Neighbouring our house is a two-storey unit block - not exactly ideal. Most would consider this as a negative from a planning and design perspective, particularly as we are on a small lot. It has, however, presented opportunities for innovation that has greatly influenced the overall design of the house.
The proposed design of our renovation is such that it has "turned it's back" on the unit block next door. We have eliminated window openings towards the units, and the design has ensured that there is little if any overlooking from the units onto our private outdoor space. Had there been a house next door, it would have probably been sited one-metre from the boundary which could have made noise and privacy issues a lot harder to deal with. The units have advantageously created a 5-metre buffer zone between both buildings due to the location of the driveway, something of a rarity now in our inner-city suburbs.
Fortunately for us the unit block is on our Western side which blocks out the hot afternoon sun during the Summer and should, in theory, save us money by limiting our air-conditioning requirements as well.
And it would seem that our renovation is not only benefitting us. Just have a look at what our neighbours on our other side have faced since the units were built:
|View from our neighbour's back garden.|
And this will be our neighbour's view when our renovation is completed:
And with some thoughtful planting along the fence line, I think this will be a good outcome for them as well.