Choosing your block of land

When it comes to laying the foundations for your dream home, there a few things to consider when choosing the perfect block of land:

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Council regulations and requirements exist to ensure the overall community is the safest and happiest it can be. These regulations may affect what you can build in a certain area, so it’s best to approach your local council directly to ensure your dream home fits within their guidelines.

Some developments also have a set of design guidelines called a ‘Building Covenant’ that ensures a certain standard of home is built within the community. This can again affect how your home comes to life. However, covenants also protect your investment because it ensures all homes in the area are built to a similar standard.

Keeping on top of these regulations and guidelines can be tricky, but that’s where your New Home Consultant comes in ¬– to ensure your home is not only perfect, but compliant.

When it comes to building your home, the most important measurement to take note of is the width of the block. Homes are designed to a certain width but can sometimes be lengthened or shortened depending on the design, so it’s important to check that your ideal home will fit on the block you choose. It’s also important to find out if there are any building envelopes, easements or causeways, as these may affect where exactly on the block your home can be built. Fortunately, our helpful team are here to guide you through the process and provide the right documentation to your builder.

Ideally, you’ll want to build a house with the living areas facing north. This will open your home up to an abundance of natural light, helping you shape a more energy efficient way of life. So, when it comes to selecting a block, it’s best to choose one that suits the ideal orientation of your selected home design. Fortunately, if your block isn’t ideally oriented, our home designs have been intelligently designed to compensate to a certain extent and afford you as much natural light as possible.

Site costs
Outside of the purchase price, there are a number of costs associated with preparing your land for the construction of your dream home. These include land levelling, building foundations or footings, and soil quality. All of these things are assessed and estimated as part of your home buying process.

However, it’s a good idea to find out as much as you can about the land early on in the process. Having a block with a slope that needs to be levelled can add to the site costs quite significantly. Alternatively, some sloping blocks can add value to your home if they offer beautiful views, added privacy or a point of interest.

In addition, the presence of rocks on a block may not always be immediately obvious and can result in additional costs incurred during construction. Similarly, if you have a battle-axe, hatchet, or hammerhead block where there is an existing home or third-party land between the road and your new home site, there may be additional costs when accessing your land to build.

Soil is something else to consider when selecting your block. In terms of the nitty gritty, it’s typically classified by geotechnical engineers according to a recognised Australian standard. Classifications range from stable sites through to blocks of land where there are expected to be varying degrees of surface movement over the life of a building. As soil classification relates to the reactivity of soil to moisture change, all issues with soil movement are water-related – either too much in times of high water volumes or too little in times of drought. A soil survey can bring to light either of these issues, helping you avoid any long-term structural concerns.

Build access
Another thing to consider is how your block is accessed as this might affect construction costs due to extra deliveries, manual handling of materials and clean-up of the block. Traffic control may also be needed in some instances. Similarly, acreage sites will possibly incur additional costs for remote site charges, or for ensuring roads have all-weather access.

Vegetation on the block may have a significant impact on your home design and the cost of the build, especially if there are protected trees within the lot that cannot be removed. Removing trees and other vegetation needs to be considered carefully to ensure roots are properly removed before construction. If you’re building in a bush fire zone, additional costs may be required to comply with local requirements.

Wind classification
As Australia has varying climatic conditions, it’s important to consider the wind rating on a property as it may result in additional construction costs. In the early stages of the home building process, a report is commissioned by Shavida to establish the wind rating and to disclose any extra costs sooner rather than later.

After choosing your home design and ensuring it is suitable for your block, it's important to determine if any variations are required, and if so, what they will cost. During this time, you will need to decide where you wish the home to be built in relation to things like existing trees, fencing and your neighbours’ properties. Once you've thought about each of these factors, we suggest you speak with your Shavida New Home Consultant, who will be able to offer support and guidance throughout the entire land selection process.

To get the most value out of your appointment, come prepared with the following:

  • Your preferred front facade (elevation) style
  • Your preferred positioning on the block, into account future plans (e.g. gardens, patios and pools)

The following information will also be extremely helpful, if available:

  • Current rates notice
  • Details of your land
  • A block plan (survey)
  • Details of any applicable covenants for your homesite
  • Sewer diagram (this can be obtained from your local water authority)

Need a hand choosing a block of land?
That’s what we’re here for – take a look at our selection of house and land packages where we’ve done the hard work for you and matched our home designs with the perfect block of land. For more information or assistance, call 1800 950 756 to speak with one of our experienced consultants.