Tiny Homes can be a great addition for homeowners, especially those looking for an extra means of income. A tiny home, also known as a coach house, is a small free-standing apartment, detached from the principal dwelling but located on the same lot. Coach houses are intended to bring more density to established neighbourhoods without negatively impacting community spaces. This increase in neighbourhood density would naturally increase the number of affordable homes. The regulations concerning Tiny Homes vary from one municipality to another. Note: the following information is specifically regarding Tiny Homes in Ottawa.The Advantages of a Coach HomeBuilding a Coach Home on your pre-existing lot can have countless advantages. The initial advantage is the extra means of income. The additional dwelling is connected to both city water and sewer lines through the primary residence. This means no new connections are required. Note, Tiny Homes don’t necessarily need to be a newly built structure. Accessory structures such as garages or sheds can also be converted into coach homes, as long as all building requirements are met.If having an extra income doesn’t lure you in, perhaps your in-laws are looking to downsize but your home just isn’t big enough to accommodate them. Tiny homes allow family members to reside close, while ensuring everyone has their own space and independence. EligibilityThe rules and regulations concerning Tiny Homes vary from municipality to municipality. In Ottawa, not all lots meet the requirements for the addition of a coach home.In general, lots can accommodate a Tiny Home if the following requirements are met:
The lot is serviced by municipal water and sewer lines, or if the lot is in a rural area, it is 0.4 hectares or larger and is serviced by a private well and septic system.
The lot contains a detached, semi-detached, duplex or townhouse dwelling. Note, the requirements for a Tiny Home located on a lot where the primary dwelling is a rowhouse, the coach house must have direct pedestrian access to a public road. The pathway provided must be 1.2 metres wide.
The primary dwelling unit does not already contain a secondary dwelling unit such as a basement apartment, garden suite or any rooming units.
Other Important factors Other requirements, such as preserving mature trees and integrating with the urban context of the homes located in proximity must also be respected while building your Tiny Home. It’s important to note, coach homes must meet both size requirements and height restrictions. These regulations vary from one lot to another. Overall, coach homes must be smaller than the principal residence and not accede 40% of the main dwelling. As for height restrictions, urban areas must not exceed 3.6 metres in height, while certain rural lots allow for the possibility of a two story coach home.To ensure your lot meets the requirements implemented by the city of Ottawa, contact a Development Information Officer (DIO) to further evaluate your lot. Development Information Officers can be reached by simply dialling 3-1-1. Coach Homes can be a great asset to any lot, especially in cities like Ottawa where the need for affordable housing is always in high demand.
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