The process of building a laneway home in Vancouver

The process of building a laneway home in Vancouver

A laneway home is a dwelling built on your existing lot, located near the back of your property. It could be a garden suite or a suite constructed above the garage. The City of Vancouver allows homeowners to build laneway houses, as long as they meet zoning and building code requirements. Not all properties are eligible for laneway homes, but that is something By Design Construction can help you determine.

The benefits of laneway homes

The main benefit of building a laneway home is to provide additional revenue. We don’t have to tell you about the financial challenges of owning property in Vancouver. It’s expensive. Rent earned from a laneway home will provide another revenue stream that can help with mortgage payments and other living expenses.

It also helps provide central communities with a diverse range of housing options. By renting a laneway home, people can live in neighbourhoods close to amenities and existing infrastructure. With an additional, legal dwelling on your property, the value of your property will increase.

Additionally, a laneway home is an excellent option for multi-generation families. You can live near your parents or grown children, or hosts visitors and guests in the suite, while still maintaining privacy. If you’re a joint family, you can stay together. Also, if you plan on aging in place, the laneway home might be a good option for you in the future.

The process of building a laneway home


The first step of building a laneway home is to contact a reputable builder like By Design Construction. Contact us for a free onsite consultation. 

From there your project will require a building permit from the city. Your custom home builder will apply for the permit, providing a design plan to the city that meets building code requirements. As experts in building laneway homes, By Design Construction makes sure your application has all the details it needs to get approved.

You’ll also need a development permit to build a new dwelling or structure on your property. Unlike a regular home renovation, this large-scale project must meet zoning bylaw requirements. The development permit is also something they can help obtain for you.


The planning and design stage of your laneway home build will be fun! Working with experienced designers, you can start putting together the layout of your new dwelling. The plan will include everything from mechanical systems, framing, and drywall, to the finishing touches like flooring and countertops. The builders will use these plans as a roadmap as they embark on the construction phase.


Now it’s time to get to work. With over 15 years of home building experience, By Design Construction will fully manage your laneway home building project. Custom home builders will hire, manage, and schedule every trade that will work in your home and take care of obtaining materials and supplies needed to get the job done. By maintaining open communication with you throughout the process, you’ll always know what is happening with your building project.

At any point, when it is safe to do so, you can request a walkthrough of your building project. This will allow you to see progress and ask questions along the way. Any issues that come up will be remedied quickly, so you can start using your laneway home as a rental suite or additional living space for your family.

Contact By Design Construction for a FREE onsite consultation today.

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