Laneway Home

Laneway House: What You Need to Know

Adding a rental suite to your home makes homeownership more affordable while increasing your property value.

March 8, 2021
Ian Nicule
March 8, 2021

Adding a rental suite to your home makes homeownership more affordable while increasing your property value. Both basement suites are common additions, but more recently, laneway houses are a popular option. By providing more space, yet still allowing for private living, these secondary residences are the perfect new addition for a savvy investor.

As custom home builders in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, Nicons Enterprises Ltd. can build a custom laneway home on your property. Here are some benefits of these secondary dwellings:

What is a laneway house?

Laneway houses are small, detached housing units, typically built in place of garage spots. The homes usually range in size anywhere between 600 to 900 square feet, depending on the lot size. Although laneway houses are now becoming widely popular across Canada, they were initially introduced in Vancouver in 2009 as a solution to the housing crisis. Custom home builders in Vancouver have since built many laneway homes, and their popularity has continued to grow.

Despite being rentable homes, a laneway cannot sell as separate housing on a lot. When built, they are still part of the main lot and will be included as part of the entire property if the property is sold. Even if your home already has a pre-existing in-home suite, you can still build a laneway house. Laneways also tend to offer higher revenue, as they can be rented for $3000 a month or more depending on the neighborhood.

laneway house builder

What regulations and steps are required to build one?

There are some specific housing regulations and bylaws that must be followed before a laneway house can be built. For one, there must be access to a lane in front of a laneway home. As well, there must be a clear firefighter access path in case of emergencies. Laneway homes cannot be built flush against the main home but must have a minimum of 16ft between the two. Additionally, the laneway house must have at least one on-site parking space.

Our team can help you determine if your lot is eligible for a laneway house. Once that’s done, there are still a few more steps before you can build. A site analysis will be done to check for any site restriction, energy requirements, or utilities such as gas and sewer. Then, you must hire a design-build professional, such as Nicons Enterprises, to draft the plans and cost. Only once this has all been completed, can you apply for a laneway house permit. Once approved, custom home builders in Langley can begin building your new addition.

What are the benefits of adding a laneway home?

One main benefit of adding a laneway house is that it provides a secondary source of income as a rental suite. This income can help pay the mortgage or other expenses, which can be very helpful in a tough real estate market like Vancouver and surrounding areas.

Alternatively, they can be an ideal space for your senior loved ones to move into and still live independently, yet close to home. Likewise, it can be for adult children to move into independent, yet affordable living. The houses themselves are also very energy efficient, thanks to their smaller size. Choosing efficient appliances and additions, such as solar panels, will make a laneway home even more valuable and efficient.

Laneways will also naturally boost the property value and resale of your existing home. Building one has a return on your initial investment. All the benefits that appeal to homeowners will also appeal to buyers. Some homeowners may even move into their laneway home to downsize, and then rent out the main house instead. Not only does that provide the benefit of a smaller home, but also even higher revenue from higher rent for the main house.

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