Coach House

Considering a Coach House? Be Sure to Keep These 9 Things in Mind

Originally used for storing the horse and carriage in years ago, today, coach houses are serving a new purpose. Since there’s clearly no need for horse-drawn carriages anymore, these small structures are being repurposed as secondary dwellings to suit homeowner’s needs – as a rental unit, as a retirement space for aging parents, for adult children to live in once they return from college, and more. The options are endless as to what you can do with it. If you’re considering a coach house, transforming your garage or shed into something more useful this year, make sure to keep these 9 things in mind before getting started.

Helps Create Affordable Options for Renters

This small, freestanding structure that’s located on the same lot as the primary home is not only a great way to for homeowners to earn more income each month as a rental suite, but it’s also beneficial for renters since it helps to diversify the market, offering more affordable housing solutions. It’s an ideal way to create more rentals in established neighbourhoods and diversify the market.

Must Remain as An Accessory

Before you get started with your coach house reno project, there are a few key factors to be aware of to make sure you’re abiding by the requirements and don’t land in any legal hot water. In order to be deemed as legal, the coach house must remain as an accessory to a primary residence on the lot where it’s located. It must also be completely separate from the main house.

You’ll Need a Permit

Of course, like with any structure on your property, you’ll need to obtain a permit before beginning. Be sure to apply for it ahead of time so you can have everything ironed out and ready to go with your contractor.

Only One Per Property

According to the City of Ottawa, residences are only permitted to have one coach house per property. So, if you have an apartment unit or secondary dwelling in addition to the coach house, you will likely face some legal issues if you plan to continue.

They Must Integrate with the Neighbourhood

If you’re set on making your coach house the talk of the town with a big and bold design, you may need to go back to the drawing board. Based on government bylaws, coach houses must adhere to the same style and look of the surrounding urban neighbourhood. So consider your streetscape before you start playing with the design.

Tree Conservation Is Important

Tree conservation is taken very seriously throughout the city – as it should be. If you have any trees that are in the way of your build, you could face penalties or a fine if you jump the gun and chop them down. Instead, you’ll need to talk with a local official prior to cutting anything down.

Size Matters

Size really matters when it comes to these secondary dwellings. If you’re planning to extend the square footage of the coach house, you’ll have to stay within the designated requirements. According to the Ontario Building Codes regulations, coach houses must be shorter than the primary home and they cannot exceed 40% of the yard size that they’re in. On urban lots, the maximum size is an 80m² footprint and 95m² on rural lots. They can also be as small as 23m². For the height restrictions, urban locations are permitted 3.6 m tall and 3.2 for rural areas.

Adding a Second Story

Wondering whether it’s legal to add on a second story to your coach house to serve as a loft-style apartment? The answer is yes. Whether it’s an urban or rural setting, homeowners can create an additional level after applying and requesting it. However, they must also abide by all of the regulations outlined to be given the green light.

They Are Relatively New in Ottawa

Keep in mind that coach houses became officially legal dwellings only a few years ago. So, they’re still a relatively new concept for homeowners and renters alike. Also, the restrictions and regulations are always subject to change, so it’s important to keep up-to-date regularly to ensure that you’re staying on track with all of the legal requirements. There’s nothing worse than having everything planned, ready to go and then a legal blunder prevents you from continuing with your dream build. So, take the time to do your research and due diligence beforehand. When you’re ready to start considering a coach house project, contact us, or give us a call at (613)727-9427 at We can discuss your needs, offer our expert advice on how to create what you’re envisioning, and we can help you sort through all of the regulations and zoning bylaws to make it as simplified and stress-free as possible.

Why You Need a Professional to Construct Your Coach House

Maybe it’s a home office, an income suite, or a place where you can house and look after your ageing parents. Whatever the reason is, having a professional construct your coach house is essential, especially since these external units tend to be in need of significant repair after years of neglect in order to make them comfortable and liveable.

So before you begin to plan for your coach house transformation, consider these points if you’re debating about whether it’s a good DIY project or if it’s worth it to hire a professional to take care of the construction process for you instead.

Getting a Building Permit can be Complicated

Before you even begin, you first need to have a building permit approved to give you the green light to go ahead with your design plans. Getting a permit for an external dwelling on your property isn’t exactly an easy process. In fact, there can be a lot of complexities involved, including the blueprint of your design plan.

This is why it can be beneficial for having a professional team by your side to assist you. They will have the experience and knowledge to understand these intricate details that are important during the permit process. They can draw up the blueprints that are required, and they can guide you on the correct path to successfully obtain the building permit so that your project can move ahead legally. Otherwise, you could be left facing significant delays, which can push your project well into next year.

Designing the Space can be Challenging

Coach houses are commonly used as sheds or garages or are often neglected entirely since they are an extra unit that’s generally out of sight and out of mind. Therefore, they usually require extensive repairs and renovations from the ground up. That means installing insulation, drywall, electrical outlets, and other important features that are necessary to set the foundation of the space correctly to make it comfortable and liveable. Connecting the utilities can also be a complicated task that should be left to the experts.

Also, since these are generally smaller in size, you want to ensure that you make the most out of your space and really tailor it towards your needs. If you’re planning on making it into an apartment to rent out, a professional contractor with experience working with these types of spaces can assist you in laying out the floor plan and design to make it work best for you.

TurnKey Results in Half the Time

Even though your coach house is compact in size, it doesn’t make it any easier to take on as a DIY project. If you’re debating on whether you can handle this project, in addition to your regular daytime job, we recommend against it. There is a great deal of work that goes into transforming a space into something that is suitable for someone to live in comfortably.

With a professional team by your side, you can save plenty of aggravation and instead, kick back, relax and have turnkeys results delivered to you in half the time it would take to complete this project on your own. Plus, the sooner you get it done, the sooner you can reap the rewards.

Enhance Your Vision

A professional reno team has handled many other projects just like yours. So they know what works and what doesn’t. And, as a homeowner, it can be difficult to really envision the full potential of your current coach house when you have limited experience. But a professional can offer you design tips and recommendations to enhance your current unit and take it even beyond what you had envisioned. With such a repertoire of previous projects under their belt, they can help you transform your unit into something unique and impressive.

Save Money, Avoid Mistakes

When you hire an expert to take on a home project, it really saves you more money in the long term. This is because many homeowners who decide to take on home projects on their own, don’t have the full range of knowledge, experience and tools that are essential for doing the job correctly. Any minor errors with these type of complex projects always have a way of showing up at a later point in the future, costing you more money to correct. So save yourself the money and aggravation by having your coach house project done properly the first time so you won’t have to deal with any unexpected surprises in the future due to previous mistakes.

At the, our experts have the knowledge and experience to create the coach house that you’ve been dreaming of. Contact us, or give us a call at (613)727-9427 to learn more about how you can get started with our team today!

5 Uses for a Coach House

Although coach houses were primarily used for one thing back in the day – housing the horse and carriage – today, that extra detached space from the home can be transformed into a number of different ideas. Whether you have a kid returning home for college, an ageing parent who needs to be cared for or even if you’re in need of a separate home office space that’s free from distractions, a coach house can be extremely convenient to have. To find the best idea for your situation, here are a few different uses for a coach house to consider.

Keep Aging Parents Close By

If your ageing parents or a widowed parent needs to be cared for, you can keep them close to home while giving them (and yourself) enough separate space to live in. This allows you to provide the assistance they need while allowing them to still maintain some independence. You can keep an eye on them and enjoy the comfort knowing that they’re only a few steps from home if they need you.

Space For Eldest Child

Do you have a child returning home from college? Or maybe your eldest child is ready to take the first steps in living on their own? Your coach house could be the perfect space to transform into a separate apartment suite to give your child the independence they’re seeking before they are fully ready to take on the responsibilities of living completely on their own.

An Income Suite

If you don’t have any kids or ageing parents to house, then why not make some extra side cash by creating an income suite? By converting your coach house into an apartment, you can rent it out and enjoy the benefits of extra income.

Home Office

With more people working from home these days, having a separate space to get work done can be extremely beneficial. Trying to work amidst the flurry of activity at home can be a challenge. But with a few renovations, you can create your very own cozy office space just a few steps from your front door. So you can close the door behind you and leave the distractions in the main home while you get down to business.

Visitor’s Suite

If you’re located in a popular spot for friends and family to visit, the coach house can be the perfect spot for them to stay in. This lets them come and go as they please without completely encroaching on your personal space.

There are so many different handy uses for a coach house. So if you’re lucky enough to own one on your property, consider some of these ideas for transforming it into something that can truly be useful and beneficial to you. And when you’re ready to get started, contact us or give us a call at (613)727-9427. Our professional contractors can help with any of your household renovation projects.

4 Decor Ideas for Your Backyard Coach House

Need some ideas for your backyard coach house? Modern coach house designs have come a long way since housing horse and carriages back in the day. Today, they’re often converted into quaint and characterful domestic dwellings that can be tailored to whatever style or need you prefer. Whether you have aging parents to care for, an older child looking for some independence, or if you simply need some extra quiet space to get work done, here are some décor ideas for you to consider for your backyard coach house.

Home for Aging Parents

When your parents reach a certain age, it’s nice to be able to have them close to home so that you can look after them and help take care of them when needed. A backyard coach house offers the perfect space for them to live, being close to home without invading your space while allowing them to maintain their independence as well.

When designing for this purpose, consider features such as wide doorways or easy, accessible ramps. Also, enhanced safety features like a walk-in shower with handrails and lots of great lighting along the exterior and interior are important.

Apartment for Your Eldest Child

If you have a college-age child that’s eager for some independence, why not convert your backyard coach house into a loft where they can test out their wings before they really spread them? Make it modern and fresh with a great entertainment system, surround sound, and of course, a workspace where they can get all their assignments done.

Home Office Space

If you have a work-from-home career, you can create the perfect work zone that’s away from the distractions so you can get down to business. For this, you’ll need lots of built-in storage, large expansive windows to give you plenty of natural light, and product-inspiring colours for the walls like blue, yellow, or orange.

Rental Unit

If you’re eager to make some additional income, you can create a cozy rental property with rustic wooden floors, fresh, bright kitchen cabinetry, and even a few sunroofs to brighten it up if you find that you coach house is overshadowed and dark during the daytime.

Having a backyard coach house is a great additional space that can come in handy when you need it the most. So if you’ve been neglecting yours, let these ideas get you inspired to create an additional space the serves your needs well.

At, we can help make your vision a reality. With our knowledge and expertise, you can trust us to take care of any home reno projectContact us, or give us a call at (613)727-9427

Is a Skylight Right for Your Space?

A skylight can create many added benefits to your interior design. Both aesthetically pleasing and good for your overall health, skylights are frequently used to improve the comfort levels throughout a home by opening up any given space and enhancing the abundance of natural light.

If you’re trying to determine whether a skylight is right for your space, here we look at some of the reasons why you should consider installing one in your space.

Adds Space

You can make any room look more inviting and spacious by simply adding in a skylight. Slanted ceilings and narrow spaces can make a room feel boxed in and confined. A skylight can provide that necessary illusion of more space. That’s why skylights have become such a popular addition to rooms such as the attic, bathroom, and small bedrooms.

More Light

One of the biggest advantages of having a skylight is being able to enjoy more natural sunlight in a room. With various health benefits, exposure to sunlight is proven to reduce anxiety and stress, and to improve your overall level of comfort in any given space.

Natural Ventilation

Certain skylight designs can also offer you added ventilation throughout your home. Whether it’s placed in a bedroom or even the kitchen, you can let in some fresh air and take advantage of natural ventilation. This is also an excellent, cost-effective way to control room temperatures and reduce humidity throughout your home.

Improved Insulation

Believe it or not, skylights can help make your home more energy efficient if installed correctly. They allow heat to enter the home and insulate against further heat loss. For rooms and spaces that have poor insulation and tend to be cooler, a skylight can help maintain a more comfortable temperature by retaining heat from the solar rays that shine in.

Adds Value

Did you know that a skylight can boost the value of your home? Skylights are seen as a luxury item when it comes to interior designs. And with the added benefits mentioned in the above points, it’s easy to understand why it can increase the resale value.

A skylight can be right for just about any space in your home, including your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living room, and even your attic. There are also many different sizes and models to choose from so you can find the right fit for your space.  Contact us, or give us a call at (613)727-9427

What’s the Deal with Coach Houses in Ottawa?

The idea of “bigger is better” for homes is not supported by all. In fact, a new craze has hit Ottawa, making coach houses the talk of the town.

What is a coach house?

A coach house is a smaller house that exists on the property of an existing dwelling. They are oftentimes referred to as a secondary dwelling. It’s like a regular house, but tiny. Depending on the design style and size, there can be different rooms or it can be an open bachelor pad style. The design style is key to making the coach house function, talk to and we will guide you in the right direction for the best possible coach house.

Who are coach houses ideal for?

Coach houses are ideal for many people! It’s an ideal income property for someone who is willing to give up some of their yard for the coach house to be built. Since the houses are small it’s easy to fit them up with high-end finishes so as to attract the right tenant. Coach houses are also amazing as an “in-law suite.” If your parents are aging and you want them closer to you, but not sharing a bathroom with you, then having them live in a coach house on your property is the best possible answer.

Can I build my own coach house in Ottawa?

Well sure you can try, but it’s not like building a clubhouse for your kids. A coach house has many of the same amenities found in a regular size house, so unless you are a skilled contractor who builds houses for a living, it’s best to leave it up to the professionals.  The coach house will need to be fitted up with plumbing, electricity and gas just as a regular house would, so it’s not the project to be taken on by the average handyman. In order to be a livable dwelling, it must pass all building and fire codes. If you are thinking about putting a coach house on your property, you should start with a phone call to the

Does it have to be built from scratch?

Not at all! There is room for creative design here, so if you have an existing structure on your property that you think is stable enough to be retrofitted into a residential dwelling then a professional can turn that dream into reality. Obviously an old barn that is one windstorm away from being firewood is not the ideal candidate, but structurally sound detached garages or large sheds can likely be turned into a coach house in the hands of a professional. The structure must have a fixed foundation. If you have no suitable structure on your property, it can be built from scratch to your exact specifications and design tastes.

Contact us to learn more about Ottawa coach houses!  Or give us a call at (613)727-9427

5 Different Ways to Use a Coach House

If you haven’t heard yet, coach houses are now approved in Ottawa. These changes are meant to make properties more flexible for homeowners and create more living options for people throughout the city.  Some people have decided to create incredible functional spaces out of their coach house whereas others have utilized these extra chunks of usable square footage to create much more attractive and appealing real estate properties when they go on the market.  Regardless of how you anticipate using your coach house in the future, you want to think about converting it into at least one of the 5 different ways to use a coach house below.

Coach House for Extra Income

You can convert an old garage or shed into a coach house, or built a new coach house from the ground up. Regardless of which option you choose, a coach house can functional as an external apartment that you can rent out. In the Ottawa area, a private dwelling of this nature is very appealing for students, young professionals, or even retirees who do not need much space but appreciate the separation and quiet of a standalone coach house. You can use the extra income to pay down your mortgage, finance renovations to your main property, put it toward retirement, your children’s education funds, or just have fun with it!

Coach House as an Office

If you have difficulty concentrating with all of the noise in the main house, or the idea of working with your laptop on the couch doesn’t scream “productivity,” how about transforming a coach house into an office? The space can be designed to your exact specifications, with all the storage and organization needs met. If clients come to your home, it’s a great secluded space to do business.

Coach House for Hobbies

If you have hobbies you are passionate about, you can bring these hobbies to the next level with a coach house. You can custom-built an art studio, a band rehearsal space, a state-of-the-art greenhouse, a hot tub/spa zone…and much more. The possibilities are endless!

Coach House as a Guest Cottage

Of course you aren’t going to be the only person that can take advantage of your coach house after it has been renovated, especially if you make sure to turn that space into a beautiful guest cottage for all your visitors, family, and friends in the future. It’s a great way to give your guests some privacy – and ease some stress on you as the host!

Downsize into Your Coach House

Once the kids have moved out and you no longer need all that space, what happens if you still love your neighbourhood/property and don’t want to move? An alternate idea is to rent out the main home and live in the coach house. It can be as luxurious and high-end as you’d like.

Would you like to learn more about the 5 different ways to use a coach house? RenosGroup is Ottawa’s favourite choice for coach house construction and coach house conversions, so contact us, or give us a call at (613)727-9427

Frequently Asked Questions About Coach Houses

The small house movement has taken the country and the world by storm. Creating smaller living accommodations where everything is compressed into a functional space is a popular hobby for some and an ideal living space for others. Whether you are new to the idea or interested in learning more, it helps to see these houses in practice. Going by many names, small homes are sometimes called coach houses. Let’s take a moment to review frequently asked questions about coach houses in Ottawa to give you a better understanding of their purpose and function.

What Are Coach Houses?

As mentioned above, a coach house can be considered a small or tiny house. It is built on a property and is no way connected to the primary house. It typically has the full range of amenities, including bathroom, kitchen, and bed. More often than not, the coach house consists of one or two rooms, often serving dual purposes. Coach houses are often converted sheds and garages, or they can be constructed from scratch.

What Is The Difference Between A Coach House And A Garden Suite?

Good question. Granny suites, also known as granny flats, are typically considered any non-permanent structure. Consider a trailer home, or temporary shed. It is important to know that a garden suite does not have a fixed foundation while a coach house does. Simply put, the coach house is designed to be a permanent addition to your property.

Are Coach Houses Livable?

Of course! Coach houses are designed to be livable and self-contained. They are an excellent way to add an additional rent option as individuals can live on your property and in the coach house without accessing your home directly. In effect, it provides you either a landlord and tenant opportunity or additional housing in case family or friends come over.

Where Can Coach Houses Be Built?

That is a good question. When a coach house is built on a property already containing a home, then you will have to look into the local zoning laws for your city. There may be issues of privacy or other considerations that you will have to comply with prior to building your coach house. Some proposed bylaws that will apply Ottawa coach houses:

  • Must be smaller and lower than the main home
  • Maximum of 592 sq ft, 50% of yard
  • Must be 1.2 metres from property line to have windows facing the adjacent property
  • Design guidelines may come into play down the road

Do Coach Houses Affect Property Taxes?

Where coach homes have been built, they have tended to affect the property value. The property value typically goes up, as the coach home is considered its own freestanding property. If you build one, expect to be paying more in taxes as a result. MPAC evaluations go hand-in-hand with building permit applications.

It’s time to make your dream of backyard living a reality. Get in touch with today, or call us at (613)727-9427 to talk more about frequently asked questions about coach houses

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