This is a modern 800 sq. ft. Laneway home in Vancouver by Lanefab Design/Build. Outside, you’ll notice a mixture of textures including a stone facade, grey concrete siding, and wooden accents. One of the coolest features of this house are collapsible doors that allow the inside and outside to become one in the warmer months. The multi-level patio area allows for plenty of space to relax or entertain.
When you go inside, you’ll find a kitchen with shiny red lower cabinets and bright white walls. There’s even an under-the-floor Jacuzzi tub. The master bedroom has built-in storage and a queen bed, and the bathroom includes a wall to wall mirror and globular white sinks.
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Modern 800-square-foot Small House😍
Images © Lanefab Design/Build
Images © Lanefab Design/Build
What do you think of this small house design? Is this something you can see yourself in?
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Natalie C. McKee
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Is the floor plan term “garage” used just to get past planning and building permit approval stages? Or was it actually built as a living room so there is space for that totally silly and useless sunken tub in the living area?
Aside form the tub oddity and non-existing garage, the design-build teams rates high marks for quality design and construction. Laneway housing as a way to help desnify Vancouver, BC is certainly an effort to bring some sanity to housing affordability.
Affordability however is all a relative matter. Some reports tag Vancouver, BC as the city with the highest housing cost in North America, and possibly the entire world. That fact may be why these laneway houses have such top notch fixtures and finishes.
Looking from the photo of the back side of the house I noticed that the windows in the “garage” are of the same quality as in the kitchen area, so I would say that the space is ready to be converted into living space.
the point of the tub is not obvious to me. I would use the precious space differently. Also, I do question the whole point of “affordable housing” for Vancouver, BC. In other areas, the point of affordable housing is to provide places for poorly paid service positions employees to live so they are available to “serve” the people who can afford the most expensive housing. I suggest that servants quarters are a more realistic housing option.
I would suggest that service people do NOT want to live in the same place as their employer, or as you put it, servant quarters. We’ve moved on somewhat from the Downton Abbey days ya know. People are NOT slaves to their employers. Well most of them anyway…
Please notice the financial trends of the last 30-40 years. Employers have no interest in what employees WANT, for housing or anything else. It appears to me that the employed middle class that evolved as part of the industrial revolution, which enabled the servants at Downton Abbey to seek other employment, is sliding into extinction in the USA and Canada (and Europe). Wealth is now concentrated in the hands of a very few and jobs are increasingly hard to find. Well paid work is even more scarce. I am guessing that Downton Abbey will look good to many job seekers in the near future. Have you noticed the increasing numbers of homeless? Do you think they are looking for tiny house plans to invest $100k so they can live independently? I am not advocating any life style or political agenda, I am noticing what is occurring over the course of time. Looking at New York City and San Francisco, Hong Kong, Vancouver, Paris and Geneva…… as housing density climbs , there is less and less “affordable housing”, even though the claim is that with increased density there will be increased affordable housing. This never works out as planned. Increasing density does not resolve the issue of more housing for workers. I am defining the term “affordable housing” as rental rates that minimum wage workers could afford, while supporting only themselves. The minimum requirement would be a bedroom and bath, with kitchenette/cooking facilities. The term in the USA would be efficiency apt. At $10/hour, $400/week or about $1600 per month, a feasible rent would be $400 a month, not including utilities. Do you think these laneway houses in Vancouver can be rented for $400 a month? How about $400 a week on air bnb? The design of this Laneway house is truly excellent due to its versatility. The living room could be a garage for the person who needs a garage. This will not be an affordable home for a service worker.
Kristina, it is nearly 4 years on from your post, and mine too, and I’ve just seen this reply due to Alex’s repostings of older posts.
I totally agree. I live in New Zealand. Average house rents here in a city are now in the $NZ400 – 500 per WEEK range.
House prices in our largest city, Auckland, are as below… any wonder that we too now have large numbers of homelessness? BTW, average incomes for the service industry/average joe workers is around $NZ40k – 54K
Property Type mid 2019 mid 2018 mid 2017 mid 2016
House with 5+ bedrooms $1,271,600 $1,335,650 $1,396,300 $1,294,850
House with 3 – 4 bedrooms $890,950 $911,450 $922,850 $876,850
House with 1 – 2 bedrooms $639,000 $659,500 $686,700 $641,550
Apartments $660,800 $655,750 $614,150 $538,150
Townhouses $828,000 $874,050 $847,450 $810,700
Units $612,750 $615,050 $621,300 $591,900
Love the various textures and building materials on the exterior and the inside design. Features unique to this house give ideas to what is possible. Very interesting.
I like this but found it rather confusing with the pics and floor plan. I didn’t notice the in floor tub (hot tub?) Initially until the third pic and could possibly see it if 1) your not that close to neighbors to peek at you, 2) enjoy relaxing spring fall sunsets and bit of entertaining. Otherwise a collapsing table and chairs for dining could occupy that space. Also, the seating area (couch and chairs) was a “where is that?” since it doesn’t seem obvious from the angle of the pic unless that is where the “garage” spot is in the floor plan. The other scratch your head part is the second floor floor plan is where is that grey area in relations to the pics? (The circle within the grey area is what?). Otherwise, a nice laneway, not “service” home. Not all lower middle and low income individuals work in the “service industry.”
I would to know the price a tiny house on wheels.
The garage space is meant to stay as a garage. Under the rules for laneway housing the new building is either replacing an existing garage or occupying a space reserved for a garage. You can use it for other purposes but it can’t be altered significantly from a garage configuration. There are strict rules about square footage for house and garage and how much of the lot is allowed to be built on. A lot of these houses are rented out or used by family members. You are not allowed to sell the laneway house separately. Housing is pretty crazy here all right.
Vancouver laneway houses are often built on the parents property to allow their children a way to get into the housing market. Vancouver is the third most expensive city in the world for real estate. Also there very few available housing options and they are expensive! Tiny homes are a great option but only a few parks will allow them. Many RV parks are being closed after being sold to developers so there are even less options for affordable living. Towns want regular housing as they make more tax income. That is one reason that laneway houses are becoming more popular. It’s more expensive than RV living and tiny house living but it is a place to live and thats a big concern here. I am presently living in a 26 foot 5th wheel as its the only way I can afford to live here and have my pets. I’m hoping that I can build a THOW and live here as I’m in one of the few places that will allow a tiny house as long as it’s set up as an rv. Many people move to BC because of the climate (a rain forest) but move back east because of the high cost of living and the lack of available housing. Hope this explains the laneway houses, etc, and why so many of the houses shown are not inexpensive. There isn’t much here that could be considered low budget and that is the reality of living in southern BC!
Hah! Vancouver is NOWHERE NEAR the most expensive city for real estate.
Current list information (latest data 2014) from most expensive down…: Monaco, Hong Kong, London, Singapore, Geneva, New York, Sydney, Paris, Moscow, Shanghai, Beijing, Rome, Los Angeles, Miami, Tokyo, Mumbai, Istanbul, Sao Paulo, Dubai, Cape Town… so, where is your precious Vancouver in THAT list.
Is there a reason for being so snarky? I don’t think Joyce is trying to be snotty with her comment at all, so no reason to throw it back in her face. Point is, it’s expensive. Doesn’t matter if it is ranked where you think it should be in order to make her point.
Joyce, I love the concept and the look of the Laneway housing. For someone with more than one person to house, they offer me some ideas that are a little bigger than THOW, and more realistic for my situation. So far all the ones I’ve seen are adorable!
There are different lists of the most expensive cities around the world. While I agree Monaco, Hong Kong, London, Geneva, Singapore, New York, Sydney and Moscow are likely all more expensive than Vancouver, you can get cheaper deals in Istanbul, Sao Paulo and Cape Town and even Miami and LA than in Vancouver. Real estate in Brazil, Turkey and South Africa, while rising in price, is still a bargain compared to BC.
One can get cheaper deals in any city. Point being that affordability is related to income levels. Auckland in New Zealand is crazily unaffordable for the average person. They will soon end up with no workers for the essential services unless something serious is done quickly. Cleaners on $17.50 per hour and house/apartment rents in the $600 – $800 per WEEK range. Somethings gotta give.
Following the landslide investments from Asians, they are buying left and right at any price just to get real estate, even these houses remain empty for years. For that reason, Vancouver is becoming today one the most expensive cities in the world. Even the actual residents, have a big problem paying theirs taxes based on the increasing property evaluation.
As of November 27, 2017, the average price to rent a 2 bedroom apartment is just under $1700. You can’t buy a house in Vancouver for less than $1 Million. The Asian have killed it for anyone else buying property and having it set empty. The government is slowly taxing those who do this.
Right now it is illegal to live in a THOW. And building one of these would be the only way to own my own place.
But if snarky Eric wants to try and buy a house in Van, try it.
@Kris: Snarky? No just totally bemused that people don’t do a little research on what is happening in the world.
We in New Zealand have similar problems. Part, but not all, was the allowing of Communist Chinese citizens to buy houses as bolt holes. There are now numerous mansions in Auckland that have nobody living in them, haven’t had occupants for, in some cases, over 10 years. Now though, they can only buy apartments off the plans or build new. Existing housing stock is totally off limits to them. Personally I say ban ALL overseas buyers from purchasing here until they have permanent residency for at least 7 years. But the Government won’t upset that totalist dictator by the name of Xi Jinping. We need to rip up the free trade agreement with Communist China like yesterday.
There is quite a bit about this house that I do not like. 800 sf and there is so little actual living/dining space. I do like the windows that open to bring the outdoors in, but please explain to me the presence of a sunken tub taking up room in that way too small space. Why not put it on the patio, or upstairs? Speaking of the upstairs, why no decks? The space could at least be expanded to include another bedroom.
If picture #8 above is the garage made into a living area—it is cramped and claustrophobic, I just don’t like the use of the existing space, nor the fact that they could have increased the space by expanding the upstairs.
But the sunken tub doesn’t take up room. It is sunk into the floor and covered with very thick glass panels for strength and safety.
Laneway houses, as I understand them, are governed by strict rules… including height to lot size rules… and because the lots are so small they cannot go too high and cannot, as I understand it, be constructed as an ugly box of 2 levels. The garage is required to remain a garage because the laneways are so narrow that there is not enough room to park in the lane and not impede other traffic movements.
Eric, according to an article this year, Vancouver ranked third after Hong Kong, then Sidney as the most expensive places to live. Prices have been going up more than 20% a year for real estate. With a vacancy rate below 1%, it’s a sellers market here and with a lot of buyers from overseas who are buying because Canada is considered to be a pretty stable place to invest. Houses are selling way over asking price which makes it difficult for the average person to enter the market. It’s just a fact of life here. The average house price was quoted to be over $1,000,000. Add to that, the high cost of normal living expenses makes it difficult for the average person to get ahead. One way out that I see, is to have more tiny houses available to buy. Now all we need is somewhere to set them. Since the lifestyle here tends to be outdoors, I see THOWs as a perfect solution. It helps that the climate is neither too hot or cold year around and there are lots of great parks to enjoy.
Another solution, while unpalatable to many, is to simply move elsewhere. Or the Government could implement laws to prohibit foreign investment in existing housing stock. Let them build their own housing. That might start a downward trend in house prices. Maybe…
And remember, articles are written by journalists (allegedly) who have no great expertise in research.
– Yes, the ‘flex garage’ was fully insulated with the idea that it could be used to house people as well as cars. The city used to grant additional square footage for a garage, but has since changed this rule to require an exterior parking space (so we don’t have to build flex garages any more).
– The cover of the jacuzzi tub can be walked on, so it functions as a typical dining room except for those times when they fold the dining table away to use the tub.
– Vancouver isn’t the most expensive, but is one of the least affordable (i.e. the ratio of cost to average income). Our incomes here are lower than in other cities like san francisco or new york.
– These are not cheap buildings, and small houses in general have a higher cost per square foot, but they are ‘affordable’ when compared to buying a condo of the same size (which might be twice the cost). These affordability benefits only accrue to those lucky enough to have family with land, so it’s not the most equitable of affordable housing strategies.
– Lane houses allow many owners to downsize on their own property and rent out their main house for retirement income.
Yes, the tub has a cover, but it couldn’t be in a less private, busier part of the house. When I get into a jacuzzi tub, I want to relax not be worried about peeping neighbors or people coming in and out of the kitchen, or if two of you are in the tub and things get a little steamy…. then you have to get out to close windows, curtains, etc. Not my idea of the most romantic, private place for a tub. 🙂
Too sterile looking! Looks like a hospital not a home
Iy is a Star amonng the Stars of the Firmament Best Architecture in the various historical and evolutionary stages diagonal asymmetrical cuts bright rationality in the provisions of the interior and exterior spaces Mind Creative and Intelligent.
🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team
All that glass – I love it!
Me too 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team
I love this house. All the clean lines and colors appeal to my taste. The garage is meant to be a garage as the cold weather in Vancouver dictates that you may have to plug in your car battery overnight so it won’t freeze up on you! Think Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin…
If you’ve never lived in FRIGID climates, it would help you to understand. I don’t like the tub, but otherwise, if I had the money, I’d buy it in a minute and ship it the the U.S. These are award-winning homes and often sell FIRST DAY on the market. Don’t think too fast – grab one today…….
It’s a great home! — Tiny House Talk Team
OMG… the visions in my head of packing up an existing house and shipping it to another country… LOL
I agree that SERVANT QUARTERS are typically not what
The working folk are looking for! Oh my god.
Tub in odd place for sure…
Very cute, not my cup of tea, I like wheels but it is very nice.
So sterile. So uninviting.
Virtually every house is like that until it is personalised with furniture, artworks etc.