This series will suggest some of the basic steps to follow as you begin down the path toward home ownership.
Step 3 – Choosing a Building Site
Well, you’re moving right along. You’ve met with your lender, you’ve gathered your design ideas, and you’ve chosen a builder. You probably already have some idea of where you want to build your new home, but there’s a lot more that goes into choosing your building site than you might think.
You may already own a piece of property that you’ve always wanted to build on, or you might be looking for a new piece of land to call your very own. You might be thinking about a residential subdivision, where other houses are already being built and the character of the neighborhood is already established, or a larger piece of property, away from others, that provides more privacy. Regardless of the location of the site, there are many other factors to consider as you decide where and how your house actually sits.
Design your home to fit the site – Your home designer needs to visit your site and consider its natural features to enhance the design of your new home. Factors such as site topography, trees and vegetation, drainage, wind direction, sunlight and shadow, and visual corridors all play into the aesthetics and efficiencies of your home design. If you want morning sun in your kitchen and afternoon sun on your deck, your home design and orientation need to be correct. You may want to have large windows facing south to allow for more light and warmth. It’s extremely important that your home is on high ground, or raised enough to ensure that water drains away from it effectively.
Trees – Try to place your home and driveway in an area that doesn’t require massive tree removal (unless you’re building in the woods…..then it’s probably necessary). If you’re building in a more rural area, you’ll have to install a septic system and a well, which requires more room and possibly more tree removal. Careful planning will prevent unnecessary damage to your site. After all, you chose this property because it was attractive…..Don’t ruin it!
Zoning Issues – Make sure that you and your builder are fully aware of all zoning issues that govern your building site. Setbacks from lot lines, roads, other buildings, septic systems, wetlands and escarpments will have direct impact on the placement of your new home.
“The Main Point”- Proper site evaluation, home design and orientation are extremely important. Failure to fully understand how these elements work together can result in extra costs, unnecessary filling and grading or removal of trees, an inefficient home design, and less than spectacular outdoor views. It can be fun and exciting planning these items before you begin….it’s costly and stressful to deal with them once construction is underway. Keep it fun!