Custom Home Additional Dwelling Units

March 30, 2023

Additional Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Spring in the Okanagan is finally in our foresight! Over the past few months of winter you’ve likely been scheming up your next big yard or housing project. Perhaps you know exactly what you want, but aren’t sure exactly where to start.

You might be unsure about the necessary permit needs, or perhaps you just want to narrow down your options to figure out the most economical solution for your growing family. In this blog we’ll outline a handful of different additions that can compliment your property, without blowing your budget. These various styles of additional dwelling units are aimed at helping you hone in on some of the benefits and potential drawbacks of new builds. 

Additional dwelling units (or ADUs) are a type of independent living space that are fully self-contained. They often include their own kitchens, bathrooms, as well as sleeping areas. Secondary suites aren’t a new concept, however many code regulations in BC have been slow to adapt to changing zoning requirements to accommodate for a greater diversity of housing options. The primary types of suite types include secondary suites, garden suites, laneway houses, and tiny homes.

Secondary Suites

Secondary suites are most commonly known in the custom home world. They’ve been a popular choice for homeowners and builders alike, as they offer a cost effective solution to flipping an existing space. Out of all the new types of “additions”, secondary suites are the most practical option for a reason. On smaller lots, they’re often the only choice to be able to still meet sizing and set back requirements.

custom home Additions

Garden Suites

Garden suites

Garden Suites are often the most customizable option for a new home construction. They’re also known as detached carriage or coach houses in the yard. Although the servicing requirements are often more intensive for them, they offer flexibility in being added as an afterthought. Garden suites might be ideal if you’re looking for that extra privacy from your in-laws or by using it as a rental for students. Be wary of neighbours that might be more concerned of the curb-appeal, especially if they’re fronting other properties!

Laneway Homes

Laneway houses have been all the buzz in cities for a reason. They’ve been helping ease the housing crisis that’s been in Vancouver over the past few years. Laneway suites are more formally known as detached suites that are often backing a laneway or secondary road. Some of the benefits include the fact that they can be added to a property as an afterthought, and they have the potential to double as a garage or covered carport area. Laneway homes are also great because they offer the opportunity to make a downtown or residential area more “walking” friendly, providing safer street access for businesses and homes.

Laneway custom homes

Tiny Homes

tiny custom homes

Tiny homes are a type of custom build that reduces the amount of livable space as much as possible, and are also another trend coinciding with the idea of “minimalist” living. Many tiny homes these days are often on wheels, or act as a seasonal home for the modern nomad. Tiny homes now have their own unique building code requirements, which are often quite stringent depending on where you’re building. 

Custom Needs for your Family

ADUs have proven to be a great investment no matter the style you choose. With fluctuating market prices and inflation, choosing to re-invest in your own property might be the perfect solution for your growing or aging family. They also benefit the community by providing more affordable renting options for students and young professionals alike.

As custom home builders, we never compromise quality for size. Our aim is to work through all the specific details early in the design process, to help you figure out what sort of custom solution is going to be the most long-standing for your needs. We collaborate with you from conception to permitting and full completion, walking you through all the added zoning and step code requirements. Get started on your addition today with Brentwell!

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