Written by Ducon Contractors and Homes on Oct 27, 2014.
Posted in Custom Homes, Design, Home Building,
Everybody fantasizes about their dream home. There are features we may really want: perhaps a balcony, a wall of windows, a fieldstone fireplace, maybe a cathedral ceiling in the living room with a gallery loft, or a complete home theatre in a finished basement. Perhaps you’re looking to build on the waterfront, or on a hilltop with breathtaking vistas, or maybe in a pastoral setting surrounded by fields and woodlands.
It’s good to have some idea of what you want in your dream home but before you draw up plans for a house you need to step back and do a thorough reality check. You need to assess your family’s needs and wants in a home. You need to assess the land and its suitability for the home you want, and you need to customize that dream home to conform to the location and local building codes. That’s where we come in at Ducon Contractors and Homes.
It’s all about location, location, location.
Often we find that clients choose their design first, then shop for a building lot and then a builder. We feel you should at least choose your lot before your design. It’s far easier and less expensive to make changes to your home plan than the land you will build on. Ideally, you’ll choose your builder first for guidance on your lot and home design.
Some of the first questions we ask clients to consider are: how long do you plan to live in your new home and how will its design fit in with your family’s lifestyle?
If you expect to be moving within the next ten years, resale potential is perhaps your biggest concern. Is the lovely lot you’ve chosen located in a place that gets a lot of sales at fair market value?
If you are planning to put down roots and raise a family, other factors have to be considered. How far are you from schools, hospitals, daycare and recreational activities for the kids? What will the commute be like? How far do you have to drive just to pick up a litre of milk or gas up the car?
If you are looking for a home for your retirement, how much property do you really want to manage and will you still be able to manage it in ten years time? Will its location affect your ability to travel or achieve other lifestyle goals?
These are questions a real estate agent or family members may be able help you answer, but a building contractor will have some even more important questions.
Is the lot buildable?
There’s more than meets the eye when considering a building lot. Does the water frontage mean it’s on a flood plain? Is that nice little marshy pond an environmentally protected wetland? Do those outcroppings of limestone indicate bedrock just below the surface that will need to be blasted to put in a foundation? Have there been mudslides on those steep hills? What’s in those woods behind your house?
Local design-build contractors like Ducon Contractors and Homes can help you answer these and other practical questions. If your lot is in a rural area, how far are you from power and telephone lines and what will it cost to bring them to your property? Is there cellular coverage or access to high speed internet? How deep do people have to drill for water in this area? Is the drainage sufficient for a septic field? If it’s in a town, you might want to ask about the hook up costs for electricity, gas lines, water and sewage utilities and cable if the lot is not in a subdivision. In either locale, you’ll want to know about essential services such as garbage and recycling collection, and response time for ambulance, fire and police services, which can affect your insurance premiums.
At Ducon, we know the local building codes in the Quinte area and eastern Ontario in terms of lot size, set backs from the road, house construction materials, house size and land usage restrictions. We can help you understand and plan the development of your dream home and property to conform to established regulations. This will save you time, money and effort spent on ideas that may not be permitted.
Local builders also keep well informed on what plans are being considered for other parcels of land in the neighbourhood – a wind farm, a subdivision, a waste management site, a quarry, a future highway extension. No one can predict all possible future development and rezoning that can happen, but most projects are under discussion in the municipal planning department for several years before they break ground.
Design your home to fit your lot and your lifestyle
When you’ve settled on a lot that suits your needs and presents no insurmountable obstacles, then is the right time to focus on the design of your home. Whether you want to customize an existing plan or start from scratch, discuss your ideas with your design-builder. At Ducon Contractors we can advise you on customizing the design and orientation of your house so that it will work with the landscape in the most attractive, energy efficient and economical manner possible while fitting your current and future lifestyle needs.
Day dreams cost nothing but your ideal home is a big investment and every step requires careful consideration and planning. Start with making the right decision on a location that fits your lifestyle and then consult with your contractor on how best to incorporate the elements of your dream home into a design that will work with the terrain, the environment and the regional building regulations.
At Ducon Contractors and Homes, we have had years of experience working with clients customizing and designing homes to make the best use of their building lots. Stop fantasizing; contact us to help you make your dream home a reality.
In our next blog we’ll discuss custom designing your home to suit your lifestyle and needs.