Site Selection Checklist

More often than not my clients come to me with a few scribbles on pieces of scrap paper, a bunch of images and a diagram of their block of land they have purchased. Solving the puzzle of design parameters is usually an easy task however, changing the shape of a parcel of land isn’t. This can cause a lot of financial pain! Now I understand that many of my clients have either acquired the site by default, or they have inherited it  or it is the best they can afford. However, selecting the correct site configuration is probably the most critical first design decision to be made. Here’s a quick checklist to consider if you an opportinty to purchase your dream home site.


One of the basic design principals to engage when designing your dream home is Passive Environmental Design. Passive environmental design takes advantage of the local climatic conditions to keep your house warm during winter and cool during summer. Try to buy a block of land with its length running East/West. This will allow sun to penetrate your home either along its Southern boundary or Northern boundary depending on which hemisphere you live. It would also be beneficial if the typical prevailing winds track across the site along its width. If this not possible there are other design techniques that can be used can deal with this. Well look at those later.


Generally, sloping sites are more expensive to build on as you will require more retaining walls and other structure. A flat site will simplify things however, be aware of its relative elevation to nearby lakes and rivers. You may be located within a flood plain.


The general shape of your site will affect the efficiency of your space planning. More so with small lots of course. Truncated lots with small street front boundaries are less efficient to space plan once you overlay the respective planning regulation that may apply in your area. The more square or rectangular your site the better.


Your dream home is going to need good solid foundations to site on. These foundations required quality soil conditions in order to function correctly. Try and avoid soils that are called reactive. These soils will have a high content of clay within them. Not a big problem, it just means more money to deal with it. Talk with your local shire, authority to discuss the area you are looking to build in.


Your bui8lding block will be subject to a myriad of planning regulations. Most of these will be standard codes however, be sure to check if there are caveats placed on your site. Visit your local land titles office or engage a good property lawyer to do a simple search for you before you hand over your hard earned money.


Talk Soon …MM Join the DreamHomeDoodleClub and share your experiences with other budding Dream Home Doodlers!
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