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Blueprint Designs is a building design service that seeks the best outcome for our clients. 

Our goal is to provide the best design solution possible through a creative, innovative and collaborative process with our clients.

0421 391 532

Together we are a team.

Mark Engwirda

Director Blueprint Designs

Blueprint Designs was all about the design outcome and customer service was second to none!

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 Larissa & Jacob Mearns

Architects, Building Designers and Draftings

Designing your home for the Small lot code : Questions and Answers

 Question; I am looking at advice on what I can do with a small lot, a friend said I need a town planner, is that true?

That is not the case. The small lot code is self accessible which means that as long as your small lot home fits within the code there is no special planning required. Only when we are trying to design your house outside of the code or if your project is in a Traditional Building Character Overlay will a development approval be triggered.

Two Storey New Hampton Small Lot Design

Question;  What are the building restrictions in regards to the size of the house that I can put on a small lot?​

The rules for the Dwelling house (small lot) code for the allowable building footprint, building heights and setbacks are quite complex.  The allowable building footprint depends upon the size of your block, the zoning your land and council overlays but here are some quick guides;

​​Maximum building footprint;
  • 50% where the lot is 400m2 or more; or

  • 60% where the lot is 300m2 or more and less than 400m2; or

  • 70% where the lot is 200m2 or more and less than 300m2; or

  •  80% where the lot is less than 200m2.


The maximum overall building length on a small lot is;

  • 25.0m regardless of the length or size of your block


The maximum building height on a small lot is;

  • 9.0m overall above natural ground (roof or viewing decks etc) but only be a maximum of 7.5m at the side setbacks.

Two storey small lot designs.
Question; What are the building setbacks for small lot homes?
  • 3.0m where there are no adjoining houses; or

  • The same as the least setback of adjoining houses; or

  • 6.0m where both adjoining dwellings have a setback of more than 6.0m.


Sides (in general)

  • 1.0m for habitable areas with a maximum height of 7.5m; or

  • 0.5m for non-habitable areas with a maximum length of;

    • 15.0m in low-medium density, medium density and high density zoned areas with a maximum height of 3.5m;

    • 9.0m   in a low-density residential zone or Character residential zone areas with a maximum height of 3.5m.

    • Built to boundary walls in Character residential areas require your neighbour's consent.

  • 0.0m where;

    • you are matching the extent of an existing built to boundary wall on the adjoining property, or

    • the adjoining property is 300m2 or less and not in a Character zone precinct, or

    • further conditions may be applicable if your block is 7.5m or less in average width so please seek further advice. 


Rear setbacks

  • 6.0m where on a lot with an average depth of more than 25m; or

  • On a lot with an average depth of 25m or less;

    • 3.0m, for a wall up to 4.5m high or

    • 4.5m, for a wall over 4.5m high.

Question; I am looking at the small lot code and it states that the upper level must overhang the garage.

Is there a way around this?

The reason for this is to create a shadow effect over the garage making it look a little less dominating from the street.  The only time you don't have to comply with this is when the slope of the block is quite steep (1:4) and the garage needs to be separated from the main house.  The disadvantage of this is the overall length of the house must still be no greater than 25.0m

Question;  I am trying to understand the screening and privacy solutions that are stipulated in the small lot code. It looks like I need to have privacy screens to all my upstairs windows, mainly to the side of my home and this includes my balcony as well, this sounds pretty severe? 

​Privacy screening is only an issue when you can look directly into a neighbour's window that is within a 45 deg angle of your view and is usually only an issue on the upper level.

If you do have to comply with screening you can either screen the windows externally as per the code or think about ​having you window sill finish 1500 above the floor. 

​One last question; Are these all of the answers I need to know regarding the small lot house code?

I have only touched on the areas where I see a lot of people asking about or misinterpreting the small lot code.

Feel free to contact me at any time to gain further advice.

Small Lot Design - New Hampton Style Home