Many homeowners are opting for smaller or more narrow blocks of land nowadays, whether because it’s cheaper, because it’s easier to acquire in the neighbourhood they desire, or because they understand that it’s simply more functional to not have more space than they’ll need or use everyday. In parts of Melbourne, many homes are beginning to have block widths of 10 to 12.5 metres, providing narrow frontages so more houses can fit into estates.
Small or narrow land blocks represent a challenge to developers, but one that they can easily meet with a bit of creativity and some well-thought out house plans.
Use Light and Open Spaces
It is important to find any opportunity to make the home feel larger than it is. In a narrow plot, you can feel as though you’re in a gun barrel. A good way to avoid this is to create interconnected spaces with rooms with varied sizes and shapes. Better yet, get rid of walls when possible and opt for a modern open layout. Raise the ceiling heights, add some skylights and let in the light whenever possible.
Floor to ceiling windows or large windows with no fly screens are a great way to achieve not only air flow and solar exposure, but you’ll also gain a lovely view of all of your outdoor living spaces, like your veggie garden or pergola.
Increased indoor-outdoor flow
Creating an indoor-outdoor flow is important as there may be limited outdoor space and you’ll want to make the most of it. By integrating side courtyards, you’ll increase ventilation, provide light and add an inviting aspect to your common spaces. Create an alfresco dining area on a terrace with a cover so you can use it everyday if you want to.
The most logical thing to do when you can’t build outward is to build upward. If you’re building a new home on a narrow plot of land, consider a tiered house with plenty of terraces.
Incorporate multi-functional rooms
With a smaller plot of land, you may not have the opportunity to have multiple rooms for every purpose. This only means that you’ll have to think a bit harder about how you’ll use one room for multiple purposes. You can have a rumpus play area in one corner of the living room that is within sight of not only the couch, but also, perhaps, your study nook in the opposite corner. Consider how you’ll make the most out of storage space in every room of the house.
Get creative with fences
If you’re living in a densely populated area, you’ll want to consider your privacy. Rather than build ungainly fences around your property, consider vertical gardens or tall trees or plants as a cover and noise dampener.