Laneway Homes in Calgary

By: Ron Clappison

Laneway Homes in Calgary

Tags: Laneway homes, backyard suites, Calgary, Calgary SE

Laneway homes have been permitted since 2008 in the City of Calgary, and just recently, the first laneway shipping container home has been “installed” in Southwest Calgary. Builders and designers hope to see more laneway homes in the future in Calgary, especially since the government is working on simplifying the application process and cutting the red tape to make it easier to obtain a building permit. The new rules will also include certain design restrictions. They will probably include specific guidelines regarding privacy issues, where the laneway homes can be build, how tall they can be, etc. Still, laneway homes shouldn’t be deprived of their creative and artistic touch as they are a special kind of housing, unique in aesthetics and design. Laneway homes are cost-efficient and highly functional; they save space and can be used for different purposes, and that’s why they will probably become highly desirable and accepted in the community in the future. For now, Calgary communities are not quite on board with the idea given that they expressed their concerns regarding privacy, but designers are confident that clear government rules will prevent any negative effects on the communities and that residents will embrace the idea soon enough.

Defining Laneway Homes
Laneway homes are also known as backyard or granny suites because they are built next to or behind the main house on the same lot. Many people like the idea of having a stylish functional backyard home that they could rent out, build for their adult children or move in themselves and rent the big house which would help them pay off their mortgage. While laneway homes are seen as a solution to cope with housing supply shortage in cities like Vancouver and Toronto, the situation in Calgary is not so drastic. Laneway homes in Calgary represent just another housing option for now that is somewhat different than the traditional Detached house.  Apart from generating rental income, laneway homes are seen by some homeowners as a great alternative for the future, e.g. younger buyers hope to offer an ideal solution to their parents when they decide to downsize, while older buyers keep the option open to move there themselves and give the big house to their kids.

Costs Of Building
One of the advantages of building laneway homes is that one doesn’t have to pay for the land lot, but can directly focus on building the home. Given that many people associate it with an upgrade over the garage, they may be surprised to learn that laneway homes are not as cheap as they thought. Laneway home construction costs are somewhere between $250,000 and $300,000, fees not included, which is somewhere in the price range of average condos in Calgary SE, but in return, you get  a completely functional home with all the convenience found in a real home, just smaller in size. Laneway homes are truly special as they are custom built and they add versatility and value to the main home. If you want to know more about housing prices in Calgary in general, click here for more information.