Everything You Need To Know About Laneway House Burnaby

 Introduction to Laneway Houses in Burnaby

Laneway house Burnaby have become a hot topic, as more and more Burnaby residents discover the potential they offer. Laneway houses provide an innovative way to make use of difficult, narrow or otherwise unusable pieces of land, as well as an attractive, cost-effective housing option. By harnessing the potential of laneway or ‘coach house’ living, Burnaby homeowners can make the most of their properties. In this article, we’ll provide an introduction to laneway houses in Burnaby, looking at the scope of options available and the steps required to make them happen.

Definition of a Laneway House

A laneway house is a small home that is located in the backyard of a regular-sized property. Built in the same style as their neighbouring homes, they are becoming increasingly popular in urban areas such as Burnaby. These homes tend to be single-story dwellings, often between 400 and 900 square feet in size, and are set back from the road to ensure they blend in with the existing streetscape. They can provide an affordable housing option to people who may otherwise be unable to purchase a larger house. In general, these homes offer greater privacy and flexibility than a traditional townhouse or apartment, as the laneway house can come equipped with its own front and backyards. In addition to this, laneway houses provide additional living space for extended family members, rental income opportunities, and can even act as workshops or studios for those wishing to work from home. As the size of this type of home is generally quite small, laneway homes tend to be much more affordable and eco-friendly than a large abode, making them ideal for those looking to downsize and be a little kinder to the environment.

Overview of Reasons for Building

Laneway houses have become an increasingly popular option for homeowners in the City of Burnaby in recent years. Becoming more commonplace, laneway houses have become a popular solution for creating additional living space, providing rental income opportunities and increasing property values. 

One of the biggest advantages of having a laneway house is having the ability to create additional living space in a previously unused area of your home. Since laneway houses are commonly built in narrow backyard spaces, they can provide you with large, usable living space in an area that was otherwise wasted. This can be helpful for those who are looking for a way to expand their living space without the hassle of an extensive renovation project.In addition to the potential for extra living space, laneway houses can also be an ideal way to generate rental income. 

If you’re looking for an additional source of income for your property, a laneway house can be a great investment. You will also be able to take advantage of the tax deductions associated with owning rental property. 

Finally, building laneway houses can also be a good way to increase the value of your property. Since laneway houses have become more popular, they have been known to add extra value to your home. As a result, investing in a laneway house can be a great way to enhance the value of your property without the hassle of expensive renovations. For these reasons, laneway houses have become increasingly popular in Burnaby and offer a range of benefits that can make them a smart investment. If you’re looking to take advantage of the many benefits associated with laneway houses, consider building one in your backyard!

Burnaby’s Bylaws

Building and property sizes are regulated by Burnaby’s Zoning Bylaw – and the limits are explained in terms of Overall Height and Floor Area Ratio. 

Overall Height

The maximum allowable height of a building or structure is based on the zoning of the property. Generally, most single family dwellings can have a maximum height of 8.5m, and for multifamily dwellings, the height is typically 15m.

Floor Area Ratio (FAR)

Burnaby’s FAR outlines the allowable floor area of a building, as compared to the area of the lot it is situated on. In single family dwellings, the settled FAR is usually 0.3 and for multi-family units, the FAR is usually 0.5. In other words, the total floor area for a building should not typically exceed the allowable FAR for that zone.Always make sure to check with the City of Burnaby for up-to-date information on the permitted building sizes in Burnaby and to make sure you’re complying with the applicable bylaws prior to planning or building.

When it comes to development in residential neighbourhoods, the City of Burnaby has strict bylaws in place to ensure that the character of the existing neighbourhood remains largely unchanged. With an aim to preserve the existing qualities of any area, the zoning restrictions established by the city focus on maintaining the existing streetscape and existing infrastructure. Under the zoning bylaw, new developments are limited in terms of size and aesthetic. In other words, the intended use, size and design of any new development must match the existing character of the neighbourhood. This means, for example, that single family homes should remain single family homes and new residential conversions should retain the original look and feel of the neighbourhood. Additionally, any new construction is also restricted to a specific height and coverage area.Moreover, zoning restrictions also take into consideration issues such as parking, landscaping, noise, and street trees to help protect the existing quality of the neighbourhood. For example, all developments must provide adequate parking spaces and there are restrictions on the use of heavy machinery in order to protect street trees.Overall, the zoning restrictions in place in Burnaby are an effective tool to help protect and maintain the existing quality of neighbourhood. It ensures that any new development is compatible with the existing streetscape, character, and infrastructure of the area.

Building a Laneway House Burnaby

If you’re thinking about building a laneway house in Burnaby, there are several steps you’ll need to take before you get started. In this blog, we outline the key stages of the process.

Understand Zoning Restrictions

The first step is to understand any zoning regulations that may apply to your laneway build. For instance, zoning laws often determine the size of your laneway house and the amount of outdoor space you have. You can usually find out about zoning regulations by contacting your local council.

Submit a Planning Proposal

Once you’ve got a good understanding of the zoning regulations, you’ll need to submit a planning proposal. This proposal should include a detailed description of your plans and an architect’s sketch of your proposed laneway house. The council will assess your proposal against the zoning regulations and determine whether they’re suitable.

Acquire Necessary Permits

Once your planning proposal has been approved by the council, you’ll need to acquire all necessary permits and licenses. This could involve applications for building permits, demolition permits, waste disposal permits and other documents. Depending on the type of laneway house you’re building, you may also require specific permits or permissions from other organizations.

Materials and Costs

As with any construction project, the materials and costs associated with building a laneway house can quickly add up. Before you start the building process, it’s important to identify all the materials you’ll need and estimate the associated costs. This will prevent any unwelcome surprises further down the line.

Identifying Materials

When it comes to identifying the materials you’ll need for your laneway house, it’s important to factor in elements such as insulation, timber, flooring, wiring and plumbing. You’ll also need to purchase specialized tools, equipment and furniture for the build. As well as pinpointing the materials you need, you should also consider any external elements that may need to be put in place, such as paving or drainage systems.

Estimating Build Costs

When estimating the total build costs, it’s important to factor in all labour charges and other expenses. This should give you an accurate picture of how much your laneway house will cost overall. To ensure you don’t overspend, it’s also a good idea to shop around to get the best materials and labour rates.Once you’ve taken these steps, you’ll be ready to start building your laneway house in Burnaby! Follow the advice in this blog to ensure your laneway house is a success.


This article has examined Laneway houses in Burnaby, from their potential benefits to their restrictions. In sum, investing in a Laneway house can be a great opportunity for those looking to add housing or meaningful income to their property. It can also provide clients with a lovely private space to enjoy their backyard. Nevertheless, it is important to consider any restrictions that may apply. Whether you plan to build a home to live in, rent out or store special items, Laneway houses in Burnaby can provide huge advantages. Make sure to contact the City of Burnaby Building Services to obtain permitting information and learn of any applicable regulations. Laneway houses can be incredibly beneficial investments and are a viable option for many in the city of Burnaby. However, it is important to thoroughly consider any restrictions and regulations in place. Doing research, acquiring necessary permits and following the guidelines will help to ensure a successful experience.

Benefits of Building a Laneway House in Burnaby

Building a laneway house in Burnaby can provide a number of benefits. In particular, they can provide additional living space, rental income, and a larger yard without drawing away from the city’s character and charm.

Additional Living Space

A laneway house in Burnaby is a great way to provide additional living space at a fraction of the cost of a conventional home. Laneway houses can be used as long-term rentals or as living spaces for family members. The cost of building a laneway house is much lower than building a conventionally-sized home, making it an attractive option for families seeking extra living space.

Rental Income

Building a laneway house in Burnaby can provide rental income for homeowners. Laneway homes are well-suited for short-term rental opportunities, allowing homeowners to make a reliable income from their property. This income can help offset the costs of maintaining the laneway house, making it a cost-effective investment.

Preserving Character

Building a laneway house in Burnaby can help preserve the city’s character and charm. Laneway houses are small and unobtrusive, making them the perfect option for homeowners looking to add living space without detracting from the existing landscape. The smaller size also ensures that they do not impede the flow of traffic in the area.

Overall, building a laneway house in Burnaby can provide many benefits. In addition to providing living space, rental income and a larger yard, laneway houses preserve the city’s character and charm. This makes them an attractive option for anyone looking to add living space to their property in an affordable and unobtrusive manner.

Informative Resources to Guide Your Process

Navigating the complex system of creation and approval of laneway houses in Burnaby can be a daunting task. That’s why having the right resources at your disposal is crucial to make the process easier to understand and complete. Below is a compilation of informative websites, documents and other tools to help guide you through the process. Firstly, the City of Burnaby offers an overview of laneway housing on its website. It can be found under the “Land Use & Development” tab and provides some general information on what laneway houses are and how to get started with the city.You can also reference the City of Burnaby’s official Guidelines to Laneway Houses. This extensive document provides a detailed overview of requirements and regulations that apply to laneway houses in the city.  Finally, you can also arrange a meeting with a town planner from the City of Burnaby. Town planners work closely with developers on laneway housing and can help you fill out the necessary applications and submit them for approval. By utilizing these resources, you’ll be able to better understand and complete the process of creating a laneway house in Burnaby.