A Look At Living In A Laneway House

A Laneway house is a small house that is built at the end of a lot, which is close to the lane. They can be built where a carport or garage is supposed to be and are essentially tiny homes which have their own parking accessory which is either on the inside or outside of a laneway. These type of houses are typically between 500 square feet to 950 square feet, depending on the overall size of the lot you’re building on. In most cases, about 16% of the entire lot can be used for the laneway house with an additional 40 square feet for your storage. These homes have become quite popular in Vancouver and Toronto, Canada since many people use them for additional rental income, downsizing as they get older and many young adults buy them due to the fact that they’re more affordable than normal sized homes or apartments. So, with that said, we will now take a closer look at what it’s like living in one one of these houses, how to optimize on living in one and other details.


As mentioned above, laneway houses are much smaller than typical homes, which makes it extremely important to properly use the space available. This means that you need to truly think about the items you buy to furnish your laneway home and whether they are too big for the space. Many people have worked around the lack of space issue by purchasing multi-use furnishings. This basically means that every piece of furniture can be used in multiple ways. For example, if you have a couch, make sure that it can also fold out into a bed. A kitchen table can also be used as a study or work table. Instead of getting a normal bed, you can have a wall bed which folds up to open up the space when you’re not using it. The underneath of a staircase can be used as a storage unit that holds your shoes, books etc.

Once you live in a small home, you will need to get creative to avoid clutter. It can definitely be done once you put some thought into it.

Interior Planning

If you’re building your own laneway home as oppose to buying one, then this gives you the opportunity to plan the interior of your home. Since the space is small, it is imperative that you carefully think about the interior design of your house and how it should flow once you’re living in it. This design would be heavily affected by how many people will be living in the house, your lifestyle, needs etc. You should think about what is most important to you and make sure that you focus on your needs versus your wants.

There are both positive and negative aspects of living in one of these homes, we will now take a look at some of them.

The Pros:

1. Cost:

The cost of a laneway home is usually between $200k – $300k whereas a typical home would be $500k+. As you can see, purchasing a laneway home is much cheaper which makes it more affordable to a wider group of people. Many young adults, young professionals and newly married people are often stressed due to the fact that they can’t afford to buy their own home or apartment. Laneway homes are a fantastic solution that allows most people to finally own their own home.

2. Private Entrance:

A laneway home is it’s own separate property and it has it’s own private entrance. As a result, you can freely come and go as you please.

3. There Aren’t Any Shared Walls:

Thirdly, there aren’t any shared walls or floors, which means you have a lot more privacy. You can enjoy your music or television without having to worry about disturbing others.

4. Multi Levels

Many laneway homes have at least two levels, which means that you’ll have more space. This will be a great relief especially if you’ve lived in a basement apartment.

5. New Homes

Laneway properties are relatively new to the Toronto housing market which means that most of them are newly constructed. A newly built home is much better to live in than one that has been around for decades since you won’t have any problems with it that usually comes with an older home.

6. No Elevators

You don’t have to wait on the elevator and the most you’ll have to do is walk up a flight of stairs to reach the upper level of your home.

7. Rental Income

You can easily build one of these laneway homes on your land, next to your home and rent it out. This is a great option for retirees or anyone who wants an additional source of income.

The Cons

1. Space

You will have less space than you may be accustomed to, however, a bit of intelligent design will ensure you’re happy and comfortable.

2. Increased Heating Costs

Heating a laneway home will be more expensive than heating an apartment, so you should be prepared for a higher bill. This is due to having more walls and floors needing to be heated during the winter months.

3. Noise

You may experience some extra noise from green waste trucks and garbage trucks due to your home’s closeness to the curb.

Tips To Keep In Mind When Choosing A Laneway Home

The major issue you may have with a laneway home is the increased cost of heating. However, this can easily be solved through using alternative heating methods so make sure that you look for a laneway home that offers this. You should also look into buying one that has some outdoor space for a patio which will not only improve the curb appeal but increase your enjoyment of your new home.


In summary, we have just looked at what it would be like living in a laneway home, the pros and cons of living in one and things to keep in mind. So, be sure to carefully think about the guidelines above and I’m certain you’ll be able to make the right decision.

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Give us a call and one of our dedicated team members will provide you with further information regarding your future laneway home.