Recently purchased or looking into what you can do with a narrow block of land? Don’t let the small frontage or rumours of limited floor plans get in the way. As custom home builders we find ourselves building on small lots & creating narrow block home designs weekly! There’s plenty of ways to maximise your home design to suit any small frontage block of land without sacrificing on liveability or comfort!
1. Understanding The Challenges With A Narrow block
Narrow blocks or ‘small lots’ typically refer to land that has limited frontage in relation to their depth or length, these can include land from 7-11M width at the front. When building on small frontage lots, many builders have limited amounts of plans or home designs to suit as they can require more complex planning.
Thoughtful Design Habits To Keep In Mind
Functionality: A well designed narrow block home should prioritise functional spaces. Each space must serve a purpose and contribute to the lifestyle & liveability you want in your home
Flow & Circulation: When building on a narrow block hallways become a major part of the flow of the home. Keeping this in mind when deciding the placement of master vs bedrooms or living areas becomes essential.
Creativity With Space: Small frontage homes can flourish when designed with thought, understanding your need for storage or lifestyle at the design stage can help you with creating feature walls or extra vertical storage in places that would usually be plain walls.
2. Narrow Block Fundamentals
Open Floor Plans & Multipurpose Spaces
Not only are open floor plans trendy & provide a luxurious feel, they also complement narrow home designs effortlessly. By combining areas such as the Kitchen, living & dining, it creates flow within the areas that you’ll be spending a majority of your waking hours in. Open plans also are a great way to share space with family and reduce the need for walls/partitions which have a tendency to make spaces feel smaller.
Natural Light & ventilation
Loved by all home owners, natural light and airy spaces are essential regardless of whether you’re building on a small block or on acreage. Our favourite ways to introduce natural light are with large windows near or as a kitchen splashback, large glass sliding doors that open the space from the living to the outdoor entertainment or even with features like a skylight.
Getting Creative With Wall Usage
This is where a custom home builder will shine above the rest, with the ability to make structural changes to walls and a little help from your home consultant, we can get creative with wall storage, shelving or moving walls to make spaces feel larger.
3. It starts with the floor plan
Every good thing is built on great foundations, think of your floor plan as the foundation for your future living. Having a strong understanding of your lifestyle needs & wants in mind will do wonders when selecting a floor plan to suit your narrow block home. Also, getting your floor plan right at the design stage can save you thousands in alteration costs and weeks of approval time once you’ve agreed on a particular or custom design!
Where Does The Sun Rise?
Your lands orientation and surrounds plays a big role in design elements of your home & accessibility to natural light. Getting the orientation of your home right can also help save money through limiting reliance on cooling or heating systems. Speaking with our home consultants will give you a good understanding of how this works in real life, but, a rule of thumb is for living areas to face north – capturing the most sunlight during the colder months in Brisbane. However, there’s many elements to utilising sun and orientation so be sure to speak thoroughly with your home consultant.
Single Or Double Storey?
It’s commonplace for single storey homes to be built on narrow blocks as you can utilise space by building up. Keeping in mind double storey homes are generally more expensive to build they are not for everyone. Whether building single or double storey relies heavily on your lifestyle needs & future proofing ideals. Regardless, there are countless ways to maximise each nook & cranny in your floor plan so you can love your home no matter the block size.
4. Space Saving Features
Raise Your ceilings
The typical ceiling height for new homes in Brisbane is 2.4m, which for many is sufficient. If you really want to elevate your home spaces, consider upgrading to a 2.7m ceiling or higher – Nothing has the ability to create a luxury feel on a small block like raised or arched ceilings and you’ll find we do this in most of our display homes. Consider combining an open plan living with raised arched ceilings for the ultimate wow factor in an area that you’ll spend most of your at-home-time in!
Door tricks for space maximising
A lesser known feature to consider for your narrow block home design is sliding doors in place of regular doors. In many of our display homes we use barn doors for a gorgeous look while also saving plenty of space! Not only do they look amazing but they do wonders in hallways where blank walls are usually all you can see!