Everything You Need to Know About Laneway Homes in Edmonton

Do you want to add value to your property, and generate income while contributing to Edmonton’s affordable housing landscape? Laneway homes, also known as garden suites or garage suites, are becoming increasingly popular in Edmonton, offering a fantastic opportunity for homeowners to create versatile living spaces in their backyards. This blog post will explore the ins and outs of building and managing a laneway home in Edmonton, including design, construction, and cost considerations.

Key Takeaways

  • Laneway homes in Edmonton are an increasingly popular housing option, offering homeowners extra space, potential rental income, and increased property value.
  • Building a laneway house requires understanding local zoning regulations, selecting a builder, and designing the home to suit individual needs.
  • Financing options for laneway homes may include traditional mortgages or specialized refinancing.

Laneway Homes in Edmonton: An Overview

Laneway homes, also known as garage suites, garden suites, or laneway suites, are secondary dwellings constructed in the rear of the primary residence, typically in an alleyway. This housing trend has gained traction in densely populated central communities in Canadian cities like Edmonton, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Edmonton homeowners stand to gain several benefits from building a laneway house, including extra living space, the potential for rental income, and an increased property value.

Laneway Home Benefits

The construction of a laneway home brings about several advantages. Homeowners gain extra room for family, it makes multi-generational living possible, and it can be leased out for income. Renting out a laneway home can provide homeowners with a consistent source of revenue, contributing to Edmonton’s affordable housing options.

Laneway Housing in Edmonton’s Communities

Laneway housing is gaining popularity in Edmonton communities, with many neighbourhoods embracing this trend to facilitate diverse living arrangements. The City of Edmonton has identified the positive impact of laneway homes in the urban landscape, as they provide:

  • Additional living space
  • Address the housing shortage.
  • Add value to properties.
  • Offer alternative housing options.

Consequently, the City is considering bylaw changes to facilitate the construction of laneway houses, following the example of cities like Vancouver, which has set a goal of constructing an additional 4,000 new laneway houses by 2028.

Building Your Dream Laneway House in Edmonton

The process of building a laneway home in Edmonton encompasses several stages. Here are the steps involved:

  1. Choose a reputable builder.
  2. Learn about zoning and permit requirements.
  3. Design the house.
  4. Supervise the construction.
  5. Add final touches.

Gaining an understanding of the development process is vital. This involves:

  • A review by city officials
  • Approval or refusal based on zoning and safety code compliance.
  • Construction initiation
  • Compliance with specific inspections.

Understanding Edmonton’s Zoning and Building Permits

Understanding Edmonton’s zoning and building permit requirements is key to ensuring compliance with local regulations for your laneway home project. Obtaining an On-Street Construction and Maintenance (OSCAM) Permit is essential for any issue predicated on temporarily utilizing or crossing the road right-of-way. This includes demolition, deliveries, and construction. Additionally, checking with the city before occupancy is advised to determine if an occupancy permit is necessary.

Your builder will work with you to help you obtain all required permits for your build!

Designing Your Laneway House

Designing a laneway home involves considering architectural style, preserving backyard open space, generating visual interest, respecting the local context, optimizing space, and incorporating stairs instead of ladders for multi-storey designs. Additionally, layout considerations should account for the size and shape of the lot, orientation of the house, placement of windows and doors, and utilization of outdoor space.

Material considerations for laneway homes involve the utilization of sustainable materials, the installation of energy-efficient appliances, and the selection of durable materials. Regarding energy efficiency, consider incorporating energy-efficient windows and doors, insulation, and energy-efficient lighting to reduce long-term costs and create a more sustainable living space.

Construction and Finishing Touches

The construction process for a laneway home includes site preparation, framing, and adding finishing touches to create a comfortable and stylish living space. The timeline for construction can vary, but typically it takes approximately 5-6 months. The pre-approvals necessary for a laneway home project typically include building, development, and occupancy permits.

When budgeting for a laneway home project, it is prudent to factor in expenses such as:

  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Landscaping
  • Other finishing touches

Financing Options for Laneway Homes

Financing options for laneway homes in Edmonton may include:

  • Obtaining a mortgage for the construction of the laneway home or garden suite
  • Utilizing the suite as a mortgage helper or investment property
  • Securing a ‘purchase plus improvement’ mortgage to cover the cost of constructing the laneway home.

Marketing Your Laneway Home to Potential Renters

Laneway homes can provide homeowners with a great secondary income stream. To market your laneway home effectively to potential renters, follow these steps:

  1. Highlight the property’s unique features.
  2. Use high-quality photos to showcase the home.
  3. Utilize online platforms to broaden your audience reach.
  4. Emphasize the property’s location, facilities, and architecture.
  5. Create a comprehensive listing that includes pictures, descriptions, and amenities.

By following these steps, you can attract prospective renters and help them make an informed decision.

Utilizing online rental platforms can be beneficial in reaching a larger pool of prospective tenants. Additionally, consider potential partnerships with local real estate agents, property management companies, and other rental services to further expand your reach in the rental market.


Laneway Homes offer homeowners a versatile and attractive solution for increasing property value, generating rental income, and contributing to the city’s affordable housing options. You can transform your backyard into a thriving and profitable living space by understanding the process of building a laneway home, budgeting, and financing considerations, and navigating the rental market.

Take the first step towards building your dream laneway home today and reap the benefits of this growing housing trend!