- We have built more than 100 beautiful, custom, lane houses – more than any other laneway housing builder.
Each of our lane houses is designed to specifically meet our customer’s needs. We offer the latest in design innovation and space saving solutions.
Our full time construction crew is experienced and courteous, ensuring a clean, safe job site with minimal disturbance for you and your neighbours.
On Time, On Budget, No Surprises Pricing:
- We diligently price your entire project in advance and provide you with a fixed price.
- We provide you with a firm and accurate construction schedule and we stick to it.
- We are full service! From planning, to design drawings, permits, construction, right through to final inspection.
- We value our relationship with you, from the day of your inquiry, till we hand over the keys and you walk in with your groceries, and beyond.
- We take great pride in exceeding expectations and ensuring every client is thrilled with the entire Smallworks experience.
- With each choice made while crafting your home, we consider the environmental impacts on your health and the health of your community.
- Our priorities in design and construction include the use of local materials, resources and environmentally sound practices.
- In addition to the standard 2-5-10 Warranty, Smallworks offers a “bumper to bumper” full time service department.
Maximizing Your Asset:
- Building a lane house is the best way to pull equity out of your property and still own it. Whether for extended family use or to provide cash flow through a rental, a laneway house offers fantastic flexibility. The premium quality of every Smallworks build is reflected in the consistently above average rental rates our Smallworks homes achieve.
Jake Fry – Founder/Principal
Jake started Smallworks in late 2005 and became a strong advocate for the introduction of laneway housing. He established Smallworks Studios and Laneway Housing Inc. and worked with the City of Vancouver and other municipalities to help develop zoning by-laws based on his experience and interaction with literally hundreds of potential small home clients. Jake not only wanted to build small but to build sustainable. He brings together a team of dedicated people and develops homes which blend innovative techniques and incorporate modern building science and Flat Pac with hand-built finishes and millwork. “My desire in starting Smallworks was to build simple, elegant modern homes which, with basic maintenance, would look as good a generation after they were built as when they were new.” In 2012, Jake was one of two founding directors of SmallHousing BC, a non profit society. In 2014 Jake was named Ernst & Young’s (EY) Entrepreneur of the Year in Manufacturing. Today, Jake focuses on finding new ways to broaden the range of housing types in Vancouver to create affordable options for single-family home ownership.
Brian Morley – Pre-Construction Manager
Brian has been a Smallworks team member since 2006 and worked on Smallworks’ original LWH concepts and studios. He moved from Ireland to Canada in 2006 and as a Civil Engineering Graduate from University College Dublin, applies his planning experience from large infrastructure projects to laneway housing. Brian’s commitment to practicality and efficiency, and his involvement in every stage of our design-build projects, ensures that our clients receive the best Laneway Home possible at a reachable price.
Kim Little – Sales
Kim traveled the world as an airline employee for 18 years. She spent several years in Strathcona developing heritage houses with her husband, and also founded a furnished rental company VancouverReservations.com which she sold in 2005. Currently, Kim is a licensed Realtor and brings investment, design and construction knowledge to her work in Sales at Smallworks. She has been part of the team since 2010.
Brian Sheehan – Senior Designer
Brian Sheehan joins the Smallworks Shop via Auckland New Zealand, where he studied Wood Frame Construction and Architecture. Mr. Sheehan brings to the team a vast experience in residential design, as well as a keen eye for creative and sustainable solutions for small spaces. His favourite collaborators are his clients; his passion in life is helping people find ways to live large in small spaces. He can often be found chuffed with a cuppa or snowboarding off in the yonder.
Robbie Slade – Marketing and Sales
Robbie Slade is Kootenay born and bred, hailing from Nelson BC. Arriving in Vancouver in his early 20’s to attend UBC’s Sauder School of Business with a focus on Real Estate, he kept one foot in the wild by spending summers fighting forest fires as part of the Ministry of Forest’s Blackwater Unit Crew. When the smoke cleared, and he finished his studies, he refocused on his dream of contributing to the way BC’s communities are taking shape. One small house at a time…
Narges Mowlaee – Interior Designer – Client Liaison, LEED GA
Narges’s experience in business, sustainable design, and green building practices allows her to contribute in many ways to our work at SmallWorks. As a designer and marketing coordinator, Narges works to keep our finishes up-to-date, affordable, and beautiful. She has built lasting relationships with our clients through her professionalism, enthusiasm and straight-forward manner in the build phase of our projects.
Samantha Yu – Architectural Technologist
Born in Vancouver, BC, Samantha grew up with three older brothers. Against her parents’ better judgement, she was allowed to attend public school, and after high school went on to BCIT where she studied Interior Design and Architectural Building Technology, and the University of British Columbia for Garden Design. Interior design was interesting but it got her wondering about the structure and exterior finishings and how they all related to one another. Armed with the tools that university provided her, “Jimbo” hopes to win awards and accolades for her buildings someday.
Brenda Adomi – Accountant
Brenda was born and raised in Nigeria, with six siblings. She studied Animal Science in Nigeria, but later decided it wasn’t for her. Brenda loves to travel and has visited every continent but South America. Upon immigrating to Vancouver, she ventured into various business arenas, from African arts and crafts to a Nigerian restaurant. With no success, she decided to go back to school to learn the inner mechanics of running a business in Canada, as it is very different from Nigeria. She discovered accounting in the process and fell in love with the dynamic and challenging workflow. She obtained her accounting degree from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and is currently working on her CPA designation. She takes pride in being a hockey mom and staying actively involved with her three kids.
Abbas Stancioff – Assistant Project Manager
Abbas is part of our construction management team. He is currently finishing up his construction management degree at BCIT. He has been part of the Smallworks team since 2013, hired to work on the construction team. He was quickly snapped up by the office for his knowledge of our building systems and his jovial demeanour. He developed a love of building homes when his parents bought an old character home and he got to spend his childhood fixing it up.
Activate the Lane
We strive to contribute to a “laneway culture” by fostering a sense of place and character within the lane; encouraging outward living by bringing the lane community to life by providing eyes on the lane and plantings at your door, while reserving a private place at the transition point into your home, building a sense of security and community along the lane.
Create Layers of Privacy
It is very important to allow a gradual sense of arrival while making the transition from a public to private space. Our designs create that sense of security as you cross into your private domain from the City lane or approach your Smallworks home from the garden.
Shape the Light
Using our natural light source—the sun—we optimize window location, creating a dynamic play of light throughout the day and providing plenty of light for low energy use during the daylight hours.
Embrace the Grounding Hearth
A warm, inviting central fireplace is a Smallworks Signature feature. For centuries the hearth has been the centre of the home and warming your hands at this modern version of “the grounding hearth” pays homage to that tradition, recognizing the hearth’s potential for strengthening family bonds while proudly displaying the benefits of a modern architectural style and energy efficiency.
Be Flexible, and Adapt
Our incredibly diverse demographic requires flexible, adaptable plans designed to meet the needs of a variety of unique individuals. Our plans allow you to encapsulate in your home what is most important to you. Your home becomes an opportunity for expression, meeting your current living needs while keeping in mind that those needs may change over time.
Salute the Arts
Creating pride in homeownership and in our community is important to us. We believe in shining a “spotlight” on the artisans and crafts people who help create our homes. Each unique home is a showcase for those artisans, as well as an authentic expression of the owner.
Our beliefs provide us with a compass!
And remind us, every day, why we do what we do.
We have a strong desire to make a difference with people as individuals but also communities as a whole. These homes can also help a community continue to provide more living space where there is a demand without compromising the neighbourhood itself.
The size of a small home will naturally relate to the needs of the people living in it and their activities.. Obviously it is critical that the design maximizes the living space and provides the amenities required. Living on the west coast, most of us recognize that the outside is as important as the inside. That means we live in both our homes and surroundings. Liveability includes the home, the backyard, and the community. A lane house in the backyard allows you to live and enjoy what your surroundings have to offer you.
We started our company with a strong desire to design and build small homes that will provide families with a home solution that can help make their lives better. We know that a lane house can go a long way in providing an environment where more family members can be supported or cared for and make a difference where needed.
We believe in contributing to a more sustainable future through the building of a Smallworks home. A Smallworks home, when compared to a regular-sized house, conserves significant resources in construction, maintenance and operation. See our Finishes section for more information.
It’s critical that we work hard to establish very strong relationships with our clients, our employees and suppliers. This foundation needs to be rooted in trust and integrity. Working in this type of environment allows everyone to achieve their goals.
Our company values guide our operations each and every day.
Our employees make the difference in how well we perform as a company and how well we deliver on clients’ expectations. We want our employees to be proud of being a part of Smallworks and share in the success of our company.
Suppliers who buy into our approach
We recognize that the people we work with on your home are a direct extension of Smallworks. Therefore we ensure that they represent themselves in the same manner as we would expect from ourselves.
We understand that, quite simply, there is no Smallworks without our clients. We value the relationships we develop with our clients from the time that we sit down to plan out their home to the day we hand over the keys and beyond.
It’s important that our company is recognized as a quality home builder. We strive for a balance of pre-fabrication precision and hand built craftsmanship. It ensures we do the right thing vs. trying to cut corners or reduce cost to a point where it impacts the final product. At the end of the day we want to ensure that we and our clients are proud of putting “Built by Smallworks” on their new home. See our Finishes section for more information.
With a strong link towards sustainability, we want to make a difference in the way homes are built today and tomorrow.
The design and build of your lane house will be a positive experience.
Everyone comes to us with a different set of needs, wants and priorities. Our role is to listen closely to your needs and provide you with our expertise and knowledge. Our relationship with you is critical to us as a company and to each member of our team as individuals. We all work to make every Smallworks home as sustainable and smart as possible, while working toward your individual goals.
Designing smaller homes requires special skill as there is no room for wasted space! With our experience and expertise (design team, pre-fabrication, and millwork) we build the best laneway houses and small homes on the market.
We strive to ensure you are thrilled not only with the completed project but with how we worked with you throughout the design and build of your home.
We support these organizations.
We are happy to work with them
and suggest that you check them out!
Staging Styling Rentals
Proud supplier to SMALLWORKS for home staging services. Home Ingredients offers home staging, styling and furniture and accessory rental services. Let us help you create your perfect space.
Small house designs with big impact
Small House Bliss is dedicated to showcasing well-designed and interesting small houses of all kinds. Their aim is to convince more people that living in a smaller house is not only possible, but preferable.
Urban Danish Design since 1952
BoConcept is the ultimate destination for modern furniture Vancouver and contemporary furniture Vancouver. Stop by today to meet our skilled design consultants who will introduce you to our collection of Danish design furnishings and accessories and help you decorate the home of your dreams!
a public voice for small housing and advanced urbansism
Small Homes BC Society is a registered society established in 2012. Our official mandate is to support the development and promotion of small housing as a sustainable housing form, contribute to research, knowledge transfer, education and the achievement of excellence associated with small forms of housing and related advanced urbanism, and to act as a public voice for the small housing industry, consumers and citizens who wish to see the benefits of advanced urbanism with the development of small forms of housing.
Branch of BC Housing
Licenses residential builders/building envelope renovators, administers owner builder authorizations, monitors performance of 3rd party home warranty insurance system, carries out research and education for residential construction industry and consumers.
Certified Platinum Builder
The Canadian Home Builders Association promotes affordability and choice in the residential construction industry throughout Canada.
The Urban Development Institute is a national non-profit association (with international affiliations) of the development industry and its related professions that is non-partisan in its activities. With over 600 corporate members, UDI Pacific represents thousands of individuals involved in all facets of land development and planning. Since 1972, the Pacific Region has been dedicated to fostering effective communication between the industry, government, and the public; and aims to improve both housing and job opportunities for all British Columbians. UDI Pacific also serves as the public voice of the real estate development industry, communicating with the media on a number of issues.
Creating New Life for Old Buildings
The VHF is a registered charity dedicated to the conservation of heritage buildings. Our activities–workshops, lectures, tours, publications, granting programs etc.–are open to everyone.
The Voice of the Canadian Residential Construction Industry
The Canadian Home Builders Association promotes affordability and choice in the residential construction industry throughout Canada.
Building a Better BC
The British Columbia Home Builders’ Association is a non-profit association representing residential construction industry professionals.
Helping You Buy Build or Renovate Your Home
The Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association represents the residential construction industry in the Greater Vancouver Area.
More Bikes. More Rides. More Life!
Located in beautiful UBC Wesbrook Village, we make bike riding more accessible in a friendly, helpful way. We cater to all bikers, from road enthusiasts, mountain bikers, commuters, kids or just those who simply enjoy a sunny day cruise. Come meet our friendly staff and ask to test ride your next bike. We offer bike sales, rentals and repairs. We also have riding clubs, various levels of maintenance courses and many other exciting events.