Home Design: Making the Most of a Small Lot

– 518 – Home Design: Making the Most of a Small Lot

Following a few simple strategies can help you find the best home design for your small lot.

Small lots bring unique challenges, and some skilled designers can understand and take advantage of all the space. There are plenty of bright ideas for homeowners who are comfortable living in small spaces.

Embracing the Challenge of Small Lots

The first challenge of building on a small lot is to design and construct the most efficient and functional living areas in a concentrated space that complies with all local and government guidelines.

“Small lot” homeowners tend to orient themselves towards open floorplans with efficient refined use of space compared to a larger home in the suburbs. IKEA’s 251-square-foot studio apartment plan and you can start to see the possibilities. Generally speaking, builders, designers and architects also love to design for small spaces because it’s much more intellectually challenging than working with unlimited space.

A great designer working with an experienced builder can guide small homeowners through the most significant challenges such as town planning restrictions, design restrictions, privacy issues, access challenges and hydraulic considers such as stormwater management.

Where to Find a Small Lot

Small lots are much more common in older suburbs. Different city and community ordinances define the limitations of a small lot property. For example, in dense urban Los Angeles, a small lot may be as narrow as 16 feet and as small as 600 square feet. In bicycle-friendly cities like Portland, Oregon, the definitions are even more restrictive, allowing for lots that are 25 feet wide but only 100 feet deep.

Working with Narrow Lots

Narrow width in a home’s design does not necessarily mean less choice or aesthetic appeal. While a narrow design for a smaller lot may save on land costs, the trade-off should be quality interior features, well-placed windows to accent the views and design treatments that play down the dominance of a front-facing garage. Small lot home designs are also incredibly flexible, whether they are right in the city or out by the lake.

Going Green

The use of open-tread stairs, warm materials and generously-sized windows make small homes more of an adventure than most homes could hope to be. Small homes can also take advantage of a wide variety of environmentally efficient adaptations including solar energy, geothermal heating and cooling, or water-source hybrid systems that provide domestic hot water for the home as well as the warm water for the geothermal unit.

To learn more about how to successfully design and build a home on a small lot, and how 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty® (2-10 HBW®) can support you, visit 2-10.com, email [email protected] or phone 800.743.4210.


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