Seven tips to help you choose the perfect section to build on

There are several steps to building a new home, and choosing a section is one of the first you’ll have to take. It’s also one of the most important.

Choosing the right section can make your build easier, and ensure that your new home is a comfortable, safe place to be. On the other hand, choosing the wrong one is a surefire way to turn an easy build into a nightmare.

1. Think about access

Building a home requires a certain level of site access which may be blocked or made difficult by trees, powerlines, shared driveways and other obstructions. Before you buy a section, give us a call to double check that your site is accessible.

2. Check the aspect and shape

Sections that are shaded by tall buildings or face south may make getting natural light into a new home difficult. Look for a north-facing section that’s bathed in light all day if you can.

You should also consider the shape of the section. Generally speaking, wide, square land is easier and better and creates more flexibility with house design, whereas long, narrow sections are less ideal.

Before you buy a section find out the location of utilities

3. Consider the location of utilities

Connecting utilities like water and electricity to a new home costs money, and the further these utilities are away from the home, the more expensive it’ll be. Before you buy any section, check how far away utilities are and get an idea of how much it’ll cost to connect them.

4. Get a geotechnical report

A section’s more than the top inch of grass and soil. You’re also buying and building on the earth underneath the grass so it’s important that you know what’s going on down there. A geotechnical report will tell you all you need to know about the stability of the site and is usually required when applying for building consent.

5. Double check the title

Always inspect the land title with your lawyer before buying a section. It’s particularly important to make note of any easements on the land and whether there are easements in place to make connecting services to the section easier.

Picking the right section is one of the most important steps in any build. 

6. Research zoning and covenants

Zoning and/or covenants may restrict the type, size or style of home you can build on a section, so you need to be aware of them before you buy. Your lawyer can check these with council offices before you buy to make sure you don’t run into any nasty surprises after you buy.

7. Look into risks and concerns

If your section’s on a cliff or beachfront, you need to know whether or not the cliff’s edge and the section itself is stable. If there’s a stream or water source nearby, you need to find out more about whether or not it’s a flood risk. There are many more possible risks that could make your section difficult to build and live on so you need to make sure you understand them before you buy.

Talk to your local council and your builder as they may be able to give you information on risk factors on or nearby your section. A good geotech report should also help answer your questions. But if it doesn’t, make sure you investigate further to avoid buying a troublesome section.

Choosing a section can be tricky and there’s a lot riding on your decision. If you need a hand or a word of advice at any stage, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Golstruct Homes team for a chat. We’re keen to help with every stage of your build, from choosing an empty section to handing over the keys to your brand new home.