Carriage homes have become increasingly popular especially in cities where real estate values are so high. In many instances they are built for family members or purely as an income generator. A Carriage home is indeed a great asset to have whether you are providing housing on a long or short-term basis. Often it gives the added space for family and friends visiting. There are many advantages to building a carriage home and one main reason is that the principal residence still retains privacy and experiences fewer sound disturbances when the suite is in another building. A carriage home also adds great value to your home and an excellent selling feature.
In Nanaimo, a suite in an accessory building is referred to as a carriage house. In order to build a carriage house you would need to provide that:
- No secondary suite exists in the principal home
- A minimum of 30 square metres of private outdoor space is provided and
- The lot is either a corner lot or accessed by a laneway or greater than 800 metres (approx 8611 square feet)
The total size of all accessory buildings on the lot shall not exceed 13% of the overall lot size and is a maximum of 90 metres square or approximately 968 square feet. It is important to note that Carriage homes cannot be stratified from the principal dwelling.
In terms of construction it is recommended that the detached suite have the following:
- Exterior materials and colours of the suite should compliment the overall character of the existing dwelling and neighbourhood
- Suite is oriented and sited in a manner which protects the privacy of neighbours
- Emergency personnel can easily find and access the suite
- Three parking spaces, one for the detached suite and two for the principal dwelling
- Suite should be screened from the neighbouring yards in a manner that is most suited to the character of the neighbourhood
- Private outdoor space for the detached suite, minimum of 30 metres
Other uses of Carriage homes can be for bed and breakfast, or a home-based business. For any of these uses you would need to contact the City of Nanaimo Zoning department.
For additional information about Carriage homes or Secondary suites review this link from the City of Nanaimo. It is an excellent resource that provides all of the detailed information about the building process, obtaining permits, construction and residential worksheets.