k to $1.2M and not more than 4 shareholders. So, the minimum investment will be $250K + ability to pull mortgage of the same amount. The nature of the business requires silent investors. There are lots to talk about and I would rather to explain the details with any interested party.