Newsletter No. 4
Many people dream of building their own, perfect home rather than buying a standard house in a cookie cutter development. As you know, our goal is to make your house building experience enjoyable. You don't have to worry about finding the right contractor. We take care of you from start to finish. There is, however, still one part that needs your active involvement. Finding a building lot. To many people, this seems like an epic journey, but it doesn't have to be a bad one.
Where to start
First of all, you need to identify which town or neighborhood is best suited to your needs. There are many parameters to consider such as caliber of schools, beauty of the area and quality of transportation infrastructure. Is it easy to reach the next highway, downtown, the airport? How far is the commute? How bad is rush hour traffic? Are stores within walking distance, or do you prefer beautiful woodlands ? Is it quiet, or would you rather have entertainment in close proximity? Do you need a vibrant cultural program? These are some things you will need to consider. There are, however, a few more very important items that we would like to point out to you. Okay, we know, location, location, location is paramount, but there is more to a good piece of land than that. Solar orientation, access and views are often overlooked. Let us quickly outline what makes a good building lot great:
Where is the street?
Ideally, the street should be to the north or east for climate zones 4-7. We know this is not always possible, but if you have a choice, the location of the street should weigh heavily. Why is that? Because we want to optimize your house for solar design parameters. Solar gain and daylighting are very important parts of configuring an energy efficient home. In order to achieve that we open the facade up to the south so that the winter sun gets a chance to heat up your house for free! Privacy might become difficult for small sites if the street is on the south side of the property, so avoid this if at all possible.
How is the view?
Some lots have spectacular views, others don't. While this is important, the view is not necessarily a deal breaker. Should your lot not have a view, we can create awesome spaces with secluded courtyards offering shelter from nosy neighbors, serenity and tranquility. Or, we can arrange the rooms so that you can enjoy a view from upstairs. There are many ways to make the most of your land!
Slope versus flat site
This is also an interesting topic. While many people tend to look for a flat building site, a slope can offer stunning opportunities. Imagine a sustainable and sensitive design following the natural flow of the topography and thus creating unexpected spaces such as fully glazed walk-out basements. Doesn't that sound appealing?
A question of size
Many people wonder if they should buy a large lot or a smaller one . Well, that's a question only you, and your budget, can answer. It sounds appealing to build a gorgeous, modern home on a 10 acre lot. But it can also be a true revelation to build a compact yet spacious town home on an eighth of an acre. It all depends on your preferences and the skill of your designers. Our design team has realized homes on the most extravagant sites,as well as on tiny little spots in the center of a city. Speak to us - we'll make it work.
Trees: We love trees
But not necessarily where we want to achieve solar gain. Siting a house is a crucial task in the early design stages of your home. But rest assured, we are well-versed in this topic, you can rely on our expertise.
Land with a tear-down
So you've found the perfect lot, but there is a demolition-worthy structure on it. No problem! We can easily add the removal and site preparation to our services. We'll also speak with the local building authorities to discuss any replacement issues.
You found a few interesting sites?
Which one should you pick? In this case, we're here to help. We can look at the information you have, check it out on Google Maps and in many cases see things you might have overlooked. We can even meet you to look at the properties in question together. Emotions often take over when choosing a piece of land, leading to important aspects being overlooked. Although we, too, become very excited about each new customer, we have the professionalism to stay cool and rational when it comes to choosing the right lot. This is one component of great customer experience!