Building and Architect Designed Home on Acreage – Where to Begin
What’s the biggest challenge when building an architect designed home on acreage? – Well, some acreage home designs are just too good – you have so many options!
There’s always more than one great spot you can build on, views in all directions, sunsets and sunrises to enjoy – Where do you start? How do you make sure you’ll be living in the best home possible on this special piece of land?
If you’re a little over-awed by the possibilities, and how to get your custom home design right – let us help. Forget the jungle of options – you’ll find that once you go through a detailed site appraisal with our in-house Architect, a clear direction will unfold and you’ll have a strong concept that will drive all of your design decisions.
There’s a lot to consider!
The slope of the area you plan to build on will have the biggest effect on your project costs. Most often we underestimate the slope when standing on site. It’s important to get a detailed contour survey first and assess all the options for building locations.
This can have a big impact on cost too. You may need to provide additional fire proofing construction or have an area of trees cleared. Getting a detailed Bushfire Report that assesses each face of your home independently may cost more up front, but can save you a lot in construction costs and lead to the best positioning of your home.
If your acreage property is open, on an exposed platform or high on a ridge, you will be subject to a higher wind rating. This means more bracing and engineering costs, so find out before design gets underway.
the slope and distance of tanks need to be considered as well as the capacity you are after and whether you want in-ground or above ground tanks. They are a significant cost including pumps, rainwater heads, excavation and plumbing so factor the complete cost in early.
You need to provide what’s noted in your building contract as ‘All Weather Access’. That means it’s your responsibility to ensure the builder and suppliers can access the site throughout construction. You may need to import road base or cut a well-designed road or driveway before construction commences. The length of the driveway and the type of finish can make this another considerable cost in your total budget.
It’s important to establish clearly, before designing your home, if there is any vegetation protection zone over your property. There is time involved in getting a NAL Permit or a change to your building envelope if required. Sometimes it’s worth going through this process to get your home in the best location and sometimes the constraints of your site leave you with no choice.
These can vary for rural areas and be important if there are any secondary dwellings on the site. We always check these requirements before design begins.
This is an important part of your design – including how the site cut is contoured, how water is moving around the house and the best location points to pick up extra ground water. These can be overlooked and left for you to work out after construction, we recommend they be integrated into your stormwater drainage plan and site works from the start.
The location of these and soil type around the home need to be considered early. Approvals for plumbing with on-site sewerage can also add weeks to your approval, so we do these early. We have researched systems that we work with. Some are more expensive up front, and some have more maintenance costs over the life of the system, we can give you our best advice on options.
Power to the Site
If you need to extend power a long way from the road or if your need to get Energex involved for any installation work to your site, the costs can be significant, so get some quotes before you buy or early in the process. You may also need 3Phase power and allow additional funds for an upgraded meter box and cabling.
Your design and roofline may also need to take into account Solar Power and the extent of panels you require. Allowing for future battery storage can also be planned for.
Of course, there’s the all-important views! Sometimes your views are to the South or West and you still want an outdoor area to enjoy winter sun, or you might be looking towards the South East and need to protect from winds and storms coming in from that direction. Some of these conflicting interests can be easily resolved with good design.
With all the above, an experienced Architect and Builder will manage these site requirements and pick up on the finest features of your site with ease.
The roofline, framing of views, achieving great air-flow, creating protected outdoor living – these can all compliment the unique potential of your land and give you the architect designed home you’ve imagined .
Civic Steel Homes aren’t just a Builder and we aren’t just a Designer. We’re BOTH.
Our talented in-house Architect is also our Licensed Builder and he works with you throughout your project. It’s a total one-one-one service with the backup of our Project Managers, who each have over 20 years’ experience. Together, our small team will fine tune all the details for you.
– We’ll organise all your site reports first – BEFORE design work begins.
– We’ll complete a thorough architect’s Design Brief – to understand exactly what you want
– We’ll develop an outline of all project costs
– AND We’ll pull everything together to give you the best value architecture possible!
As we progress, the right design will emerge, making the most of your land’s best features – giving you the home you’ve waited for. Call us to take advantage of our Architect’s on-site meeting – It’s FREE! and we’ll give you our BEST advice to get you started.
Acreage home design with a view
For example, you want to make the most of the view, but your block (like so many acreage blocks in southeast Queensland) might offer fantastic views in ALL directions. Do you build your home to overlook the tall gums to the West or the rainforest to the North? Or go with a house design that overlooks the valley to the South or the ocean view to the East?
Practical planning essential
Another house design challenge arises when your best view is to the west or the south, but the ideal position for your outdoor living area is on the northeast.
In order to have the best of both worlds, you must take a practical approach to your home design. Practical planning, in which you prioritise all the best elements of your block, will help you and your builders create a home that takes maximum advantage of the benefits your land has to offer.
Elements to consider when designing your home
Design for acreage living needs to be functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. This means there is plenty to consider. For example, how will the design accommodate effective water collection? Where will it allow for the placement of solar power panels?
The great outdoors
In keeping with our Australian culture of outdoor living and our love of entertaining, the main focus of your house design should be creating an outdoor living area that works for you in all seasons. A good residential architect will focus on your outdoor living area and design the rest of your home around that.
The comforts of an acreage home
Indoors, the design should incorporate high ceilings, and plenty of natural light. Not to mention getting the full benefit of surrounding vistas.
A well thought out design that captures summer breezes might mean that you rarely need to air condition your acreage home. However, when the driving rain comes in from the south you’ll be glad of a house design that gives you option to control unwelcome wind and weather.
With the right approach you can take in all the best views and have an outdoor area and spacious home that compliments the many great features of your land.
Acreage Home Designs
Do you dream of having your own rural retreat?
Enough land to enjoy peace and tranquillity and a buffer between you and the ever encroaching world?
As a leading rural home builder, Civic Steel Homes can make your dream a reality by creating a spacious new home on your country estate designed to tick all of your personal space requirements with fewer design compromises than those in the inner city.
From a building point of view, large blocks usually have fewer challenges than dealing with tight, narrow suburban blocks.
This allows our custom acreage home architects more freedom through the design stage.
However, be aware that there may be quite a few additional costs associated with building on acreage blocks that residential blocks don’t have.
For example, you may need additional power, usually 3-phase for the length of the run.
You might also have to consider the costs of longer access driveways, additional sewerage treatment plant costs, plus water tanks and water harvesting costs.
Your acreage home may even need higher wind ratings for frames and windows.
On top of the costs, Australian country style homes may be compromised by the fact that project builders have few, if any standard designs for acreage.
An acreage home builder that thinks outside the box
The approach for rural house designs or acreage home designs often requires out-of-the-box solutions for capturing the wide panoramic views and prevailing breezes normally associated with country home designs.
Civic Steel Homes understand that great acreage house designs require the building to have a considered relationship to the land and different requirements to built up areas.
We will factor in aspects such as water conservation, attention to correct orientation and details such as bushfire requirements and waste treatment.
We will also make the most of the fact that there are no boundary restrictions, relaxations from close neighbours or restrictive covenants, and far less privacy issues than normal blocks.
To build a home on acreage requires far less compromise on efficient design, so we will be able to have more zones of the house in the desired northern aspect.
Importantly, there will be plenty of room for storage, a factor often overlooked or severely compromised in suburban homes.
Talk to Civic Steel Homes today about some of the most distinctive acreage house plans Australia has seen, and for some great tips on building a totally sustainable acreage home design, particularly in Queensland, read this blog article.
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Acreage Home Design Gallery