goodie : 4497 west 6th avenue

designed by : battersby howat

built by : ? in 2011

l1230367

write ups from the realtor :

stunning custom home & laneway designed by battersbyhowat, finished to the highest standard by the owners. main house boasts 2,523 sq. ft. & spectacular views from the large rooftop deck. the home is bathed in light, emphasizing the selection of warm, natural, and clean finishes throughout. main level features an open plan with large living & dining areas, a gourmet kitchen and high-end appliances. second level offers 3 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms, including a beautifully finished ensuite and large walk-in closet. lower level is comprised of a family room, bedroom with ensuite and loads of storage. the laneway house, currently used as a studio would also make an ideal home office or guest quarters. too many extras to list. homes of this quality are rare. don?t miss this exceptional opportunity!

stunning point grey custom home and laneway house finished to the highest standards. located on a prime corner at 6th & sasamat, the main house boasts over 2,500 square feet of living space and spectacular views from the large rooftop deck. this home is bathed in light, emphasizing the selection of warm, natural, and clean finishes throughout. the main level features an open plan with large living and dining areas and a large gourmet kitchen offering lots of work space, tons of cabinetry, and high-end miele appliances. the second level offers 3 bedrooms and two bathrooms, including a beautifully finished ensuite and large walk-in closet. the lower level is comprised of a family room, bedroom with ensuite and loads of storage. incredible views to the professionally landscaped garden from this level too! the laneway house, currently used as a studio would also make an ideal home office or guest quarters. exterior finishes include neolith porcelain tile, acrylic stucco and cor-ten® steel. air conditioning, hrv, hot water on demand, crestron automation are just some of the additional features. homes of this quality are rare. don’t miss this exceptional opportunity! lord byng catchment, close to top private schools and ubc. short walk to 10th avenue shops, parks, and beaches. call today for your private appointment.

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news : laneway houses for all (almost…)

well, looks like laneway houses are not going anywhere. the city of vancouver has just announced changes to their laneway housing policies.

check out the booklet published by the city of vancouver here.

The city has announced that, later this spring, city staff will report to city council with proposed amendments to the program and guidelines to expand the program to other single-family zoned areas.

According to the city, proposed amendments will seek to:

  • encourage the development of more one-storey laneway houses, which has less impact on neighbours and is more accessible to aging populations and families with small children;
  • make laneway housing more liveable by allowing more floor area for living and storage space, without increasing the size of the house; and
  • allow a faster permit process for one-storey laneway houses and ensure the provision of one-site parking.

According to the city, the laneway housing program will be expanded into the following new zones: RS-1A, RS-1B, RS-3/3A, RS-4, RS-6 and RS-7.

here is the official newsletter:

Changes are coming to the laneway housing program
February 22 2013

Changes are coming to the laneway housing program.  Later this spring, staff will report to City Council with proposed amendments to the LWH regulations and guidelines and to expand the program to other single family zoned neighbourhoods.

Proposed amendments
We have been monitoring laneway housing development and have identified key issues related to neighbourliness, livability, permit processing and the provision of parking.  Proposed amendments to the program will respond to these issues by:
Encouraging the development of more one storey laneway housing, which have less impact on neighbours and are more accessible for an aging population and families with small children
Making laneway housing more livable by allowing more floor area for living and storage space without increasing the size of the house
Allowing a faster permit process for one storey laneway houses, and ensuring the provision of on-site parking.
In addition to the improvements to the current regulations and guidelines, the laneway housing program will be expanded into the other RS zones of RS-1A, RS-1B, RS-3/3A, RS-4, RS-6 and RS-7.

The history of laneway houses in Vancouver
Since 2009, when the laneway housing program was adopted, over 800 permits for laneway houses have been issued and over 500 laneway houses have now been built across the city in the single family RS-1 and RS-5 zones (which make up 94% of single family lots in the city).
The laneway housing program plays an important role in achieving Council’s priorities to increase the supply of rental housing options across the city.  Laneway housing adds to the diversity of rental units in single family neighbourhoods by providing:
An additional rental opportunity and housing choice beyond owning a house or renting a basement suite and more opportunity to live in detached and ground-oriented rental housing
Additional housing while preserving the existing streetscape and adding character, vibrancy and security to the lane
Housing for diverse groups of people including: seniors ready to downsize and live close to family but independently; adult children who want to live independently but cannot afford home ownership; and renters who want to live in established neighbourhoods in detached housing.

so if you have been feeling left out (not living in RS-1 or RS-5 zone) and wanting to build a laneway house, looks like now will be your chance.

laneway

DRKdesign is familiar with laneway housing criteria, so give david a call at 604 928 6036 or check out drkdesign.ca.

oh, and be sure to check out the laneway housing talk hosted by emerging green builders, taking place on march 20th at hive. here is the link to the eventbrite signup page.

tour : laneway house tour 2012

3nd annual laneway house tour hosted by the vancouver heritage foundation took place on october 20th 2012.

it is interesting to note that there is so much similarity to many of the laneway houses, and this is probably due to the stringent zoning bylaw that accompanies each laneway house design. the one major thing that ends up guiding each house is excluded floor area under sloped ceiling rule, hence why there are next to no laneway houses with flat roofs 😦

so sad to see these popping up this way. why the city insists on building houses that look like they were designed for the 19th century when clearly we are living in the 21st century. in order to reiterate what has already been said check out BuildLLC’s blog post ‘the black hole of design’ about this issue which drives me nuts!

ok. now that I got that rant out of the way, let’s get back to the laneway houses on the tour , worth mentioning :

the most spectacular laneway house by a long shot was the one at 2692 east 19th avenue by lanefab.

the view of the laneway house from the street

the back of the laneway house facing the yard of the main house.

the high windows along the yard side. it seems that lanefab really does try to do the right thing by employing prefabricated construction and using triple-glazed fiberglass windows. the interior finishing was well detailed with touches such as stained interior wood sills, jambs and trim around the windows, polished concrete floors.

the folding doors open up the living room out to the deck. hot tub in the living room!

the garage doors to the laneway house. interesting to note that none of the laneway houses were using their garage as a place to store a car (officially). which means that now there is 0 car parking ons0te for the house or the laneway house. could this be a problem? who needs a car anyway?

the only other interesting laneway house is 128 north kamloops street. see some images on the builder urban lane homes website.

looking forward to see how d’arcy jones’s laneway house turns out. this one looks really cool and no sloped roofs!

goodie : 1268 east 19th avenue

a new detached laneway house is going up on east 19th avenue. i ran across this listing and it looks quite intriguing. actually located on a lot with a duplex, this laneway house is considered the 3rd unit in a 3 unit townhouse development on a single lot. from the street the laneway house is invisible (blocked by the main house fronting the street). the main house architecturally is completely different from the laneway house and i cannot explain why, expect the possibility that the city asked for a streetscape that ‘blends’ in with  the surrounding houses.

the total floor area comes to 1726 square feet. for a laneway house that is truly impressive, and is due to the fact that it is 3 storeys (1 basement, ground floor and upper floor), which is another deviation from the typical 500-600 sq.ft. laneway houses that are popping up all over rs1 and rs5 zoned properties throughout the city. priced at $948,800 ($550/sq.ft.) is decent and a good value for a new house and it is located in a nice quiet street and neighborhood.

check out the realtor’s listing here.

extremely efficient floorplan with the living spaces on the top floor opening  up to the laneway (south-side) balcony.

here are some photos of the laneway house in the current construction stage :

looking west towards the laneway house, the canted walls are a nice touch. a flat roof over the east side of the house looks great and keeps the massing to a minimum helping reduce shadowing onto neighboring lots. of course having a flat roof over the ground floor allows for a deck at the second floor.

looking at the laneway house from the west, a different roof form appears. i think it would have looked better had the flat roof connected to the sloped roof rather than having a 2′ wide apron piece cut along the end like that. when in doubt, keep it simple. Less is more. Now we just have more roof to wall connections and more fussy details to construct.

the entry of the laneway house is on the left side of the image above. from this side it has quite a commanding presence. well done. not to nitpick, but i would have loved to see these windows without the wood trims, something like on the image below:

photo of 1555 east 20th avenue.