One of the most common challenges home builders face in construction is space constraints.
Space constraints don’t only cover small lots but also narrow blocks. Not only do builders need to work around the limited area, but they also have to create a house that supports optimal living conditions in the process
If you own an unusually narrow lot, there is one type of edifice that will fit in the space perfectly – both literally and figuratively. Narrow houses are the best choice for tight blocks since they maximize the available lot area while opening countless possibilities for design and functionality.
Designing a narrow lot home is challenging but not impossible. To help you choose a narrow house design, you must keep in mind the potential of the space while overcoming its limitations. This way, you can create a home that will help you achieve prime living conditions without sacrificing that dream-house vibe.
Design Up for Narrow Houses
To compensate for the smaller-than-typical floor area, narrow house designs should maximize the use of the available vertical space. Some features that can help overcome the spatial constriction of a narrow house include:
- higher ceilings which add volume to the design and make the edifice feel more spacious and functional in terms of storage;
- skylights to let natural light in for a more energy-efficient home; and
- dedicated design for the upper floors to create separation from the lower levels.
One great example of a narrow house with all these features is the shaft house – an edifice that features a carport which appears like a shaft at the bottom of the building.
The house comes with modern minimalistic lines and maximizes natural light by adding a skylight that passes through all its two-and-a-half-story build. With the help of its tall design, a narrow house can give you more storage space options “above” and “under,” as discussed below.
Unlike older home designs, narrow homes don’t leave the space under the stairs unused. Clever shelving can help you maximize this otherwise unused space. Since the area has more height than width, it can be used to keep big items such as furniture and appliances. It can also be used as book storage or a wine cellar, with the latter being most ideal since the temperature is relatively constant under the stairs than anywhere else in the house.
As for storage “above,” homeowners benefit most by adding an attic to their narrow lot home. Like under the stairs, this space can serve as storage for gears and items with seasonal or occasional use like Christmas decor and clothing for too warm or too cold weather.
Without an attic, keeping all these items would probably require self-storage services which means additional expenses. That is, of course, if such items are not cramped into your garage.
Open Up Space
Since narrow lot homes don’t have the luxury of a wide floor area, opening up space can make it feel more expansive than it actually is. Here are several ways to achieve this:
- Replace the walls with columns within each story for a continuous flow of the design. It is also wise to create a skylight by creating holes that flow from the ground floor through the attic.
Without walls that divide separate rooms and an open ceiling, you allow more sunlight into your home which not only saves energy but also lends the area a more spacious feel.
- Change up the floor material instead of erecting a vertical room divider. In order to separate the kitchen, dining, and living area, you can use different floor materials (e.g., add a carpet) for each section of the house. This will help create the feeling of a bigger family space where you and your brood can lounge in or entertain guests without having to actually occupy floor area.
- Install glass wall panels to truly open up your home. This, combined with large windows and large doors, can help create a seamless flow between your house and your yard. Thus, expanding your narrow house – at least, from your vantage point inside the house.
- Incorporate upper-level balconies. Balconies are great for narrow lot houses since they provide additional living space without the need for a wide lot area. This additional area can be used for entertaining guests or simply chilling out with your family, not to mention it blurs out the boundaries and makes the house feel a tad bigger than it actually is.
- Accentuate a focal point in a room by adding deep-toned paint. Choose a specific wall in a room that will serve as its focal point and have it painted a deep color to make it stand out. Highlighting a certain spot can make the room feel livelier and, therefore, more open.
Narrow houses are starting to gain traction in the construction and design industry because of how they solve space constraint issues.
To choose a great narrow lot home design, you should understand how a taller house can be made more open and, ultimately, feel spacious enough for comfortable living.