A Vancouver laneway home, dubbed the first of its kind built in the city, is being toured in an open house this weekend.

Built by Lanefab, a laneway home design and construction firm, the 710-square-foot unit opens on to the alley behind McGill and Slocan Streets in East Vancouver.

The two-storey home features a single bedroom, bathroom, laundry area and an upstairs kitchen.

Agnes Mendoza, who owns the property, said the decision to build laneway housing was a "no-brainer" because of low development cost and convenience.

"We weren't using this space. It wasn't even a garage, it was just a shed," she said. "We didn't lose much, we gained a lot."

Laneway homes were approved by city council last July, but must be at least 33 feet wide and occupy a maximum of 750 square feet.

They also must be either occupied by family or rented, not strata titled.

Lanefab says the homes cost between $160,000 and $220,000 to build, and can be rented out for between $1,100 and $2,200 depending on the size of the unit.

Bryn Davidson, who designed the McGill laneway home, says there are between 60,000 and 70,000 properties in Vancouver with space for a similar project.

"The last eight months we've been out to look at 100 different properties," he said.

The city will be monitoring the success of laneway housing, and will produce a report after 100 projects or three years, whichever comes first.

The open house ran from noon to 4 p.m. at 2703 McGill Street.