How To Get The Most Out Of A Small Block


Some may believe that having a small block means saying goodbye to big ideas. But Perth-based home builders Ross North Homes would beg to differ.

Established in 1976, Ross North Homes have built over 10,000 homes in Perth, delivering quality one and two-storey homes on blocks of all shapes and sizes, including small and narrow ones.

The company believes that these days, there are many innovative design options available for small blocks and if you choose the right home builders, you can get the home of your dreams despite the limited land size.

In fact, they see more and more people choosing to downsize for a number of reasons including affordability, maintenance, sustainability and lifestyle.

If you’re thinking of scaling down, here are some ideas from the people at Ross North Homes on how to get the most out of a small block:
Going up
Single storey homes on small or narrow blocks tend to be fairly restricted in terms of space, so going vertical is the best way of optimising the space. Incorporating a tiered look into the design can prevent two-storey homes on narrow blocks from looking like a watch tower, with the outdoor space used as an outdoor terrace.

Small block

Double up
Creating a mezzanine area in your home can also add extra space - and can be used for a multitude of purposes including a home office, study nook, spare bedroom or even additional storage space.
Savvy storage
Just because your home is on a small or narrow block doesn’t mean compromising on storage - it just means you need to be clever about designing your spaces. What about creating a home office under the stairs? Or designing a recess to house a workstation or ‘drop zone’ for bags, papers and other everyday ‘stuff’? Experienced home builders will have lots of clever ideas about utilising every inch of available space, including in areas such as garages, laundries, kitchens and even landings.
Lift the ceilings and lighten up
Raising the ceiling heights can be a clever way of creating an impression of space.

David Boyle Architect Director David Boyle has similarly been making the most out of small block ideas in Sydney, and says its important to avoid the gun-barrel effect by creating a series of consecutive interlinked spaces, changing the scale of each room.

The use of natural light can also be very effective in creating the impression of space, so ask your home builder about skylights, voids and windows or glass panes in unusual places like along passageways etc. In Sydney, Boyle spoke to the Daily Telegraph in 2015 with a similar view on the height-and-light effect.

"A clever way to do this is to increase ceiling heights and add skylights, as it brings in valuable light and cross ventilation to main living areas which makes them seem larger," he said.

Small block

Dig deep
Another way of maximising space on a small block is by building a basement. Of course, this does increase costs but it also significantly increases your space-saving options by creating opportunities for a garage, storage, a rumpus or media room and so on.
Make an entry
Don’t be fixated on a front entry. A front door on the side of the home can be a more efficient use of space - so don’t be narrow-minded about your design options even if your block is!There are many options available for creating a very liveable home with loads of features on a smaller block, but it is important to make an informed choice when it comes to appointing a home builder. Ideally, you want an experienced home builder with proven experience in small or narrow lots as there will be important considerations that need to be taken into account such as zoning, set- backs, boundary limitations and site coverage - and you want to make sure that although your block size may be limited, your design options aren’t! 

Images courtesy Ross North Homes and Blueprint Designs.


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