With most things in life, having a strong foundation you can build upon is important – and the block of land a home is built on is no different.
When it comes to building your forever home, there are several factors to consider to make sure you get it right.
Milford Homes Managing Director Mal Holmes said location was the obvious place to start.
“Location would usually be the dominating factor when looking at buying a block of land,” he said. “No point living in your perfect home if it’s in a location you don’t want to be.”
Ross Squire Homes General Manager Steve Grehan agreed and said to think about what you were looking for when it came to location.
“Is it close to amenities?,” he said. “Are you looking for a sea change or a tree change?”
Once you have ironed these details out and decided on the perfect location, choosing the right block is the next step, however, some lots are a bit more challenging than others, especially when building in rural Western Australia.
Mr Holmes said there was a multitude of factors that could contribute to a block being challenging to build on.
“Things such as reactive soils, the existence of rock or limestone, sloping sites, being located in a bushfire or flood zone or simply just the size of the property can be hurdles,” he said.
“If the soil on a property is a reactive type, commonly referred to as M-class sites, or there is the existence of hard earth, rocks or high water tables, slab construction – the most common type of home construction in WA over time – can bring in very onerous and expensive earthworks even if the property is completely flat.”
Mr Grehan said steep blocks with a high Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) or in a higher climate zone could also prove to be quite a challenge.
“Steep blocks can add costs in simply trying to get the building materials to the site,” he said. “Conforming to the requirements of a higher BAL can add considerable cost to construction and will often start to determine the design of the home.
“Lastly, building in climate zone 6, which stretches across our Great Southern region, can provide challenges in getting homes to the required six-star energy efficiency rating.”
The top tip both Mr Grehan and Mr Holmes had was to engage the right builder.
“My number one tip when it comes to selecting a block of land is to engage with a builder that is happy to help and guide you whilst making this decision,” Mr Grehan said. “There are many things to consider and if you think with your heart rather than your head it can potentially cost thousands of additional unforeseen dollars.”
Mr Holmes said the best builders took the time to understand the wishes of the client.
“Choosing to build a home is a huge decision to make and a process that brings in so many varying factors,” he said. “Ensuring that the builder which is chosen to work with a property owner through such an important process is experienced and willing to understand the needs of the client is key.”
Milford Homes, 9303 4493, www.milfordhomes.com.au
Ross Squire Homes, 9278 3400, www.rsh.com.au