With Perth home prices remaining high and urban infill more popular than ever, it’s no wonder that battleaxe blocks are a burgeoning trend. Sometimes also known as a rear strata block or ‘house behind a house’, the battleaxe is a wonderful way of getting value per square metre for your large block – if your zoning allows!
What is a battleaxe block?
Technically speaking, a battleaxe block may differ from two houses built on subdivided land, a.k.a. a rear strata home. Yes, both are two houses built on a large, subdivided block – usually with a house at the front but it also has a long narrow driveway (minimum distance 20 m), shaped much like an axe handle, with a house built at the rear, shaped like an axe blade.
Rear strata homes may also have rear access, which a battleaxe block does not. Consequently, the large “battleaxe’ handle driveway is not necessary.
But first, call your local council
Before we get ahead of ourselves, call your local council to check the residential planning codes (R-Codes) of your area. You’ll soon find out whether you have permission to create a battleaxe block and build a second home.
Benefits of a battleaxe block
Those that have council zoning for a battleaxe block can enjoy benefits galore:
- Most value per m2: Get the most value for your large block and enjoy a very nice profit. Rather than gaining equity on one house, you can leverage off two, using every square metre to the greatest advantage, rather than wasting the opportunity maintaining a costly lawn!
- Provides an arrangement of rental/selling possibilities: Once you build your second house, there’s more than one option. For example, you could sell both your properties; sell the original property and move into the back home; or stay in your original property and sell or lease out the rear
- Money is not wasted on rent: There’s no need to rent another home while you build your second house. As you own both, you can live in the existing building while building the second home – which will save you quite a tidy sum!
- Easy council approval and access to finance: As battleaxe properties have such a safe reputation finding finance and gaining council approval is usually a pretty straightforward process.
What can I build on my battleaxe block?
One-storey houses are popular with young families that don’t want to live in a home where children can fall down stairs. Likewise, single-storeys are also popular with the elderly, who don’t want the problems that stairs can often present. Depending on the design, a single-storey battleaxe home may be a smaller investment, too.
If you want to maximise your block space, a double-storey house is the way to go, creating a large chunk of living area on a relatively small space. With our current urban infill trend in Perth, two-storey home builds are certainly popular as people try to get the biggest bang for their buck. Build a double-storey home and you can also look forward to a higher selling price – or a higher rental.
Double-storey houses have the advantages of separate living areas, ideal for families with teens where separate living spaces are ideal, or even those that simply want a guest area separate from living areas.
Views are another reason why people often like double-storey homes. A second storey allows you to enjoy views you may have never known existed and can do wonders to the added value of your home.
Benefits of a living in a rear battleaxe home
Many people enjoy living in either single-storey or double-storey rear battleaxe houses. Here’s why:
Privacy: The rear battleaxe house is nicely tucked away, with no noises of the street so that it can feel extremely serene and quiet, with nothing but the noises of surrounding trees and wildlife.
Long driveway: For those with kids, a long driveway makes an excellent play area for kids. They can spend hours burning up excess energy riding bikes or skateboards – without you worrying about the threat of passing cars.
Price: Purchasing a battleaxe house is cheaper than buying a single house on a large block.
For more information on building a rear battleaxe home, call JFK Home Design Today: (08) 9355 1788