Smallworks is pleased to announce the publication of a newsletter updating and reporting on the Laneway Housing Program in Vancouver.
Read them on our blog...
Featuring a show kitchen, sample library and models of our house designs, our new space is designed to better serve our clients. We have retained an in-house workshop for custom work and partnered with an established production facility to meet our demand. Our open house is planned for March of this year. Details TBA. Join us to take a peak at our new facilities and our lovely mountain view!
Many of the same features that gave West House its platinum rating are standard features in all our homes. Consistently rating from 82-86 in the energuide assesments, Smallworks' homes often equal homes with solar panels and other specialized equipment.
We are very proud to announce that a Smallworks' Laneway House will be featured in an upcoming episode of CBC's "The Nature of Things"!
The episode on urban regeneration airs in February 2012. For more details on the shoot, see Brendan and Akua's blog.
It's time to find a home for our our Flex Studio. This lovely little Flex is in need of a family. Enjoy this backyard oasis today. Upgraded with walnut millwork and bamboo flooring, this Flex Studio is perfect for a home office, backyard studio, or shed - and it's all ready to go!
Download the product sheet:
Thursday, June 9th
6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
RBC 4th and Balsam Branch
2395 West 4th Avenue
Download the event flyer sheet:
"Modesty in all things – but especially buildings – results in a much more balanced, simple and successful quality of life".
Sustainability in new home construction is often referenced with respect to advances in building science, technological fixes and the next newest thing. But the area of sustainability that most interests me involves a more simple approach: that modesty in all things – but especially buildings – results in a much more balanced, simple and successful quality of life.
It was this concept that led me to the idea of providing smaller single-family homes within an urban environment. Having traveled in my youth to cities in Europe and South America, I was impressed by the presence of small, elegant homes that, despite their size, met the needs of individuals and families and helped to foster strong neighborhoods. Often set amongst green leafy streets, or surrounding small city squares, these row houses and small houses fostered a strong sense of conviviality and community amongst their inhabitants. It was this template that inspired me in 2007 to begin advocating for small infill homes at the rear of existing lots.
Read all of this article here.
As we ready to launch our new line of Laneway Cottages, we would like to give you a preview of our concept and our designs. We would very much like your input and feedback so that we can fine-tune our new designs.
At about half the price of our full-sized Laneway Houses, our new single-level Laneway Cottages have only marginally less living space and retain most of the amenities. Our building time is reduced by half and the municipal fees are significantly reduced. Although more affordable, our work shall remain uncompromising in attention to detail and quality. The cottages feature custom millwork, stainless-steel appliances, radiant floor (or gas fireplace), and a space saving European style all-in-one shower/washroom.
Click on this link to see more images and give us your feedback: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/28TPGKS
Saturday, December 11th
(1 pm – 5 pm) $50 + hst
Go here to buy tickets and support the Vancouver Heritage Foundation!
Laneway housing can be a tool for the owners of older homes to densify and improve their property while contributing to the preservation of their historic neighourhood. Only laneway houses constructed behind existing houses will be open on this tour. Get some ideas for building a lane house, or just come to see what the buzz is all about. Enjoy some hot chocolate and cookies. Project teams will be on site to discuss the projects and unique Christmas lights installations by CD/M2 Lightworks will "Light Up the Lanes"!
Thursday, November 18th
6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
RBC Broadway and Cambie Branch
505 W. Broadway, Vancouver, BC
Thursday, November 25th
6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Aberthau House – Point Grey
4397 West 2nd Ave., Vancouver, BC
Download event flyers:
7520 Balaclava Street
Saturday, October 16th
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
We have beautiful custom millwork and great recycled building materials for sale. Browse through our selection of millwork, prototypes, wood windows, doors, counters, roofing, planters, plants, bricks, pavers, surplus building materials and lots more! Or, come by to see our new models and have a burger, hotdog or a cold drink on us! Doors open at 9 a.m. and will close up at 1 p.m.
Vancouver, BC October 4 - 7, 2010
at the BCIT, SFU and SFU Woodwards campuses
This year's Gaining Ground Conference, Eco-Logical, will emphasize practice, execution and innovation in policy, urban-system and community design, green economy, education…and the full integration of sustainability in professional practice.
Gaining Ground celebrates sustainability practice and its innovators: practitioners and advocates across a range of fields working to advance and accelerate urban sustainability in Vancouver and North America. Each day of the conference is devoted to a different theme—sustainability innovation and next practices in governance and policy; green economy and 'real value' thinking; and community engagement and well-being. Register now at www.gaininggroundsummit.com.
As part of their Design Project Review for the week of July 23, 2010, John Brown and Matthew North of Slow Home selected 3 exceptional designs to vote on for best single family home in Vancouver.
Smallworks Laneway Loft House is one of the three designs selected! Go here to check out the designs and vote for your favourite!
This Smallworks Laneway House is a customized model of our Loft Home. Designed to fit with an existing classicly-styled home, it provides an open, bright, and functional interior.
Come celebrate its completion! Representatives from Smallworks will be present to welcome you and answer your questions about our unique approach to Laneway Housing.
Details for Smallworks Open House:
July 17, 2010
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Location: 217 West 21st Avenue, Vancouver
We hope to see you there!
In just 16 weeks this 700 sq. ft. customized loft-style lanehouse can grace your property.
Proprietary building envelope, sustainable high efficiency heating system, custom millwork, hardwood and polished concrete flooring, attractive European appliance package!
Get the details here.
100 sq. ft. of living space without the hassle of a renovation!
If you have ever dreamed of a home office, studio, music room, guest suite or reading nook ... we can bring your dream to life.
Get the details here.
We’re holding an Open House this weekend at our latest Smallworks Laneway House to celebrate
its completion! This particular model was customized to fit in context with the existing classicly-styled home and provide an
open, bright, and functional interior for the client’s use.
Come by, have a look, and chat with Jake Fry and Kate Allen from Smallworks who will be happy to show the house and answer any questions you may have on laneway housing.
Details for Smallworks Open House:
May 22, 2010
Time: 2:00 - 5:00 PM
Location: 373 E Woodstock Avenue
Thanks from all of us- we hope to see you there!
We’re pleased to announce that the City of North Vancouver released its Coach House Guidelines last week to allow for development opportunities within the City’s single-residential lots. The Coach House Community Working Group engaged the City council as well as its residents to develop guidelines for the buildings that reflect the needs and values of the City of North Vancouver. Some of the details surrounding the guidelines include:
- a two-tier approach with 800 square feet, single-storey homes available through a faster process, and a longer more involved approval process with up to 1000 square feet with a one-and-a-half storey unit
- parking provided for both units on the lot
- minimum requirements for a lot; at least 3960 square feet and lot width of 10m
Smallworks is happy to offer our services for incorporating a Coach house on a lot with an existing home. With a standard model for the single storey option, we can further streamline the planning process, while individualizing the finishes and fixtures to suit personal needs and aesthetics. Take a look at our Project Gallery for project inspiration, and contact us for more information on our services or Coach Housing today!
We have entered into another round of building permits issued from City Hall and are also happy to report our first group of homes is coming to completion. We are in full operational mode now and meeting the expectations we have set for ourselves as a company.
The WestHouse, our joint project with Simon Fraser University, has moved from the Olympic site and will be installed at its Legacy Vancouver location at 2009 Stainsbury Avenue prior to the end of the month. All stakeholders are very pleased with the project and our showing at the Olympic venue.
Our working relationship with the architecture firm Birmingham and Wood has been very successful and they have delivered excellent support to our clients and our company to date. We also have a new design to add to our portfolio that we are very excited about and will be available in the near future.
With this expanded support from B&W, we have made a decision to slightly reorganize our company. To this end, Aaron Rosensweet, who had led our design team, will be leaving the company to pursue other interests. We want to thank Aaron for all of his efforts over the last 3 years and wish him well in his future endeavors.
Best wishes for the forthcoming year, and it is my sincere hope that 2010 is a great year for all of us. Several of the families working with us, including some of our own in the Smallworks team, will see their families expand with children on the way. Congratulations!
Others families are in the midst of getting a LWH so parents can move onto their properties, or young adults can move into Vancouver and have their own home in the city.
To all of you working with us, Thank You. We are looking forward to getting your new little homes built and looking beautiful.
OUR FIRST LANE WAY HOME
Brad and Lara our first LWH. Fantastic – December Ground Breaking - literally
More information and photos to come but our wonderful Panel Workshop is up and running. We are going to have an open house in March for all to see our fantastic facility! I will send you the invitations soon.
We are very excited to announce that we have just picked up our first three building permits from the City of Vancouver for our Laneway House projects.
Thanks to everyone on our team, PLUS James Burton and Mike Lemon of Birmingham and Wood for great looking first set of pre-approved Laneway Homes. Also thanks to everyone at city hall in the planning and engineering departments for facilitating what we think will become a great part of living in our city.
When we first came up with the idea for a company that would design and build Laneway Houses, we naively thought it would be a simple task to get this idea going. Our dream in promoting Laneway Houses was to create fantastic small homes for families in a residential neighbourhood setting.
Although it took longer to get the idea off the ground than we had thought, everyone's support and encouragement for our idea has kept us going. Four and a half years later, we are finally at the place we have dreamed of.
Construction on our first building is set to start next week with the next two projects following shortly. We have ten other permits in various stages of approval.
We are also putting the finishing touches on our 'factory' a new 10,000 sqft panel pre-fabrication production facility located next to our custom millwork shop and offices in the historic Celtic Shipyards.
As new permits are issued over the next few weeks we will begin to manufacture our custom laneway homes in this heritage factory. This will enable us to produce extremely high quality custom buildings in a controlled environment allowing us to manage costs and building timelines. The first buildings to come out of the factory will be ready for installation in the early spring.
Check back as we will be posting stories and images from the builds, and everyone is invited to our open house once the first Smallworks Laneway House is complete.
Well we are underway! After some great work with the Vancouver’s planning department, Smallworks is nearing the last stages of securing building permits. Although the progress was a little slower than we anticipated, we have our first standard plans now pre-approved. We are excited with the prospect of breaking ground and getting ready for our workshop builds over the winter.
We have registered our first four Laneway House projects with the Homeowner Protection Office (HPO). This week’s Real Estate Weekly has a front page entry, which discusses the need for all Laneway Houses (LWH) to have a HPO warranty and to built by a licensed builder. The article discusses the other requirements such as LWH being compliant with “green building code” and having sprinklers.
Some might consider HPO warranty burdensome. We, however, support these requirements and the protection HPO offers homeowners.
Some homeowners may want to make their LWH a DIY project, which is great if they have the ability. However, if a contractor offers you a deal by suggesting an end-run around the HPO, with you registering yourself as the owner/ builder be very careful . This scenario exposes you to liability and more importantly you are going into business with someone who is not willing to stand by their work.
It is our belief a LWH should be built to the highest standards. These homes should meet or exceed all new Green Home Guidelines and LWH features should include Heat Recovery Ventilators, radiant heat and other power conserving devices.
Laneway homes are likely housing someone in your family so shop wisely. And if you're thinking of a Laneway home for rental only, keep in mind a LWH will be your closest neighbor and the best asset you can add to your property.
Smallworks is excited to be part of the 2009 Vancouver Interior Design which runs from October 15-18 at BC Place Stadium. We pleased to be sharing a booth with Vancity who will be presenting financial products tailored for Laneway Housing. We have build a full size bathroom and kitchen and will be presenting some of our custom designed millwork. Please come visit us at the show and find out more information about Smallworks, Laneway Housing and financing options. Hope to see you there.
Smallworks is in ongoing discussions with the City of Vancouver and BC Hydro to get more information after published reports suggested laneway-housing owners could be required to pay up to $20,000 for a hydro connection.
BC Hydro said in the report that overhead power lines are at capacity, and that lighting up laneway homes – small homes built on the property of existing single-family dwellings – would require new underground electrical cables to be installed if there was full adoption of this housing model through out the city.
But full adoption of this housing model is unlikely, said Smallworks founder Jake Fry. “We do not want prospective laneway housing owners to assume this reported hookup cost is an indicator of their cost. This is obviously a worst case scenario. Each home will be assessed individually and we are working hard to ensure that the cost is actually much less than earlier reported. We are currently in discussions with all parties to ensure all facts are on the table to come up with solutions to meet all needs of all stakeholders. An example is the projections on number of households in Vancouver who will build a laneway home. Some are working off a model that indicates it could be as high as 90%. This is not the case.
He added: “We feel it is important to note in our discussions with the City of Vancouver and with BC Hydro that laneway homes are being constructed at a very gentle pace. Our company’s market assessment indicates there will be no more than a 10 to 15-per-cent adoption of the laneway-housing model among Vancouver single-family dwellings within the next decade.”
“Unfortunately, such discussions affect those considering these eco-friendly, humane and aesthetic homes, which can serve as accommodation for elderly family members, caretakers, students and those needing mortgage helpers. They are one valid solution to the problem of Vancouver’s prohibitively high housing costs.” We recognize there are always these types of issues that get raised in new initiatives but remain confident we can facilitate solutions based on the desire of all key stakeholders to see this program go forward.
Smallworks is working hard to minimize the costs for clients of its laneway homes and studios in order to alleviate the costs.
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