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Steps to Building a House: Picking Your Location

When it comes to building your home, you likely plan on leaving the many steps involved to the experts. That makes sense of course. They know more about plumbing, framing, drywall, insulation, electricity, and the like. Yet among the steps to building a house, you can be involved in the first stage: picking your location. This article outlines the main factors to consider.

Finding your location is a fundamental step in building a house. After all, you need somewhere to put your modern house plan or customized variation. While so much is moving online these days, this is one thing that simply can’t. So, what do you need to keep in mind when picking the most desirable place to live? Several things, and we’ll examine them in more detail here.

#1 Climate

It is perhaps more difficult today to anticipate what climate is going to be like in the future. Still, you can at least do research now to determine what you might expect at the location you’re considering as far as:

  • Temperatures
  • Humidity
  • Precipitation
  • Season differentiation
  • Extreme weather

This isn’t just about anticipating how comfortable you might be in this new location. It can also mean special considerations for building the house. For instance, if you’re in an area prone to hurricanes or earthquakes it could change structural requirements. If the home needs to handle intense heat or frigid cold, that could factor into design too.

#2 View

Imagining yourself sitting on the patio sipping a cocktail, or in the backyard barbecuing, or reading a book in a nook with a picture window is one of the important steps to building a house. The fantasy of what your life will look like in your new, customized home is part of the fun! And much of the enjoyment you get from your favorite new spot in this planned home will come from the view.

If you have the opportunity, it’s best to check out the view from your proposed homesite in different seasons. A beautiful view in the Fall, when the trees are brightly colored, could become a clear line of sight to the neighboring utility plant in winter wheat the leaves are off the trees. Even if you don’t have a full year to make your decision at least try to envision what the view will be at different times of the year.

#3 Topography

You might think you want a big flat square of land to make building the house easy. But, actually, flat ground can make a difference to water drainage. On the other hand, a steep slope or exposed rock can make the build more challenging. Maybe your home builder can take advantage of a slope. Just be sure to take topography into consideration.

While you’re onsite, also take note of sun, water, wind, and ground stability. Understanding where the sunlight will stream through the house can help you make a plan for the interior design. Too much direct sun can also impact your utility use, so you may want to add exterior features to provide shade. Or site the house in relation to trees or rock outcrops to help moderate indoor temperatures.

The sound of flowing water can be soothing nearby. But you don’t want to hear it running across the floor of your laundry or great room. Work with a home builder who will look for signs of flooding, consider the paths of runoff, and determine drainage patterns to help your home location suit the environment.

Strong winds and ground stability are also important to learn about in advance. For instance, building on the top of an exposed hilltop could leave your home buffeted by harsh winds. Or building on shifting sand or otherwise unstable ground could mean your home will fall over in extreme conditions.

#4 Utilities & Services

Wherever you live now, the most you may have had to think about electricity and water is to get your account started with the local provider. However, when you’re picking a new location, unless you plan to live off the grid, you’ll want to confirm that you’ll have convenient access to electric power and potable water. It’s also worth looking into the cable and broadband networks reaching your proposed new home. Since you’re reading this article online, we can only assume you have some computers you want to connect.

Learn more also about emergency response services and how mail will reach your home site. You might look into public transportation that is available now as well as proposed changes that could bring a rapid bus line or light rail train to your new neighborhood.

#5 Community

Of course, you’re going to want to spend a lot of time inside your lovely new home. But, you’ll want to get out and explore at times too. It’s easy today to search online for neighborhood reviews that share information about schools, crime rates, medical professionals available, and other community infrastructure.

You’ll also want to find out about property tax rates and what you can expect in terms of garbage and recycling pickup. Look into the city or town’s financials too. Also, it’s worth investigating how recently the city water mains and local roads have been maintained. Everything could appear great right now, but in five years you could be facing some serious construction frustrations.

Building a house requires you to look into the future. This starts with looking at a location and seeing the potential. Working with a professional can help you keep track of the important considerations and make the best choice for locating your forever home. Or find out the locations we’ve already sited. Saussy Burbank is here to help.


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