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‘How to Design for Maximum Value on Small Lots’


What You Will Learn



Learn how to understand the details of the building envelope for your lot. The setbacks, site cover, orientation and easements are just some of the topics explained in this chapter.



The developers’ covenants can be different for every estate that you build in so it is important to know how to interpret the information within this document.



Getting the most value out of a small lot is important for every builder and designer. There are specific things that you can do at the design stage to increase the probability of getting the best return on your investment.



It’s not the size of your space that matters, it’s how you use it! Learn which rooms are more important than others and how to use those awkward spaces efficiently.

Form must follow function when space is limited.

Think you can’t fit a decent house on a small lot? Think again!

Don’t overcapitalise by complicating the design.

It’s not the size of your space that matters, it’s how well you use it.

A Preview of What You Get

Chapter One - Building Envelope

We all like our ‘personal space’ and understand what that means even though it’s slightly different for every person. Well, think of your building envelope as your ‘house space’. Every detached house needs a certain amount of space around it to comply with codes, not interfere with neighbours and provide a safe fire barrier as well as a safe line of view for car drivers coming down the street.

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Chapter Two - Covenant Requirements

Most newly developed estates in Australia will have a covenant. This is the Land Developer’s ‘vision’ for the estate and it will stipulate certain requirement and limitations that you need to be aware of before you start your design. Your plans will require covenant approval before your builder can commence construction so if they don’t comply then you will be going back to the drafting table to re-design.

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Chapter Three - Maximising Value

Whether you need to borrow money to build or are thinking about selling your house later on, you will need a valuation of your property done by a bank or professional valuator. One of the first things they will look at is the number of bedrooms in the house. The more bedrooms – the higher the valuation. The higher the valuation – the more money you can borrow and the more money you can sell the house for later on.

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Henriette Werner


Hi! I’m the author of “How to Design for Maximum Value on Small Lots”, Henriette Werner. As a building designer I find it to be a privilege and also an obligation to help create communities that are beautiful, functional, prosperous, environmentally and socially sustainable, which will provide wonderful homes for all it’s citizens – one house at a time!

My clients appreciate my:

  • attention to detail
  • good communication
  • design skills
  • integrity
  • great product for low cost
  • dedication to a positive outcome for client

What sets me apart:

  • I worked in a builder’s office for over three years so I understand the requirements of my clients and the challenges & opportunities they face.
  • I have worked a lot with estate covenants and understand them well.
  • My work is very professional and influenced by North American design.
  • Design style is catered to suit builders – basic spec-style homes for small lots that are cost effective, space efficient and clever.

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