We help you design the life you want.

We understand that building a new home, semi-custom home, custom home, laneway house, undertaking a major renovation or doing an addition to your current home can be an extremely stressful process. With this in mind, we have built Silvercrest Custom Homes and Renovations on the foundation of communication, transparency and maximizing homeowner value. Full disclosure is our policy. We respect your business.


Are you running out of space? Laneway house is the perfect solution to all your problems and we can help you create one! 

The development of laneway and carriage houses is now permitted in New Westminster on many single detached dwelling properties. These houses are designated to provide innovative infill housing types. Laneway homes in New Westminster are also quite popular due to their compact designs. They are located on properties with lanes whereas carriage house are located on properties without lanes. 

These ground-oriented homes increase residential availability on the existing neighborhood with minimal impact on the existing streetscapes. They provide safe, pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods. Homes with a living room, bedroom, and bathroom on the ground floor provide an option to age in place. The laneway and carriage houses have the permit to be rented.

Development Permit Area Purpose:

  • Protection of environment
  • Promotion of energy conservation 
  • Maintain the character of intensive residential development



These are general principles set by council of city of new Westminster for building carriage house or laneway house.

  • Design building with minimal shade and shadow
  • Design building for longevity and sustainability
  • Focus on a balanced space planning with comfort
  • Designing of outdoor spaces as a valued year-round asset.


All infill buildings are encouraged to consider designs with future opportunities like solar infused architecture, energy-efficient infrastructure, natural ventilators, drought-resistant, water conservation systems, and usage of durable material for sustainability.

Exterior Stairs

Exterior stairs are not permitted, except those to the main level.


Projections are permitted within the required setbacks and building envelope. 

Separation to Main House

  • Eaves up to 0.61 meters (2 feet)
  • Unenclosed porches off the main level up to 1.22 meters (4 feet)

Building Envelope

The building envelope is encouraged to enhance daylighting and minimize shade.

Site Coverage

The Laneway and Carriage houses cannot exceed 10% site coverage unless it prohibits a single-story accessible unit with a functional plan for aging in place.

Roof Forms

Roof forms are critical for compact building designs. Windows impact shade and shadowing over the neighboring properties.

Privacy and Overlooks

Privacy is important for all Laneway House, especially the design of upper-level windows and balconies.

Landscape Design

Landscape design will enhance and support sustainability goals. Site plans will indicate the location and size of private outdoor spaces and trees.


Durable, high-quality and weather protection material should be used to manage rainwater.

Architectural Expression including Lane Frontage

A specific architectural approach is required for a clear expression of residential use and design excellence.


  • All lane elevations should include traditional street elevations
  • Proper use of materials and colors to articulate wide lane elevations
  • Garage doors should be consistent in quality and design
  • The resident address should be clearly visible


Laneway and carriage houses in New Westminster should have access to the front street for emergency responders, deliveries and visitors.

  • A clear access route is required from the street to the entrance.
  • No projections are permitted into the access route.
  • A visible address sign is required at the street entrance.


The parking area of laneway house should be open space reducing shade. Only a single car garage and carport is permitted. The parking pad extending into footprints shall not be flanked by more than two walls, though only parking space is needed for a parking pad.


Accessibility Features

Exterior Doors and Access


All the exterior carriage house must have a width of 0.85m and a height of 13mm with patio doors. Clear and level covered front doors landing areas of 1.85m. They are required to have space of about 0.60m moving towards and 0.30m clear space moving away from the user.


The front door must have a built-in peer hole, also windows and sidelights allow a seated person to see outside.

Exterior Pathways


There must be an accessible pathway with steps for laneway house. It must be made up of hard and slip-resistant materials and all the gratings are directed perpendicular to the travel direction.


An approachable pathway to the front sidewalk with no steps having a width of 1.2m. The slope of pathways not more than 1 to 20, install handrails on sloped areas, and avoid grating more than 13 mm.


Interior Doors and Hallways


There must be no stairs inside the house, having a width of hallways not more than 0.85m. The interior doors have a width of 0.81m and a height of 13mm. Also has a clear space of 1.50m swinging towards or away from the user.


 Use interior doors that have lever handles.



Bathrooms must have a length of 0.8 from toilet to the facing wall, a length of 0.51 m from bathtub or shower to the center of the toilet, and having a clear central area in front of the washbasin about 0.76m by 1.35m.


Fix handles next to toilets. Install lever-operated faucets.



There must be a continuous counter between range and sink. An area of 1.50m by 1.50m is provided in front of the kitchen fixture. Knee clearance under the sink must be 0.75m wide, 0.48m deep and 0.68m high.


  • Install additional pull-out work boards.
  • Avoid over the range microwaves.



Floor turning area of 1.50m diameter on each side of the bed.


There must be hard surface flooring. Use closets with adjustable hanger rods. 

Electrical outlets


Switches installed in the room must be accessible to persons in a wheelchair. Cables and other electrical outlets should be 0.455m to 1.20m above the floor. 


Dimmer may be installed for power control. 



The parking area of 3.9m width with an additional 0.3m on either side if adjacent to a wall. The parking area should have safe access to the main property. 


Parking areas should be properly leveled. 

Private outdoor space and Landscaping


A low-threshold door should provide access to private outdoor space. 


Smooth paving material must be used. 

Laneway and carriage houses offer privacy and independence more than secondary suites. They are a perfect solution if you want some additional space. These forms of Laneway House must meet the development permits and zoning by-law guidelines issued by the government of New Westminster.

silvercrest lanewauhouse plan

The key to a successful laneway house project is in the details.

Our team utilizes the latest cloud based technology for project management. Clients can easily check in to see current progress, pictures, change order requests, budget and much more.  We keep on track and on budget to ensure your project is completed to your satisfaction.

Our Process


  1. A complete and thorough site inspection
  2. Extensive client consultation to craft your dream home
  3. Complete set of concept drawings with your review approval
  4. Final drawings and detailed to your exact specifications
  5.  Budgeting along the way, so you know your options and all the related costs. Need something changed, no worries, we will let you know exactly what, if any, additional expenditures are involved
  6. We handle all city hall permit requirements on your behalf, to ensure smooth sailing without administrative headaches
  7. Construction and inspections. You project manager over see the entire process  start to finish, dealing with all stages of the process and any questions you may need answered along the way
  8. Final walk-through to ensure your total satisfaction with the end result
silvercrest custom homes and renovations planning team