Any narrow lot home design will ultimately be determined according to just how narrow the space to build in is. The other main limiting factors on what you can do in terms of a narrow lot home design is the height to which you can build and how far back you can build. For the purposes of this article we’ll presume the lot you have to build on is 30 feet wide and extends back at least 50 feet. Also we’ll presume, and this is important, that you can build a ground floor and an upper floor.
Building on a 30 foot by 50 foot Lot
30 feet wide for a plot to build on might sound OK, but in reality you’ll not be able to build the walls of your property right up to the full 30 feet as you’ll need to get behind the building – unless you want the trash cans on full display out front. So we’ll allow for building walls up to 25 feet apart on the width and, to start with, we’ll make the length 25 feet too and so in effect we’ll design a square house on the lot.
You won’t want the building going straight onto the street, so we’ll set it back by 5 feet, meaning you’ll have at least 20 feet for a backyard. So, with these ideas; and without getting obsessed with measurements – let’s look at some design options.
Narrow Lot Home Design 1
This first design would be quite a conservative one, but would none the less give you a reasonably spacious home. On the ground floor at the front, by locating the front door at a front corner, you could walk into a narrow lobby with the staircase leading upstairs off it. Walking straight down the lobby you’d enter the kitchen, with a door to the rear of the lot either on the side or rear wall.
Also off the lobby would be a door leading to a front room and you’d walk through the front room to access another room at the back of the property. This back room and the kitchen are at the back of the property and how large, or small, you make each of these rooms depends on the sort of layout you want. For example, the front room could be a main lounge area, and then at the rear you could have a large dining room/2nd lounge with a small kitchen or a large kitchen/diner with a smaller 2nd lounge.
All you need to do is ‘move’ the wall dividing the rear room and kitchen or, of course, have one massive kitchen/diner at the rear. Upstairs you will have room to fit two decent sized bedrooms, one small bedroom and a bathroom. By only having one decent sized bedroom and two smaller ones you could, just, squeeze a small en-suite bathroom – as well as the separate bathroom. However, if you really want more than one bathroom you’ll probably end up having to compromise and settle for just two bedrooms upstairs, or lose floor-space downstairs.
Narrow Lot Home Design 2
Essentially we’ll stick with the design described above, but if you were able to build back just another 10 or 15 feet – you would comfortably be able to have 3 large bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs or even four bedrooms, 2 large and 2 smaller ones, again with 2 bathrooms upstairs. The extra space downstairs can be used to extend any of the previously described rooms or add a study and possibly another bathroom downstairs.
Narrow Lot Home Design 3
With a maximum lot width of 30 feet there’d be no room for off-street parking. However, if having a garage is essential to you, there is a narrow lot design option you could consider. Sticking mainly with the previous suggestions the changes occur at the front of the house. Determine how wide you want the garage to be and move the front door away from the corner by a little more than that amount.
You can then build a garage into the house, an integrated garage, where the lobby and part of the front room were. The lobby and stairs are now moved more centrally and you’d probably now only have room to make the remaining front section of the house into a small front lounge, dining room or study.
Photo by taberandrew, Creative Commons Attribution