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Tips For Renovating On A Narrow Block 

When designing and renovating on a narrow block, unique challenges may present themselves. These challenges are mainly associated with the lighting and traffic flow of the interior. However, by using the tips listed below and consulting with designers, architects and experienced builders, these challenges can easily be tackled! Check them out below.

renovating on a narrow block

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Tip #1: Find your boundaries
When renovating on a narrow block, it is important to understand the relevant rules and regulations proposed by local councils, especially in regards to how close to the boundary of the property you can build. Therefore, building your proposed house right up to the very edge of the property boundary may not always be possible. In this case, there are other options available to maximise the interior space of your property.

Tip #2: Internal courtyards
One of the ways to simultaneously solve the issues of property boundaries, a lack of natural light and ventilation is by including internal courtyards. These areas can be used as outdoor spaces for relaxation, socialising or barbecuing and have the additional benefit of adding valuable light and air to narrow homes.

Tip #3: Maximise lighting
When renovating on a narrow block, ensuring the property can receive an ample amount of natural lighting should be a priority. Installing large windows wherever there’s an opening is the most obvious means of achieving this feat. Large windows allow for large amounts of natural lighting and also gives the illusion of a larger space. Strategically placed mirrors or glass objects near windows can also extend the reach of natural lighting. Other lighting strategies include floor-to-ceiling glazing, skylights and light wells. See more on Creating Lighting Plans.

renovating on a narrow block

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Tip #4: Raise the roof
Increasing vertical space is the most intuitive solution to utilise when dealing with a narrow space. Raising the ceilings of each storey when renovating your narrow home is the most effective option to achieve this and can give any home, even one that isn’t narrow, a feeling of extra spaciousness. This will not only give the illusion of more space but will also allow for more storage space.

Tip #5: Spiral on out
It is a fact that we often overlook – circular and curved fixtures take up less space than traditional rectangular structures. Think about incorporating circular tables, rounded cupboards and curved bookshelves in order to maximise space when renovating a narrow block. Another circular space saver is the unique and cool spiral staircase. These stairs can span multiple storeys and take up less floor space than a traditional linear staircase.

Tip #6: Build in the middle
When renovating and building in a narrow interior space, it can be tempting to push fixtures and built-in elements of a home towards the peripheral walls. For example, a kitchen island benchtop can easily divide a kitchen – a food-preparation area on one side and open space dedicated to traffic flow or socialising on the other. These are just some of the tips that will help you renovate on a narrow block.

If you’re looking into renovating your home or looking into any sort of home improvement projects, contact our friendly team on 1300 943 640 or for free assistance in finding a builder that is right for your renovation project.

Grace Wang

Grace is a recent graduate of Monash University, where she studied Arts and Science. She is a property, architecture and interior design enthusiast.


iBuildNew is the market leading aggregator dedicated to residential home construction and land development. As an independent platform, iBuildNew helps Australians identify and compare new home designs, house and land packages and land estates. It’s the smart way home buyers, who are considering a new build, can find the ideal options to match their individual needs. Home building is a big decision, we make sure you get it right.

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