How to choose the right block of land for your home
Choosing the ideal block of land for the type of home you want to build is so important. While the experienced GW Homes builders can help you make the most of almost any block, doing your homework before buying a block of land could save you money and give you the home of your dreams.
We asked Jody Armstrong, GW Homes’ Principal Design Consultant, to share her top 7 things you should investigate before buying a block of land in Brisbane and South East Queensland.
1. Consider the slope of the block
If you’re looking at buying a sloping block to build on, it’s important to think about how the block’s contours will affect your home design. Every sloping block is different, which means they’ll affect your home design differently.
You may be able to choose an existing ‘off-the-shelf’ home design, or you might be better off customising a design so that it works better with a sloping site. Either way, the GW Homes team can design a beautiful home to fit your budget.
“Customising your home design doesn’t always have to add huge costs to your build,” says Jody. “An experienced sloping site designer and builder can work in sympathy with a sloping block instead of against it, to create a home that suits the land without breaking the bank.”
2. Look at the dimensions & shape of the block
Even in Brisbane’s master planned developments, there is a huge array of different shapes and sizes of blocks of land available. And of course, this will hugely affect the home design that can be built.
Depending on the size and shape of your land, you may be able to build an existing house design, or customise a plan to perfectly suit the block. And if the land has a very unusual shape or size, a custom home design may be the way to go. A site inspection from an experienced builder is the perfect way to find out your options.
3. Think about the aspect of your block
Perhaps the most important consideration of all is a block’s aspect, which affects the direction your new home will face. That’s because the way the sun moves across your home throughout the day has a huge impact on the liveability of your home, your energy bills, and the overall sustainability of your home.
To GW Homes, ensuring your new home’s design makes the most of the block’s aspect is our number one priority.
“I’d say definitely don’t put pen to paper to buy your land until you really understand the aspect of the block,” says Jody. “Designing a home to suit the aspect will make such a difference to your home’s liveability today and resale value tomorrow.”
4. Investigate the block’s drainage
It’s not just the visible features of a block of land that will influence your new home design. Under the surface can lie assorted sewer and stormwater drainage which will affect how you can design and build a home – especially if you’re planning to knock down and rebuild.
“In older suburbs of Brisbane, council drainage pipes can run straight through or diagonally across a block of land,” says Jody. “So it’s crucial to have an accurate picture of exactly what lies under the block, well before an excavator hits the dirt.”
Building around or even relocating sewer or stormwater drainage can add considerable costs to your home build – which may be acceptable if you can negotiate a proportionate discount on the purchase price. It’s all about knowing the exact situation before you commit to purchasing a block of land.
5. Be aware of flood, overland flow, and storm surge
In Brisbane’s unpredictable climate, it’s vital to understand how water may affect your block of land and your home. There are three sources of water to check:
Overland flow is the excess rainwater that runs across land after heavy rainfall. Check the Brisbane City Council’s overland flow overlay here.
Storm surge flooding caused by higher than normal sea levels due to storms or cyclones, may affect low-lying or coastal blocks of land.
Lastly, you can check the impact of floods such as Brisbane’s major 2011 event with the Council’s flood awareness maps here.
If your block of land is affected by any of these water sources, it will dictate where you can situate your home’s habitable floor areas such as bedrooms or living rooms.
6. Is your building site in a bushfire zone?
If the block you’re thinking of buying is adjacent to a heavily treed or bushland area, it may be officially part of a designated bushfire-prone area. This means that your new home design will need to meet standards set by the Queensland State Government.
These bushfire standards will dictate what GW Homes may include in your home design, from the need for a concrete slab, to the type of windows and doors that can be used, and even the guttering and downpipes.
Meeting these bushfire standards may add an additional cost to building your home design. So it’s good to be aware of exactly what building on a bushfire-prone block of land involves, before you sign on the dotted line. Check the Brisbane City Council’s bushfire overlay here.
7. What Council classifications apply to a building site?
There are many local council classifications which may apply to a block of land, which will affect your home design. The Demolition Control Precinct, the Traditional Building Character Overlay, and the Heritage Overlay are a few examples.
You should also determine whether the block is located under a flight path, or close to a train line or freeway. This can mean council will require you to factor in acoustic issues when you’re planning your new home.
Brisbane City Council’s Planning and Development online tool could give you valuable information about council classifications for the block of land you’re thinking of buying.
Choose your ideal block of land with help from GW Homes
It’s clear to see that there are many different factors to consider before you sign on the dotted line to buy your land. The GW Homes team will be happy to help.
“If you think you’ve found the perfect block of land, it’s tempting to sign a contract quickly before it gets away!” Jody says. “But you should think about inserting a due diligence clause, which gives you time to do your homework and make sure it’s the right block for you.”
Before you commit to buying a block of land, the GW Homes design team will be happy to come out and walk on the block with you, to help you understand whether the site is just right for your needs.
To arrange a free site inspection of your Brisbane block of land, call the experienced GW Homes team on 3393 1399 or fill out the contact form here.