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  • Writer's pictureBobby Purba

Finding Your Dream Property For A Laneway House

Updated: Jan 4, 2022

Looking for a new home and property that can also accommodate a future laneway house is a great double investment. If you’re seeking a property with a laneway home in mind, there are lots of things to consider about the lot you choose.

By Design Construction are experienced laneway house builders. Vancouver buyers can also rely on them to help them find the most ideal property to accommodate a future laneway dwelling. Here are some tips:


Residential zoning districts or RS zones dictate whether a property qualifies for a laneway house or not. That is important to know because if you buy based on location and not zoning, your new property may not be eligible. In Vancouver, all RS zones qualify, while duplex zones (RT) are limited to specific zones. The Development and Building Services Centre is an easy way to check the potential of a lot. Otherwise, working with a professional like By Design Construction can make the process much easier to narrow down.

Lot size

Once you know what zones are a match and have narrowed down an ideal area, there’s still another matter. Lot sizing is just crucial to factor in. An average laneway is around 640 square feet but can go up to 900 square feet. From a legal angle, your lot must have room for both a backyard and the laneway house. And, at minimum, there must be a 4.9-metre separation from the main house and the laneway according to Vancouver bylaws.

While there are many bylaws and calculations involved in maximizing space, don’t feel you have to do it alone. By Design Construction, as laneway house builders in Vancouver, can offer a complimentary feasibility study of the lot you have in mind. That way, you can be sure of the investment and what space you have to work with right away.

Site conditions

The same site conditions you would apply for a dream home should also be used for a laneway house. A backyard that is sloped or uneven won’t likely won’t be ideal for building. Also, consider how close any adjacent properties or neighbors are. Even though the laneway is near to the main house, you don’t want it to feel cramped in by houses on all sides. Despite how attractive it might look on the inside, that lack of privacy or a view can deter many potential renters.

Work with a design-build team and a realtor

Given all the bylaws, calculations, site conditions and other factors, it can feel overwhelming looking for a dream property. That’s why there’s no reason to tackle the work alone. If you know you want to buy a property for a laneway house, then let your realtor know from the start. They’ll help narrow down what zones are viable and then look for a spacious and appealing property. Likewise, get your design-build company involved. You’ve likely done the work to find the right company, so let them help from the start. When it comes to size calculations for a laneway house New Westminster will be, your builder will know best.

Ready to find your dream laneway house property? By Design Construction can help.

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