Building a Prefab Laneway Home in Vancouver

August 12, 2020

Laneway homes, also known as coach houses, are becoming increasingly popular in Vancouver and the Greater Vancouver Area. These homes have helped increase urban density and housing options in neighbourhoods across Canada. However, traditional construction of laneway homes can be expensive, challenging, limited by weather and lacking green certifications. 

Modular Construction is the Future of Laneway Housing

Prefabricated homes are also seeing a resurgence in British Columbia’s laneway market. The housing shortage in Vancouver has caused property prices and rental rates to skyrocket. Modular laneway homes can be built on existing lots in a short period of time, making them ideal options for adding more housing to the Vancouver area. 

Affordable and Efficient

Lamelli’s prefab laneway and tiny homes are precision-manufactured in a climate-controlled facility, eliminating the bulk of construction delays caused by poor weather and unforeseen costs. While the components of the laneway home are being manufactured, the site and foundation can be prepared, cutting the total construction time down to an average of two weeks. 

Modular construction significantly reduces the stress and mess of having a construction site in your backyard. With minimal on-site waste, labour and construction time, you won’t have to endure months of having people and materials in your yard and having to worry about rain damage. By choosing one of Lamelli’s designs, you won’t have to pick out housing plans or source materials. Lamelli’s designs are completely customizable and you’ll be able to choose the floor plan and interior and exterior finishes to make your accessory dwelling blend with the rest of your property. 

Premium Materials

Lamelli’s homes are built with engineered wood called Glulam timber, or glue-laminated timber, glass and aluminum. Glulam is an eco-friendly building material that gives homes a beautiful panelling effect on the exterior and interior, rather than the unattractive, compressed-fibre wood effect you might expect from other products. In addition to being beautiful, Glulam rivals the strength of steel and creates a highly insulated, energy efficient and soundproof structure. When you look at the finished product, you won’t be able to discern whether it is modular construction or conventional. In fact, the quality of our prefab homes is actually superior.

Multi-level or Single Storey Laneway Homes

Despite their small size, laneway homes come in many different sizes and styles. Two level laneway homes are the most common choice as they offer more space without consuming as much of the backyard. However, Vancouver limits the size of second storeys. Most laneway homes are limited to studio or one bedroom layouts. Lamelli has several floor plans and designs to choose from that are easy to get approved by the City of Vancouver and still feel spacious, bright and offer plenty of storage. 

Built to Code

Each accessory dwelling is built to meet provincial and municipal standards. The City of Vancouver has building codes that are a step above B.C. building codes. In Vancouver, special design considerations apply to laneway homes with upper storeys, windows, landscaping and lane frontages.

In 2013, Vancouver implemented legislation that made it easy to build single-storey laneway properties. While you cannot build a full two storey laneway home in Vancouver, you may be able to build a 1.5 storey one featuring a partial upper storey. The City of Vancouver requires that your upper storey consume no more than 50-60% of the area of your main floor. However, in many parts of Canada and the United States you can build a multi-level laneway structure. 

Advantages of Adding a Prefab Laneway Home to Your Property

Uses of Laneway Houses

Once built, accessory dwellings can be used to obtain rental income, as an Airbnb or a property extended family can move into. This gives people the opportunity to spend more time with their family while allowing everyone to maintain their independence, an ideal option for children attending university or elderly parents. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many families have opted to remove their loved ones from long term care facilities and take care of them at home. Others are looking for additional streams of revenue and laneway homes can serve as an excellent revenue source in Vancouver where the rents are very high. 

Laneway Homes Increase Property Value

Adding a laneway home to a lot can increase the value of your property and make it more attractive to prospective buyers. When someone buys the property, they will be receiving two properties rather than one and can rent out the laneway home to help them pay off their mortgage.  

Increased Safety

Laneway houses can make your property and neighbourhood safer. When there are more houses looking out into the lane, there are more eyes around to prevent crime.

Eco Friendly

Glulam timber is recognized as a sustainable building resource and Lamelli’s laneway structures are environmentally friendly. As laneway houses tend to be small, they are highly energy efficient and often include green-build features such as solar panels. Lamelli’s homes are equipped with highly efficient technologies such as radiant heated floors and heat recovery ventilation systems

It’s easy to see why prefab laneway structures are popular in Canada. These houses have helped address the housing crisis in Vancouver and helped property owners maximize their revenue and space. Contact Lamelli today to learn more about prefab laneway homes and how you can get started today.

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