Small plot builds – a world of opportunity

With house prices at an all time high and land available to develop becoming more scarce, in part due to the land banking practices of big developers, you might be forgiven for thinking that it is nigh on impossible to get on to the property ladder, especially in those highly desirable areas where real estate is at a premium.

I’m here to tell you that is is possible if you consider the many misshapen, scrappy plots that are available and very often overlooked by developers because of their size or shape.

It is completely possible to have the home of your dreams on a small or non traditional plot and I will explain why.

Each and every plot of land offers different possibilities so do not be too quick to dismiss that plot of land that nobody else wants.  With some innovative design, a bit of creativity and a good architect the site that seemed to have no potential can become the location for a modern, beautiful living space.

Amazing spaces

You only need to watch one or two episodes of George Clarke’s “Amazing Spaces” to see that there are infinite possibilities to what can be done with a small space.

Here’s how to squeeze every possible opportunity out of that “dud” plot.

Employ an architect

Employ an architect, preferably one who has experience in designing homes on limited ground space.  Architects are the professionals who have the skills and experience to make the most of every element of design.  Architects have been trained to take your wants and needs and draft them into a practical, implementable living designs.  Here’s some advice to how to choose an architect.

Utilise the sunlight

Planning departments used to have strict regulations regarding the spacing of windows but as land as become less available these regulations have become more relaxed.  An architect will be able to help you use light to create the illusion of space, making your home feel lighter and larger.

Sloping sites

Plots of land that include slopes are often dismissed as too troublesome to build on.  Clever design can incorporate a slope and turn it into a dramatic feature or use it to increase the space available by sinking one side of the building.  Upside down living in densely populated areas is increasingly becoming the norm.

Account for the surroundings

If the land is next to a busy train line or a main road there are a variety of things that you can do to reduce the impact of the noise such as “acoustical site design” This combines the use of materials, building techniques and the site’s natural shape and contours to reduce noise travelling into your building.

Go up or go down

If the footprint of the building is small you can either build up, adding levels or go down, creating basement space.  As long as you take into account and are sympathetic to your surroundings, a multi level home can be the solution to limited ground space.

Burying part of your build can also reduce the effects of noisy surroundings.


As the world gets more populated and the demand for land on which to build and accommodate the growing population increases we will need to become smarter about the way in which we use the land that is available to us.

Thoughtful design that is well executed, can give you a contemporary living space in the location you desire and that doesn’t break the bank.  The next time you are house hunting and the properties are beyond your budget, take a look at what vacant plots are available.

With a open mind and a bit of imagination that bit of land that nobody else wants could be the location of your dream home.

If you already have your dream home and want help bringing its walls to life or if you would like to discover how to a piece of contemporary art can be incorporated into smaller homes then contact me to arrange a visit or to chat.

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