Building a brand new home while retaining heritage and character by raising a house in Vancouver can be a challenging but rewarding process. Here are a few of the top reasons homeowners and builders decide to raise a house instead of demolishing and building new.
1. Increased Density and Floor Space. The city of Vancouver has some unique heritage retention incentives in some of the zoning bylaws. In particular RT zones such as RT-5, RT-10. Building new, while keeping certain parts of the existing house, can pave the way for an allowance of an increased number of homes and an increase of allowable floor space than if it was demolished.
2. Cost savings. Typically there is less lumber required in a house that has been retained when compared to a new build. This should translate to cost savings if the framers have previous experience in the house raising and lowering process and also when framing new construction into existing structures. In Vancouver there is a chance that if the project is not considered a major renovation by the planning department service, upgrades (water and sewer connections) and sprinklers may not be required which can save $20,000 – $30,000. Note: Cost savings are not a given when retaining an existing house. It can actually cost more than building new in some cases. Planning and experience are key when it comes to budgeting for a house raise retention build.
3. Going green. Retaining an existing home should use less lumber which means less trees. The process does not limit the new construction when it comes to efficiency, so a well-insulated air tight home is achievable. This allows for healthy indoor air quality and economical heating costs for years to come.