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Reasons why you should not move into a laneway house

In our previous article, we covered some major advantages of moving into a laneway house. In this second part, we would like to address some drawbacks to moving into laneway houses in Vancouver.

1 Overcrowding in Vancouver

Moving into laneway houses actually encourage overcrowding. Vancouver is already facing overpopulation. There is overcrowding with respect to city services and infrastructures such as sewer, telecommunications, electricity, transportation and roads. The more people move into a city, the more a city must keep up with its developments. Laneway houses will help bring a community closer together, allowing less energy and gas used travelling within the community.

2 Space restrictions in laneway houses in Vancouver

According to the Vancouver city guidelines, laneway houses are under a strict guideline in their design and space. Homeowners are not able to build anything higher than a one and a half storey laneway house. In a one and half storey design, there is an even stricter guideline to its architectural design to minimize modification to the solar access, privacy, and outdoor enjoyment of neighbours. In larger lots, two bedroom laneway house units are allowed. In standard 33 ft by 122 ft lots, only studios and one bedroom laneway houses are allowable. Young couples who are thinking about starting a family, or those who have frequent overnight visitors will need to take these space restrictions into consideration.

Another limitation is residential parking. Most houses in Vancouver do not have driveways. Some local neighbourhood streets, therefore, have a high demand for parking. In these residential areas, residences must apply for parking permits to be able to park on their street freely without a time restriction. Parking may become a problem if there are added residences in the neighbourhood due to an increase in the number of laneway houses.

3 Storage restrictions in laneway houses in Vancouver

With a small living space, comes a small storage space. Because of the many outdoor activities that are available in Vancouver all year round, you may have larger seasonal sports gear such as skis, snowboards, or bikes. It will be fairly difficult to move into a laneway house in Vancouver if you have a lot of large items to store. Some solutions to this space-restriction problem is to rent out storage space in another location, or even come to an agreement with your landlord to keep some things in their shed or garage.

4 Accessibility in laneway houses in Vancouver

Because of the small lot space that a laneway house is restricted to be on, the only way to have enough space for a reasonable-sized living area is to build upward. It is difficult to have a spacious two bedroom laneway house while keeping the unit to be of one story. This translates into moving into a laneway house with stairs, making it less accessible to various groups of the population, such as aging seniors or those with mobility problems. These are the populations that are usually a perfect fit for smaller, cheaper dwellings.

Contact Ferguson Moving and Storage to start your move into a laneway house

We hope to have provided some insight through our two-part article to your considerations into moving into laneway houses. For all your moving needs, or to rent local storage space, please contact us at 604-922-2212 or contact us online today!

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