Follow the Steps

Laneway house Vancouver

Laneway house in Vancouver 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

1-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.

2-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.

3-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.

4-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.

5-Design it
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.

6-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.

7-Finance it
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.

Some banks 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.

8-Move in
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.

Laneway house Vancouver