3 tips for laying out your property before building

Date Wednesday, 9 September 2015 12:00 AM

A home may look beautiful in a magazine or in an online catalogue, but translating that design onto your block is another story. Your section's size, gradient, climate and other constraints all come into play when building a new home, so make the most of your land by factoring these elements into your concepts.

Before your local home builder picks up a hammer, get a better idea of how your property will look upon completion with these three tips:  

1. Think about road access  

Obviously, your home needs to be connected to the main road via a driveway. It might sound simple, but there are a number of things to take into consideration.   

Is your driveway design in line with local building codes?

For instance, how will the driveway be positioned in relation to the rest of the house? Will parts of the land need to be levelled to allow for driveway construction - and if so, how will this affect build costs? How will you manage water run off? Have you allowed enough space for the minimum driveway width according to local building codes? Move on with the design phase only after you're able to answer these questions.  

2. Visit display homes  

Keeping a scrapbook of your favourite design ideas is a good start, but it doesn't offer quite the same insight as visiting a completed home. Have a walk around the neighbourhood and take a look at houses built on blocks of land similar to yours in size and topography. For further inspiration and a better idea of how your floor plans might carry over into the real world, visit some display homes in your area.  

This video of one of our recently completed display homes in Toowoomba offers a glimpse of what you can expect:  

3. Consider the property's orientation  

Clever positioning can unlock better views, make some spaces more accessible and generally improve the home's overall aesthetics. In addition, it might even save you money on heating and cooling by passively controlling the temperature of the home.  

Selecting the ideal orientation of your home largely depends on the region and climate. The Australian government's Your Home program recommends orienting longer walls to the north in colder climates in order to maximise sun exposure in winter. On the other hand, in hot and humid environments, positioning your home in the shade of buildings, trees and other natural features can help keep the temperature comfortable.  

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