Thinking about a coach house?
converted in part or in whole to a coach house, subject to certain requirements.
For an existing home owner, having a coach house built on their property could allow for supplemental income through the rental of the coach house, or a coach house could be used to provide accommodation for a relative who would be better off not living on their own, but still wants to maintain a degree of independence.
What requirements need to be met?
Not all lots will be suitable for the addition of a coach home.
According to City of Ottawa requirements, a lot may be eligible for a coach home if it is serviced by municipal sewer and water (or larger than 0.8 hectares if serviced by private well and septic). Only one coach house is allowed per principal residence on the property. Further Section 3.1 of the Official Plan for the City of Ottawa states that coach houses “are only permitted on lots with a detached, semidetached, duplex or townhouse dwelling and where the primary dwelling does not contain a garden suite, rooming units or a secondary dwelling unit.” The coach house must have direct pedestrian access to a public road by a pathway that is at a minimum 1.2 metres wide. Parking for a coach house is not required.
Coach houses must meet certain size requirements: a coach house must be smaller than the principal residence on the lot and yard space must remain for both of the houses. The specific details of the allowable size will vary depending on where the lot is located. The maximum footprint (the area of the ground floor of a building, measured from the exterior of the outermost walls) of a coach home can be no greater than 40% of the size of the main house, and the coach house can not cover more than 40% of the yard. Additionally, the maximum footprint for a coach house in urban areas is currently 80 square metres and 95 square metres in rural areas.
There are also height restrictions for coach houses. In urban areas, the maximum permitted height for a coach house is 3.6 metres, however a two storey coach house may be permitted in certain situations. In rural areas, the maximum permitted for a coach house is 4.5 metres, or 6.1 metres if a coach house contains a garage with the living space above it.
This is not an exhaustive list of the requirements, and several City processes must be completed before starting the construction of a coach house. In all cases, a building permit is required to be obtained.
What are some other factors to be aware of?
Coach houses must be designed and located in such a way as to preserve mature trees on the lot and to minimize impact on neighboring properties. Therefore there are maximum and minimum setbacks from the property line that will apply and there may potentially be limitations on the placement of windows in the coach house.
Coach houses cannot be sold separately and the lot may not be severed to produce two separate residential lots with houses on them. A coach house must remain part of the property on which the main house is located.
Electrical connections are required to be provided from the principal dwelling to the coach house. This may require electrical upgrades in the principal house in order to service the coach house. Also it is important to remember that the addition of a coach house to a lot may result in an increase in property taxes.