January 11, 2009 | | Comments 0

Land Choice for Building a House

When planning to buy a block of land to build that dream home or Kit Home there are some basics that you need to consider. These considerations are ones that will most probably impact your costs at construction more than anything else:

  1. Slope of the block relative to size and general site conditions. Novices always underestimate the slope of a block. Truth be known, it is easy to do. You see, the naked eye can be very decieving and often you will look at a site and say to yourself, “Doesn’t look that bad”. But you need to know that the more steep the site the more impact this will have on design and costs – particularly hidden costs. 
  2. Soil Quality. You will read a fair bit about soil tests, geotech reports and soil classifications on this site. The reason for this is, from an engineering and foundation perspective, the soil content is critical and will have an impact on construction of foundations and the costs associated with doing so. When you look at a block you will not know the quality of the soil and thereforel need specialists to conduct the necessary reports and tests.
  3. Know the Location of Services. Exactly where is the power, water, sewer and stormwater connections? This is critical information and the location of these services and the delivery method will impact on your costs. For example, let’s say you have found a fantastic 2 acre block in an outer suburb. You need to find out if the power is above or below ground. Is there a sewer system? If not you are going to need an Environmental HSTP (septic) system. The services list goes on, so do your homework and don’t be afraid to ask the land seller as many questions as you feel you need to. 
  4. Size of the Block. Beware the small, narrow lot that boasts a bargain price. Worse still, the small, narrow lot with some slope on it. Buy it, and you may discover later that it comes back to bite you when you have done your budget to build on it. Believe it or not, small and narrow is very expensive to build on. Occupational Health and Safety is now a legally compliant part of all residential construction sites – and the tighter the site, the more conditions that apply. These conditions come at a cost so give size some consideration when buying the block. 
  5. Driveway Access and Finished Ground Levels and Floor Levels. There are conditions relevant to the site about how steep a driveway can be in the distance between the boundary to the garage entrance. This is relevant to point no. 1 with the slope of the land. Some blocks simply cannot be cut and filled to suit a flat building pad. You may need to raise or lower the finished ground level to comply, and if this is extensive then expect it to impact on the finished design as well as cost.

Whether you are planning to Owner Build or Project Build always do solid research with an experienced builder before buying the block of land. UBuild Homes have professional experts that can assist you early in the process of selecting the right block to Owner Build your home or Kit Home. Why not contact us and find out how we can help you with end to end solutions.

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Filed Under: Kit HomesOwner Builder Tips


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