As the population density in Australia's capital cities continues to rise, so does the price of land. If you are looking to build in a popular inner-city suburb, you'll likely be building on a small block. To maximise your living space, you'll need to get creative when designing your new home.
In Australia, a small lot is specified as having an average width of less than 15m or area less than 450m2, or an area less than 600m2 excluding accessway (if a rear lot). A narrow block is specified as having frontage anywhere between 8.5m to 12.5m.
Having a small lot doesn't mean you have to sacrifice those luxuries you've been dreaming about. Here are our top tips to maximise design on a small lot.
Opt for Open Plan
When building on a small lot, you have to make the most of the space available. The easiest way to do that is with an open-plan design. Removing extra walls, doors and hallways, will allow families to feel more connected. If executed correctly, open plan living can also make a small area seem much more substantial while allowing more natural light to travel through the home.
Get Creative with Storage
In a large home, there are plenty of potential storage areas that can quickly turn into wasted space. To get more storage in your home, look for areas that would generally be considered dead space and include built-in storage.
Get creative with your indoor-outdoor transition. You can utilise this space in more way than an alfresco area. For example, a narrow side walkway can be turned into a feature if designed correctly. A boring boundary wall can be transformed with green, leafy creepers for privacy and a relaxing garden feel. Don't forget to plant some hardy, low maintenance plants like ficus or prickly pear to add some lushness, and you can feel as though you are stepping out into your very own tropical garden, and create an extra sense of spaciousness to the adjoining rooms.
When building on a small block, always consider building up. Adding a secondary storey is an excellent solution to a lack of land. Especially if you wish to have more than three bedrooms. Trying to fit multiple rooms over one storey will leave you feeling cramped and even a little claustrophobic.
Create the Feeling of Spaciousness
Just because you are living in a small space, doesn't mean it has to feel like it. Adding feature to your homes like raised ceilings, skylights, floor-to-ceiling windows and open-plan spaces that flow between indoor and outdoor will give your home a real feel for the flow of space and movement.
Sliding doors also use less room than standard opening doors and also help to maximise the amount of natural light entering a home.
A quality builder will be able to give you some great tips when designing your home for a small block, so always make sure you seek professional advice.