Site Conditions - Choosing A Site For Your Dream Home

You're ready to start building your dream home, you've saved the money, put a financial plan in place and have the time to spare to monitor the building process. The timing is just right, now it's time to choose the perfect site. Apart from lifestyle related issues like the city you want to build in or the daily commuting distance from work, there are actual on the ground, project and building related issues that need to be addressed to ensure a successful and on budget building process.

A few important attributes that must be taken into consideration to buy the perfect site are listed below 

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Buying a site for your dream home involves many factors

Soil Conditions

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Soil quality and conditions are important
Soil is assessed before a build to determine depth of the topsoil and subsoil to that of bedrock. Soil quality can determine whether or not you can grow a lawn and garden of your dreams and depth  is important if you require a deep basement. Testing for soil conditions can also indicate the occurrence of flooding, although long term rainfall and flooding statistics should be checked for accuracy. Homes built on low lying land are prone to flooding during rainstorms.
Availability Of Utility Services

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Easy connections to utility networks like water is a factor to consider

If a site is far removed from the nearest established communities, it is prudent to find out if simple utility lines like water, electricity and sewage have been put in for that area. Considering the cost of connecting to utility lines is an often overlooked point when purchasing a site. Choosing the larger site 10 kilometers off the highway may be more land for your buck but the cost of bringing the utility lines to your property may become prohibitive.

Size Of The Site

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Local bylaws may require setbacks from boundary walls 
The size of a site restricts the size of your home physically, besides local bylaws may require setbacks from boundary walls as well. Setbacks are areas that it is mandatory to leave clear of any permanent construction or structure. The size of a given site can determine the feasible area covered be the foundation, i.e. The spread of your home on the site that you choose.

Topography

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High tension wires are difficult to move

If the site that you choose has a natural feature like a large outcropping of rock, a flood drain or high tension wires running through the site, this will most definitely affect the availability of clear build-able area and must be taken into account when buying a site.

Solar Orientation

The solar orientation of your home is its position in relation to the sun and determines how variations in the solar pattern or the the sun’s path affect your home. Good solar orientation is important in tropical climates to plan parts of the home that will receive direct and concentrated sunlight to make a home more comfortable to live in, energy efficient and cheaper to run.

Proximity To Highways, Railroads And Airports

The proximity to highways, railroads and airports can affect the levels of noise in your home, essentially homes close to mass transport systems and transport hubs are avoidable for families with little toddlers who have sensitive and developing hearing and adults as well, to achieve a good nights rest. Choose a site that has a sound buffer in terms of distance from any sources of loud noise.

Site Juxtaposition To Existing Structures

The location of a site is important in how it relates to existing structures in the immediate vicinity. If there are tall buildings on either site they may block the sunlight. If you want a garden it is important that you situate the garden on the site in a spot that it gets direct sunlight for at least a few hours a day. Also, if it is a corner site with two or three sides open or bordered by a park or a road you will have a clear view and a lower possibility of the view being obstructed by new construction in the future. Remember access roads on three side can lead to elevated noise levels but your home will have ample natural light streaming in from three sides.

Local Building Restrictions 

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Local bylaws may restrict the extent of the build

Finally, local building restrictions on height and ground coverage differ from area to area and may be based on the proximity of the airport or defense installations, etc. Look into other local and area specific restrictions before buying a property to avoid making a costly mistake.

Before deciding on a site, visit it multiple times, ask prospective neighbors about the pros and cons of living in the area and if they had any specific issues with permits and during the build of their home to get a better idea of what to expect when you begin building your home. Do keep in mind the points listed above before investing in the dream site for your dream home. 

Ranjita Bhandari

The Author

Home Concierge


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