Making The Most of a Narrow Block

Date Monday, 11 June 2018 12:00 AM

 Time to Read: 2 mins, 30 seconds

With the right design, a narrow block is a no-worries proposition. But, how do you make the most of the space you’ve got? At G.J. Gardner Homes, we offer a range of narrow block house designs created to take advantage of every available inch. Here, we outline some of the challenges and considerations for narrow block builds.

Council codes
The relevant building code may have some rules around what you can and can’t do you on a narrow lot – especially if your block falls into the small lot category. Pay particular attention to: 
  • Setback from each boundary: This is how close you can build to the boundary and will influence the footprint of your new home.
  • Building height and number of storeys: Can you build to two storeys to add more space? Even three? 
  • Percentage of the land you can build on: These guides are intended to balance indoor and outdoor space and will guide the maximum footprint of your new home.
  • Impact on neighbours: There may be requirements around privacy, light, amenity and views of neighbouring houses.
  • Parking provisions: Including access, number of parking spaces, and their location.
When you work with G.J. Gardner Homes, we can explain your local guidelines and advice on compliant design choices.

Deciding on design
The design phase is crucial when you have a narrow lot, as there is less room for error than a traditional block. But modern designs for narrow blocks have come a long way and provide excellent liveability and comfort. Some design inspiration for a narrow block:
  • Start with a design that’s been created for a narrow block: It’s fine to customise, but it doesn’t work as well to use a traditional design as your starting point.
  • Build up: If possible, add a second storey to gain additional living space. 
  • Create light, open spaces: What you don’t want is a narrow series of boxed rooms. Instead, use open plan design, voids, skylights, tall ceilings and light colour palettes to enhance living spaces. 
  • Bring the outside in: Create seamless indoor/outdoor spaces to maximise the sense of space. This could include alfresco dining areas, or glass-walled courtyards.
  • Get creative with car parking: This might mean a side entrance to the house so you maximise parking real estate at the front, or alternatively putting parking at the back of the house if you have rear access. If you use one car more than the other, a tandem garage might be the go.
  • Decorate sensitively: The key is not to over-do interior decorations: less really is more! That means being restrained with furniture and cutting the clutter. Interior designers advise choosing a core palette of around three base materials, and using these throughout the home to create a seamless, expansive feel. Make use of wall-mounted joinery in bathrooms: combined with wall-mounted toilets and frameless shower screens it creates the illusion of extra space.
Ready to get started? Check out G.J. Gardner Homes’ house designs and talk to your local consultant about the best match for your narrow block. 

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