<<< back to article list

The Vancouver Special

Blog by Jeff Fitzpatrick | February 19th, 2013

We have all seen tVanSpecial1hem. In fact, they’re scattered all over the city and many people may not know or see the potential they have. We’re talking about the Vancouver Special, that typical style of house which has a box-like structure, a balcony across the front, and a low-pitched roof. The outside usually has brick finishes on the lower level and stucco on top. Some people have even been known to deem these houses as “monster homes”.

Built from 1965 to 1985, the style of the Vancouver Special was regarded as sturdy, quick, and cheap to make by building standards. The floor plans are functional with living quarters on the upper floor and secondary bedrooms on the bottom. This makes an ideal setup for secondary suites.

Although these houses may not be the easiest on the eyes, the potential to create a stunning, modern home is extremely high. Smart investors are using these “monster homes” as templates for creating posh, modern homes. And because the Vancouver Special was built so well and so sturdy, it’s making the transformation only a matter of renovating the aesthetics and finishings.

Savvy investors and builders in Vancouver have definitely caught on to the maximized potential the Vancouver Special has. Investing in a box-like house type and adding just a little ingenuity, the Vancouver Specials are being transformed into high-end, modern, and sought-after homes.

With Vancouver Specials slowly fading into modernized residences, integrating original special features is creating a certain vintage-modern look that is deeming very profitable and eye-catching to many Vancouverites.

If you’re interested in these unique-to-Vancouver houses, there are plenty of authentic ones around the city.  Last year The Vancouver Heritage Foundation lead a Vancouver Special tour, showcasing 5 unique Specials that had all been completely renovated. We aren’t sure if The Heritage Foundation will be leading this tour again this year, so if you’re interested in seeing some original Vancouver Specials that are on the market waiting to be modernized, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Jeff Fitzpatrick                     604.612.6120

Lindsey Ulaszonek                 604.889.7188

Some examples of renovated Vancouver Specials

VanSpecial2 Vanspecial4