Whether they’re being used as a work-from-home office retreat, a guest suite or as an income property, lane homes are a hot commodity in Metro Vancouver.  As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many families are using lane homes to keep their extended families together for years to come.   Also known as a coach house or carriage house, lane homes are a detached secondary building on an existing lot, generally in the backyard and opening onto the back lane.  Lane homes offer all the amenities of a “regular home”, just with a much smaller footprint.  Whether you’re converting or renovating an existing structure or planning a new build, lane homes are an excellent investment that will pay off for many years to come.   While smaller in size, there is no need to scrimp on comforts when building or renovating your lane home. Well Balanced Designs will incorporate features such as central air conditioning, in-floor radiant heat, fully integrated wiring for SmartHome controls and so much more.  

Ageing in Place

The effects of COVID-19 in long term care facilities have been devastating to the senior population. That is why so many families are choosing to care for their loved ones at home. A lane home is a wonderful solution to have your family on-site while still providing some privacy and social distancing. Appropriate safety and comfort measures like shower bars, accessible doorways and stairless entryways can be integrated to welcome older residents.  

Multi-Generational Living

The past few months have also seen a “return to the nest”, as many parents welcome home their university-aged or adult children. A lane home offers the safety, security and distancing that cannot be found in a dorm or condo building, while still allowing the family units to live independently of each other.    

Extra Work Space

With many families juggling virtual schooling and working from home, workspace may be at a premium. Using your lane home as a home office or classroom can give you the space, and peace of mind, you need to get the job done. Whether you choose to convert a bedroom in your lane home into a home office or just use the living area as a workspace, be sure that your WiFi signal is strong enough or look into a secondary service to avoid disruptions.        

George Martin of Well Balanced Designs is one of Vancouver’s leading Design-Build experts, with over 46 years of experience in construction and renovations. He is familiar with Vancouver’s building types and materials, from lane homes and Yaletown condos to Westside single-family homes and Kitsilano heritage homes.  Schedule a call with George today at

Patti  Morrison

Patti Morrison


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