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What to consider when you're planning a new home design for a narrow block


There's no other way to put in: block sizes are getting smaller. The Great Australian Dream – a quarter-acre block among the gum trees with lots of plum trees – is becoming less likely if you live close to the city. Homebuyers probably won't have room for a Hills Hoist… sacrilegious!

While one option is to move to a regional location, we understand that smaller towns isn't for everyone. Plenty of people love where they live due to the myriad of lifestyle perks, whether it's schools, cafes, restaurants, shops or family. So, they choose smaller parcels of land.

Opting for a smaller block should not impact the functionality of your home – and if it does, your home designer has done something wrong. With options for blocks as narrow as 10 meters, Metricon is one home builder well equipped to build on narrow, inner-city blocks.

Let's take a closer look at what you need to consider when building your brand-new dream home on your narrow block.

Break the walls down

If you're building a home on a narrow lot, an open plan living area must be at the top of your list. Combining the living room, dining room and kitchen into one expansive space, open plan living ensures that the heart of your home is big enough for your entire family.

Not only does this create a much more functional space where you can spend time with your loved ones without feeling like you're on top of them, but removing the walls shows you just how big a narrow home can be when it's appropriately designed.

Fill it with natural light

A narrow block home needs to be filled with as much natural light as possible. The more sunlight that spills into your home, the bigger it will seem. Dark rooms and shadowy corners don't draw your eye, which shrinks your perception of the space.

Similarly, the more windows you have, the larger each room will feel as walls do not surround you. There are plenty of window or glass options for your new narrow home – tall, wide or full-length windows, skylights, glass doors, frosted windows and even a window splashback in the kitchen.

Avoid dark fixtures and fittings

If you're going to the effort of ensuring your home is well lit, make sure you don't undo all the work by choosing dark fixtures, fittings, or décor. If you plan on living on a narrow block and love dusky tones, you might need to reconsider your styling options. You can still highlight the colours you love, just in different ways. For example, if you love navy, rather than painting the walls in that shade, find navy cushions or throws instead.

Learn more about Studio M, where Metricon customers pick their fixtures, fittings, and other inclusions.

Utilise an outdoor room

Narrow blocks are often longer than their wider counterparts, which means you could have more yard to play with on your block of land. In that regard, we need to talk about Metricon's excellent outdoor rooms.

These rooms are the perfect accessory to any yard, giving you cover from the elements, a place to sit and relax, somewhere to cook on the barbie and a haven for anyone raising pets. Your open plan living area flows seamlessly into your alfresco area and utilises similar colours and materials as the frontage so that it all meshes nicely.

Find a display home near you to see our outdoor rooms and alfresco spaces in person. Alternatively, read Charlie Albone's tips for landscaping your garden here.

Think vertical

When you don't have as much lot width to play with, it's time for a change in perspective. You can still have a butlers' pantry, walk-in robe, linen closet, ensuite, and double garage if you enlist a clever builder. When creating a narrow home design, you must get the most out of all the space – and that might include storing things down low and up high.

There are plenty of clever storage options to consider for small lots. Whether it's custom fit joinery or add-on solutions from Ikea, if you're smart about your choices before you begin your build, you shouldn't have a problem.

Other tips

There are plenty of other tips and tricks to consider when building and designing a narrow block home. These include:

  • Utilise sliding doors rather than traditional doors to keep things looking more open
  • High ceilings, much like open plan living, make rooms appear to be bigger than they are
  • Double-storey home designs are preferable as you have more square meters to play with
  • Find pieces of décor that double as storage, such as beds with drawers and desks with shelving
  • Using mirrors as décor can help make rooms look bigger by reflecting light
  • Create flexible spaces – a home office can double as an exercise space in your family home
  • Alternatively, you can create a study nook in a hallway or under the stairs
  • Don't clutter your home with stuff – try a minimalist theme in your narrow home

For more guides on tricky blocks, please read our guide to split-level home design.

Narrow blocks have plenty of advantages over wide blocks too. Often, they come in at a lower price point as you're not paying for as much land. They're also lower maintenance as a smaller floorplan means less cleaning. Also, as mentioned, narrow blocks are often deeper or loner, which means you can maximise the rear yard and live further away from the street.

It's important to reiterate that a small block does not mean that you cannot have a well-proportioned and functional home. You can still have a double-storey home with spacious and luxurious living areas.

One of Metricon's most popular narrow home is the Metro. With four bedrooms, a double garage and multiple living spaces, this two-storey home can work with blocks as narrow as 12 metres. Take a virtual tour or view the house plans of the Metro today.

If you'd like to know more about narrow block house designs, whether double or single-storey homes, enquire with our team today. You can also check out our new home designs here or browse our image gallery for design tips.