Things to consider when buying a new home

You’ve brought your land and now you’re ready to start building … or are you? With any new building project it’s important your design fits with the scale and shape of the land. This minimizes problems in years to come and ensures you end up with the best looking house on the street.

The first thing you need to consider is the impact of your potential home on your site. Earthworks are expensive, and shifting earth and clearing vegetation add to the risk of erosion, ground instability and landslides. Position your house on site to minimize earthworks.

A smaller home will have less impact than a larger one. Remember, you pay around R20 000oo per square metre of home, so make sure you need all that extra space. A smaller house will also cost you less to maintain over its lifetime. A large house on a small section can look out-of-place and affect the value of the home.

Remember too, that the more buildings, structures and hard, paved surfaces cover your site, the more risk you have of runoff. To reduce runoff, keep your building’s footprint (the area of building on the ground) compact and use paths made of stepping stones, gravel, timber and shells instead of paving.

Sloping sites are the most difficult to build on, as often significant amounts of earthworks need to occur to create an area suitable for a house. A multi-level home on piles will reduce the amount of earthworks needed, while also helping you to maximize views over the landscape.

Before designing your new home or renovation, it’s important to carefully assess your site and make good use of the natural features you already have. Earthworks and vegetation clearing will cost you money and could end up being harmful to the environment and to your new home.