Choosing a section to build on is one of the first decisions you have to make when you've decided to build a new home.
While budget, lifestyle and proximity to local amenities will play a big part in your choice, sunshine, prevailing weather and even your neighbours are just some of the other factors you should consider as well.
Direct sunlight is the only free heating you can get for your home. When choosing a section to build on, try to picture what it will be like at different times of day, in all seasons to discover whether it gets decent exposure to sun in winter, and at what time of day the sun will hit your property in the morning and where and when you’ll lose it at night. Poor sunshine in winter could end up costing you more in heating bills.
Are services including water, electricity, telecommunications and effluent disposal close to the boundary of the site? If not how much will it cost to provide the services to the site?
It pays to find out whether the site is prone to hazards. Your Regional or local Council can provide this information, or you can request a LIM (Land Information Memorandum) from your local council.
If there are existing plantings on the site in unwanted areas, you should check whether they can be removed or if they’re protected.
If you want to build a residential property in an area zoned for other use, you will have to procure a resource consent, which can be time consuming and costly. Likewise, if you’re building in a rural area for example, there’s always a risk someone may want to set up a pig farm next door, or use that empty block across the road to dump effluent.
Read up on the district plan to check what’s in store for your site and the neighbourhood – are there any consent notices, covenants or easements on the site that might restrict you?
Can your view be built out by your neighbours? What are the planning restrictions for the adjoining sites? What conditions/restrictions are in place on your own site?
It goes without saying to choose a site size that accommodates your home aspirations, you family and lifestyle. Many people love the idea of a big back yard with room for gardens and a pool, but forget the amount of time and money spent on property maintenance increases with its size. It also pays to remember that initial landscaping costs can be quite pricey.
Steep, complex sites are going to cost more in design, earthworks and resource consent fees than flatter sites.
What are the ground conditions of the site like? Is the ground soft and silty? Is it rocky and exposed to high winds? Is it prone to erosion, in a flood zone or an earthquake prone area? Many sites in such areas will likely need additional engineering creating additional design, materials and labour costs.
If you need to chat to someone about choosing a section to build on, please contact your local David Reid Homes franchise – we’re experts at building on hilly and complex sites, knock downs and rebuilds, relocations and renovations.