Before you can build your dream home, you need some land to build it on. Choosing where to construct a house for you and your family takes careful planning and consideration. Each piece of land comes with unique characteristics, remediation challenges, and environmental factors that can significantly impact your home’s design and structure.
When searching for a development lot, you should consider what land characteristics will best support your home’s base. While no lot is perfect, if you’re willing to work with a plot’s natural contours and strengths, you’re more likely to avoid serious problems when it comes time to design and construct the home of your dreams.
Dream Home and Lot Size: Find a Balance
Understanding what size of lot you want and why you want that size will help narrow down possible options for your project. Development lots are not cheap, especially in sought after areas such as Vancouver Island or the Greater Toronto Area.
For new homes built in popular areas, land costs often eat up more than half of a project’s projected budget. As the price of land continues to rise, the average size of new development lots is decreasing. As you survey your options and consider variable bare land features for your dream development, some good questions to ask yourself include:
- Is outdoor living important to you?
- Do you want to care for a garden and spend time landscaping?
- How close do you want to be to neighbours?
- Are you willing to adapt your dream house plans to a less favourable, less expensive lot?
Understand Land Regulations
When you purchase a piece of land, there will likely be rules and conditions on what you can build. The residential development company determines these regulations in conjunction with municipal by-laws and environmental factors.
Some of these regulations apply to the final aesthetics of the homes. They can include finishing styles, landscaping requirements, and allowable driveway materials. Other rules will impact a home’s architectural design and project plans, such as:
- Minimum square footage allowance.
- Property setbacks and easements.
- Building height maximums.
- Heating and cooling format.
What is the Development’s Future?
Looking at a bare piece of land surrounded by open spaces and clear views can be a powerful motivation for your project. It’s a good feeling. However, don’t let the development’s current zero vacancy rate sway your dreams too much.
Find out from the developer what the plans are for the neighbourhood. Good questions to ask include:
- Are future phases planned that may impede your view?
- Are legal suites allowed? If so, where can tenants park vehicles?
- Has the development planned for green spaces and community parks?
For a clearer picture of what your new home community may look like in the future, visit similar residential developments in your city.
Maximize Your Dream Home’s View and Sunlight
Maximizing natural light levels in homes has always been desirable. Sunshine provides many benefits to a home’s comfort, and it’s proven to promote good health and wellness. The direction the lot faces determines how much natural light your new home will receive.
You can work with the natural structure of your undeveloped lot to maximize your home’s access to natural light and preferential views. For example, smart window placement can drastically increase the levels of sunlight in living areas, and a strategic floor plan can make a home feel both spacious and warm. To achieve such effects will require working with an architect or construction management expert. When collaborating with industry professionals, stay informed and focused with an online project planner.
Know Your Energy Sources
Heating, cooling, and powering your home can be done in different ways. Natural gas, electricity, and even geothermal power are the most commonly used heat and power sources for residential buildings. Depending on the area’s infrastructure, you may not be able to choose your energy source.
How energy is brought into a house can affect its design and construction plans. For example, if natural gas is available to heat your home, you may want to consider a central heating unit. This would require the installation of ducts and vents throughout your home. If electricity is available to power and heat a house, multiple heat pumps may be preferred to avoid duct work.
Plan Your Build Wisely
As you can see, the lot you choose will come with various benefits and limitations that will inevitably affect your dream home’s design. In order to effectively plan and execute your build, you must consider a land’s natural features when choosing a development lot. Learn more about how to plan your dream home project like a pro using YourBuildCoach’s residential building project tool.