BC government introducing legislation that overrides the municipal zoning regulations
There is a rush to build smaller homes in BC. I’m wondering how the municipalities will react. So far, many municipalities in BC (with the exception of the city of Vancouver) have been reluctant to accept the idea of densification and having multiple homes on single-family lots. But this all will change soon, as the government of BC is imposing a new act that requires all municipalities in BC to allow multiple units on a single-family lot, regardless of their zoning.
Smaller units on single-family lots mean home affordability!
Proposing a secondary suite on a single-family lot is nothing new, but now the government wants to build smaller homes that are shared with other owners to reduce the cost of home ownership. The new act being imposed by the government of BC that requires all municipalities to allow multiple units in a single-family lot is indeed a significant change in the approach to densification. This can potentially address the issue of affordability and reduce the cost of home ownership, which is a commendable goal. However, it is important to ensure that this is done in a responsible and creative manner to avoid potential negative impacts on the community in the long run. One suggestion is to highlight the benefits of smaller homes and shared ownership, such as increased affordability, reduced environmental footprint, and fostering of a sense of community through shared spaces and resources. Emphasize that smaller homes can provide an opportunity for families or individuals to enter the housing market at a more affordable price point, which can be especially beneficial in expensive markets like BC.
Makes homeownership more affordable for younger families and new immigrants
The existing lot footprint can home more families to live in a family-oriented neighbourhood
Create more rental units to combat the rental shortage
The use of existing lands is good for the environment and for the local economy
The forgivable loan offered by the BC government is a very good motivation for some homeowners to take action toward adding units to their homes, but it’s not enough!
It would also be beneficial to pioneer creative and attractive designs for multiplexes, rather than a “cookie-cutter” approach. This can help address concerns about the aesthetic impact of densification on neighbourhoods and promote innovative designs that enhance the overall appeal of the community. The city of Vancouver was proactive in that initiative and is moving forward to densification throughout the city which other municipalities have to follow suit.
The city of Vancouver can share its experience in regard to the challenges has faced by creating smaller units.
This can provide a more comprehensive and informative analysis of the situation and potential hurdles that municipalities and developers may face in implementing the new act.
I had challenges with the city of Coquitlam and Burnaby when it comes to building a duplex on big lots. The city prefers to build a giant homes with high price tags with a secondary suite (in which two families can reside on it) rather than building multiple units owned by families who can afford the smaller price tag. A 900 SF condo is selling for over $1 mil. in Coquitlam, but imagine if you have one share of a triplex in the same area, you can own it at the same price with a larger footprint and be able to share the yard with other owners.
It will be interesting to see how the municipalities respond to the new upcoming act.
In conclusion, the province is facing a significant number of new immigrants within the next 5 years and our housing shortage will cause a tremendous impact on the way our society will run. The sooner the municipalities act and create more affordable homes, the sooner we can resolve this issue.
We are all working toward a better community. We can do it by opening the floor for dialogue and listening to all the ideas on the table.
Contact us if you need to know more about how can you make a difference and make your home energy effiectint.
After many years of waiting, the city of Burnaby has decided to accept the fact that the city needs more housing options to combat the rental shortage. After going through the process, the city held a couple of open houses on March 28 and 29th and is expecting to present the program to the council’s approval in the fall of 2023.
First and foremost, the lot has to have vehicular access either from a lane or from a side street. Some corner lots will require approval from the engineering department. The Laneway home will be constructed at the rear of the lot.
The lot zoning should be on a single family zoning such as R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R8, R10, R11, R12, RM1, RM2, RM3, and RM6. Please consult with us to see if your lot is eligible for building a laneway home by clicking here.
What size can we build on a lot?
The maximum allowed floor area of a laneway home is 20% of the lot size up to a maximum of 1,507 SF. For example, if your lot size is 7,000 SF your laneway house can not be more than 1,400 SF. Other considerations such as site coverage and impervious area coverage will affect the size of the home as well.
The Laneway home can not be more than 2 storeys
The maximum height can not be more than 24.93 ft for a sloped roof
The maximum height can not be more than 21.98 ft for a flat roof
Passive house has some exemptions
Basement and sellers are allowed in laneway homes
Only one parking stall will be sufficient for the house and laneway home
If you decided to build a garage and a laneway home, the area of the garage will be calculated to the total floor area allowed
If your existing house has a secondary suite, you are still eligible to build a laneway home
There are other restrictions such as sideyard and rear setback, outdoor space, distance from the main house, access, servicing and the construction method that all can be taken care of by our team as soon as our client has decided to move forward with the project.
There are many benefits of investing in a laneway home construction and we assure our clients we build the most cost-effective one with the best standard in the market. Our business module is on win-win philosophy and we take pride in having many happy clients because of our work ethic. See what our past clients say about our services by clicking here.
The city of Burnaby is aiming to accept building permit applications by September 2023. Considering the number of homeowners who would like to apply for the permit, there will be a huge number of applicants’ anticipation. The question is how the city can handle the number of applications. We experienced similar situations in other municipalities and the backlog of applications is taking years to be taken care of. If an applicant wants to wait until September 2023 to start their process, it will take about two months to have the initial documents ready to submit to the city.
By the time the documents are ready, there will be a huge number of applicants who applied for the permit already.
The best approach is to hire the company of your choice and have them have all the documents ready and as soon as the permit application is open to submit, your application will be one of the first ones. Fill out the form below and let us help you to build your Laneway home sooner!
We are all working toward a better community. We can do it by opening the floor for dialogue and listening to all the ideas on the table.
Contact us if you need to know more about how can you make a difference and make your home energy efficient.
Decluttering and organizing our storage space helps more than just our mental health. It also makes the home safer by decreasing the chance of injuries and falls. The older you become, the more critical it turns.
When you have a clean home and organized kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, you stimulate your brain in a healthier, more free manner. Your eyes roam undisrupted, which helps you to focus. Consequently, you enjoy your life more.
Getting rid of the excess things can be stressful, but having them all around is worse. A middle solution? Upgrade your storage space and introduce some smart storage solutions. It will reward you with an opportunity for a fresh start.
We All Need More Storage Space As Time Goes By
There’s a vast number of reasons why we have clutter. Impulse shopping, emotional emptiness, collected memories… “I might need it,” “Soon the things will change,” “I will lose weight and wear it again” – we all know the same all song.
Since the pandemic started and staying at home became the part of “new normal,” the chances are that your living space:
Became more cluttered than ever
Turned to a constant source of stress over things that you might not have been noticing before
Now the times are changing, and life is gradually going back to “old normal.” Perhaps it’s the best moment to deal with everything that has been standing in your way for months and months? Making a fresh start is beneficial, and not to mention that it feels so good.
Psychological Effects of Clutter
Stress and More Stress
The most common psychological effect of clutter is stress—no need to say how it affects our health. The constant hassle of dealing with the mess and lack of organization can rocket your cortisol levels sky-high. Consequently, it provokes structural changes in our brain, inducing long-term sensitivity to stress.
An organized home is a sign of an organized mind. Conversely, cluttered environments send a message of inadequacy, incapability to keep things under control – there’s a reason why cluttered homes are commonly linked to depression. And then there is another price: a messy house can cost you social life in more than one way.
We get a lot of energy from our environment and the impulses it creates in our brains. It’s impossible to properly relax in a chaotic atmosphere. Even if you feel like it happens, your brain knows the difference. In the same way the sterile room can feel uneasy and awake the sensation of emptiness, a messy place will make you feel tired sooner than later. Finally, you will not have enough motivation to do the things you want, in return feeling lazy and less worthy.
If you want to produce something new or move yourself to the next level in some area of your life, dealing with organization and storage is the ideal base. As the first step, ensure that no excess clutter will stand in the way of a change that you want to experience.
Focus and Productivity Issues
Clutter is tremendously distracting. Instead of focusing on one thing, it keeps your brain in a constant multitasking mode. Now, why is that bad? First, it’s very tiring. Secondly, it prevents you from finishing one big thing by scattering your mind and body over a dozen of tiny ones. And finally, you will give up easier due to feeling overwhelmed.
How Remodeling Your House to Add Storage Space Helps Keeping the Clutter Away
Smart Storage In Unused Spaces
Adding storage in dead-ends, empty corners, and under the stairs is a great idea. Hidden cabinets, built-in shelving, and pull-out drawers hide the world of new possibilities. Built-in shelves can work well both functionally and aesthetically in many places. Think about having them around doors, a TV area, or at the sides of a fireplace. If you want to create a room divider but are not ready to commit (let’s say you need it for a temporary home office), shelves are a brilliant idea. Make it a bookcase, or fill them up with decorative boxes to get even more storage options.
Another great, multifunctional solution is a bespoke bench. These handy items can fit into any corner or under a window, providing hidden storage AND an extra sitting place. Consider a custom-sized bench at your foyer, and have a comfortable space to put your shoes on and store them after use.
A laundry room can become a hobby room and a mudroom. Cover the walls with ceiling-high cabinets and shelves for storing various supplies, as well as shoes, coats, umbrellas, bags, and much more. A corner for showering your pet after a walk would also fit there perfectly.
Some creative ideas might be of use if you don’t want to invest in a full remodeling. Are there any cabinets and closets that you don’t really like or use much? Repurpose them in a mudroom. You won’t have to look at them all day, and they will save you the cost of buying new stuff. An old ladder is perfect for doubling as a shelf. Even better, hang them high, horizontally oriented, and you will get a new, chic place for drying washed clothes.
Kitchen Storage Space
If you’re thinking about kitchen renovation, consider new floor-to-ceiling cabinets with a variety of storage options. Pull-out drawers of different depths, sliding baskets, dedicated, convenient spots for cookware, and more – every thoughtful detail will enhance your cooking experience and out more pleasure in the process. The best part? You can use tall, narrow spaces to install high cabinets with shelving for small items that often drag all around, such as spice jars, cans, and backup supplies.
Removing walls and opting for an open space living area (including kitchen) will also help you declutter and become better organized. First, it will improve your habits. Second, in place of a wall, you will have a kitchen island with abundant storage options, customized to fit your needs. You can even sneak in a wine bar or something similar.
If your floor space is limited, consider a corner dining place with built-in benches that can, again, double as hidden storage for kitchen towels, table cloths, and many more. Alternatively, you can free up some counter space by using that corner for a small floor-to-ceiling pantry with drywall and shelving, instead of a dining area.
A few lucky ones enjoy unlimited floor space in a bathroom. For the rest, it takes a bit of creativity and a great designer to perform magic. Start by thinking vertical instead of horizontal – floor space might be scarce, but there is so much more of it all over your walls. Instead of freestanding cabinets, opt for recessed ones. Wall-mounted shelves and cupboards offer a plethora of bathroom storage possibilities. Hung within reach, they allow effortless access to all kinds of items, from hairbrushes to towels and bulky bottles.
Replacing the standard bathtub with a walk-in shower is one of the best moves you can make when remodeling your bathroom. It saves floor space, but there is much more. Transparent glass dividers make the room look and feel more spacious. The effect is even stronger if you use the same floor and wall tiles all over. Also, accessibility is essential in some cases, like when you’re remodeling to adapt the house for aging-in-place. A walk-in shower is a breeze to use.
Bedroom Storage Solutions
Even if you are not the type who leaves clothes everywhere – in a bedroom, there is always something that could be tucked away. Moreover, out of all rooms in the house, the bedroom is where you really shouldn’t have any visible excess if you aim for a healthier life. Even when you sleep, a part of your brain works. That means a part of you is always aware of the surrounding scene at all times. Furthermore, that also means anything can affect it enough to disturb your sleeping sequence.
If you have enough floor space to use, think about hidden storage behind the bed, all over the wall. Better said, create a new, “fake” wall in front of the existing one. It will help to keep the room looking clear and free, while holding a ton of hidden compartments at the same time. Alternatively, think of a gallery bed. Lift it up to create more visual dynamics in the interior, and use the space below to slide in some large drawers.
Doors and Traffic Areas
Being limited in floor space means using all you can to make storage. That also means you may be wasting some precious areas on conventional solutions. A standard door might be limiting your possibilities with the way it moves. Have you thought about switching them for a sliding model? Yes, it requires some wall, but that doesn’t mean you can’t place a cabinet in front.
Organized Storage Space, Organized Mind
Once you have a place for everything and everything in its place, you will probably notice several things at the same time. Dopamine will replace cortisol. You will feel accomplished and ready for more. Moreover, your focus will noticeably improve, as well as the productivity. One thing will boost another and, before you know it, you will be leading a healthier and happier life.
If you are ready for the next step but need more professional guidance in order to make the most of what you got, contact us and schedule a consultation. We will offer customized solutions, tailored personally for you, your home, and your lifestyle.