What is a narrow block house design?
Want a spacious new home but only have a small lot to work with? In this article, we’ll be taking a look at narrow block house designs! Along with a rundown of the pros and cons of a narrow lot home, we have some tips on making a smaller home feel larger. We also have a look at prices and the council regulations you’ll have to consider before building your new home.
As the name suggests, a narrow block house design is a home created for a smaller block (less than 12.5m lot width). When well-executed, these designs can be a great way to get the maximum potential house area from limited space. They come in single or double-storey designs and with city blocks getting smaller, are only going to become more popular among homebuyers.
Narrow block house design considerations
Consider your lifestyle. Do you need room for the entire family and pets? Will a narrow block home provide enough outdoor space for them? Do you need the extra rooms at all? A gym and extra study might be nice in theory, but if you won’t use them, why spend the extra money? A small, single-storey home might actually be perfect for you.
If you do decide to build on a smaller block, think about what you’d like your home to include. If, say, four bedrooms, a two-car garage and an open plan kitchen are essential to you, that’s a good starting point to choosing a design perfectly suited to you.
A big decision you’ll have to make is whether you want a single or double-storey house. A double-storey house is the easiest way to get the larger house on small blocks, so if you’re thinking of multiple living areas, bedrooms and bathrooms, this will give you more house area to work with. Other people are looking for a home that is easy to maintain, in which case a single-storey home will be more their style.
A lot of narrow lot house designs embrace open plan living as a way to optimize space. Eliminating dividers between the kitchen, dining room and living room and making them a unified space, will help your home feel more spacious. Sliding doors open out to the alfresco area. High ceilings are another design choice that’ll help your home feel bigger as will design choices that embrace natural light.
When designing for narrow lots, you’ll want to maximise space while still having functionality for day to day living.
What are the benefits of narrow block house designs?
Make the most of a smaller block of land.
With a little creativity, you’ll be surprised how much house space you can achieve on a narrow lot. The best way to do this is to build up. A lot of double-storey homes are designed with a narrow lot in mind.
For the savvy homebuyer, it can be a way to build in a great location at an affordable price. Anyone looking to buy near the beach or in the city will probably have to settle for a smaller block. By purchasing a smaller lot, you save money to put into building your home.
Less for you to maintain.
If you’re not interested in having a big yard, narrow house designs could be right up your alley. There will be less time spent mowing your lawn and looking after the garden.
While bigger homes may look nice, they also take forever to clean. A smaller home takes less time to clean and is often cheaper to maintain. Homebuyers sometimes choose narrow house plans for this reason. Less area means less work for your air-con for example. Remember, this will depend on whether you have one storey or two.
What are the disadvantages of narrow-block house designs?
Odds are if you’re considering a narrow-block design, you’re working with limited land. Outdoor space is unlikely going to be a luxury you’ll have.
You need to be willing to make concessions. You’re working on a limited space so some things won’t be possible. However, this is true of any house design.
Choosing the right furniture will help your home feel roomier, while the wrong furniture will take up your available space. If you’re moving from another house into a smaller house, some of your previous furniture may clutter your house.
Difficult to Renovate
Extensions can be difficult. Because of the specific nature of some narrow lot homes (not to mention the limited land they’re built on), it can be difficult or impossible to add on. Extras like swimming pools will require very precise planning if they’re doable at all.
Are narrow block house plans cheaper to build?
Narrow block house plans are often more affordable to build. You can save money by buying less land, particularly if you’re buying in an expensive suburb. Here are a couple of narrow house designs and floor plans to give you an idea of the prices.
For a small single storey home that can still house a family, you have options like the Ascot series by Coral Homes. The quoted price starts from $198,700.
A great example of a more expensive narrow lot home is the Verona 40 by Plantation Homes. With Luxury inclusions, this home design will cost around $418,900.
A lot of your costs will come down to the location of your narrow lot, and the amount of work needed to prepare it for construction. Even small amounts of land in popular places will be expensive.
Council regulations for building on small lots
Brisbane City Council defines a small lot as a block with an area of less than 450m2 (less than 600m2 if you’re in a rear lot or battle-axe lot). They’ve been known to approve lots as small as 300m2. A lot of the splitter blocks you see in the city fit this bill.
The general requirements the Brisbane City Council website outlines include:
- a small lot can only have one household.
- new developments need to be defined by a building envelope which will specify height requirements, setbacks of dwelling and outcomes for built to boundary walls.
- site coverage of buildings and structures.
Accepted development that complies with the requirements does not need council approval to go ahead with building your new home. You’ll still need to do all the usual tests and forms needed for validation purposes.
Different areas will have different small-lot guidelines, so if you’re building outside Brisbane, double-check with your local council regarding their small lot regulations.
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Where can I build my narrow block house?
Narrow block house designs are specifically for narrow blocks. They’re ideal for inner-city or other places where land is in high demand (properties near the beach for example). It can be a way to get into older, established suburbs without spending all your money on the land. If you buying on an estate, the blocks of land are going to be on the smaller side, so narrow block designs are a perfect solution.
Council regulations will be a key factor in determining not only where you can build but on how big your house can be. There will be restrictions for example on how close you can build to the property line and how high your home can be. These restrictions can vary from suburb to suburb.
Compare Specialist narrow block Home Builders
With blocks getting smaller and smaller, a lot of builders are offering narrow lot house plans. Most have a wide range of small lot home designs.
Brighton Homes was founded in 2018 and are part of the MJH Group Company. They focus on designs best suited for Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
They have a number of narrow block home designs.
Clarendon Homes was founded in 1978 and is one of the biggest builders in Brisbane.
They have 10 display homes across the Brisbane area, so you have the option to see what you think of their style.
Coral Homes was founded in Varsity Lakes in 1990. They build a wide range of different house designs, including narrow lots, and build all over South East Queensland.
Dixon Homes has been operating since 1959 and is known as an affordable option in the building industry.
Like any franchised builder, different locations will have different approaches and teams.
They have a range of narrow lot homes on their website.
G.J Gardner Homes
G.J. Gardner is a franchised builder who has built homes in Brisbane for over 37 years. They have a wide range of narrow lot homes to choose from.
McCarthy Homes were founded in 1999 in Brisbane and have been building homes in South-East Queensland and Northern NSW ever since.
They specialise in difficult blocks, so if your small lot falls into this category, they are worth a look.
Metricon Homes is one of Australia’s largest building companies. Founded in Victoria in 1973, the company now builds across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
They have a wide range of narrow lot house designs to view on their website.
Plantation Homes are a Queensland based builder that prides itself on knowing the right home for the Queensland lifestyle. They have over 50 display homes across the Brisbane area.
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How We Can Help You
Building a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. At Buildi, we’ll be there throughout the entire building process, guiding you step by step so you can avoid any pitfalls. We will help you by following these steps.
- Free Consultation – We will sit with you to understand what you are looking to accomplish.
- Due Diligence – We work with you to ensure you’re buying the right block of land at the right price without hidden problems.
- Builders tender – We will take your requirements out to the market of builders and they will bid to win your business.
- Present solutions – We will compile the top 3 options and present you with a comprehensive proposal on builders’ strengths & weaknesses along with prices and specifications.
- Contract Signing – We will work with you and your selected builder to ensure there is full transparency in what you are entering into.
- Building your home – We work closely with the builder to ensure all service levels are met and your project is on schedule.