Sometimes the phrase “narrow lot” can have negative connotations.  This is a shame, because you can can build a world-class home on virtually any type of lot, and you should really decide the location of your project based on what’s right for you and your family.

To demonstrate that narrow lots can support beautiful, creative homes, we thought we’d share three examples of radically different homes in the DC area.

  1. The Octagon House. The Octagon House is a National Historic Landmark that was built in 1799, which you can see on New York Avenue today.  Of course, there was no specific definition of a “narrow lot,” but in this case the house fills the entire space in a unique way that people have enjoyed viewing for over 200 years.  And by building to the edge of the property, they clearly didn’t sacrifice square footage.
  2. The Francis Perkins House in Northwest DC.  This is another house that builds right up to the edge of the property, as many homes do in this part of Washington, DC.  This home was part of the “colonial revival” in the DC-area that took place between 1900 and 1950, featuring symmetrical lines, windows in pairs, and a porch supported by pilasters over the front door.
  3. The I.M Pei-designed House in Cleveland Park.  This is an example of a Mid-Century Modern home, a style known for open floor plans, and the heavy use of finished materials such as steel, aluminum, wood, and glass.  This style is very conducive to a narrow lot, and you can find more homes designed by I.M. Pei nearby that have a similar footprint.

We wanted to share these examples to show how you can build a very wide variety of homes on narrow lots, and we hope this might inspire you to share your plans with us in the near future!