Building your laneway house

A laneway house

A laneway house is a smaller, detached home located where the garage would normally go on a single-family lot.

Laneway houses contribute to the overall sustainability of the city. They give people more opportunities to live close to where they work, shop, and play, and they make the city's urban lanes more green, liveable, and safe.

Laneway housing also contributes to the amount of affordable rental housing available in the city.

Can I build a laneway house on my property?

You can build a laneway house on any lot 32 feet or wider in any RS single family zone.

If you are not sure if your home is in an eligible zone, call 3-1-1, and we can tell you. Or you can look up your zoning online, using our simple map tool.

What kind of house can I build, and how do I apply to build one?

The City has a step-by-step how-to guide for anyone interested in building a laneway house.

The guide will answer your questions about laneway houses, and help you put your ideas into action.

The how-to guide includes:

  • Step-by-step help for the application process
  • Illustrations of regulations and guidelines
  • Sketches of laneway house floor plans and exteriors
  • Resources for designing and building your laneway house
  • Photos of completed laneway houses

Be sure to carefully review the guide before you start planning your laneway house.

Additional documents

Get help with the approval process

If you are interested in building a laneway house, email, phone, or visit the City's Development and Building Services Centre to learn more about regulations and the approval process, and find out if your lot is eligible.

Development and Building Services Centre
Main Floor, 515 W 10th Ave (at Cambie)

Phone: 604-873-7611


Contact the Development and Building Services Centre about building and zoning


Location and mailing address
Development and Building Services Centre
Ground floor
515 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4A8

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm

Tuesday, Thursday
8:30am to 4:00pm

Free 2-hour parking
West 10th Ave parking lot,
between Cambie and Yukon

Get the Laneway Housing How-To Guide

Get the laneway housing guide

Everything you need to know to plan, design, and build your laneway house.

Download the guide

Not sure if your property is zoned for a laneway house?

Use this easy online search tool to find out what zone your property is in.

To build a laneway house, your zoning must be either RS-1 or RS-5.

Find your zone

Laneway houses