500 sq. ft. Laneway House in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Wikipedia describes a laneway house as…

“a form of housing that is gaining popularity on the west coast of Canada, especially in the Metro Vancouver area. These homes are typically built into pre-existing lots, usually in the backyard and opening onto the back lane.”

Laneway houses were introduced to increase density in existing neighborhoods, and average about 550 square feet. Regulations typically require they be built behind an existing house, on the back-half of the lot. The hope is to retain the feel of a single-family neighborhood, while not compromising the privacy of the nearby neighbors, and to add much needed housing to the area.

One of the best laneway houses on the web was built by Smallworks in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and is 1.5 stories, and 500 square feet. Known as the West Coast Modern, it’s a beautiful tiny house, perfectly sized for a couple, and has a fairly large balcony next to the bed. The house also includes a one-car garage on the bottom half.

View Smallwork’s West Coast Modern laneway house!
http://www.smallworks.ca/gallery/wcm1/?portfolioID=57

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Tumbleweed “Bodega” on a foundation in Royalston, MA

Just 252 square feet, this tiny house in Royalston, Massachusetts is fully permitted and legal, and was built using modified Tumbleweed “Bodega” plans. It’s on a permanent foundation and was completed in October 2013.

According to owner/builder Chris Haynes, the code in his area requires one room that is at least 150 square feet, and while the living room area was listed as only 120 square feet in the plans, when combined with the kitchen, Chris was able to achieve the 150 square feet minimum. He also had to add a back door to the plan, and he discusses the allowed width of that door. Chris praises the building inspectors in Royalston.

Derek “Deek” Diedricksen, of HGTV/DIY interviews owner/builder Chris Haynes, and the conversation on meeting the code starts at the 1:10 minute mark in the video.

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