After searching for the perfect house to call their forever home, many homeowners choose to build a custom home on an existing lot. This can be a great way to enjoy a custom home on the land you love, but there are some factors you should consider before starting your construction project. Learn how to check for zoning laws, use survey equipment to inspect your lot and other factors to consider as you prepare for your forever home.
Check Local Zoning Laws
Few things stop your building process in its tracks like a zoning law. Some laws are quite general, such as requiring property to be used for residential or commercial use, while other laws specify what items can be stored, the size of the building that can be constructed and other features. Work closely with your local building department from the beginning to keep your project moving forward in a safe, legal way.
You don’t let a zoning law hold you back from building the house of your dreams. You need to be aware of local restrictions, but it’s possible to petition for an exemption. Discuss your ideas with a zoning board to see if you can still move forward with your designs or if you can make small adjustments to still create the custom home you’ve been dreaming of.
Survey the Land
How well do you know the lay of the land? A lot in a city that’s already cleared for residential construction is easy to survey, but a large lot in the country can be difficult. Spend some time going over the entire property to find the ideal place to build your new home on your land.
Survey equipment helps find the slope of different areas. You can modify any landscape to create a suitable building site, but selecting the right area can save thousands of dollars in excavation and grading costs. Exploring all the building site alternatives on your property may give you a unique idea or a cost-saving alternative that shortens your drive, reduces grading costs or gives you the best view of your lot and the surrounding scenery.
Review Flood Zones
A picturesque lot next to a lake or river may make a great postcard, but it could also increase the risk of flood damage. Building next to a body of water could also compromise the foundation of the new structure. Work with a local building inspector and review local reports of flooding. You may still be able to build on a wetland property, but expect to pay significantly more for flood insurance to protect your investment.
Assess the Expected Taxes
Taxes can vary considerably from one community to another. Taxes for undeveloped lots aren’t the same as for new homes, so it’s crucial that you request a tax estimate for your proposed home. Don’t create a home that’s too costly for you to maintain or stay in. A tax estimate gives you the clear vision you need to move into your custom home and afford all your monthly expenses.
Prepare Your Building Site
After careful consideration of all these factors, it’s time to break ground. Hire local excavation experts to work the land and prepare for a solid foundation. Save money by planning the excavation and foundation work for your driveway and all your outbuildings at the same time.
Hire a land surveyor in Sacramento or shop for your own survey equipment at Engineer Supply today to prepare your lot for a new build. Browse drafting equipment to sketch your property and propose a location and style of home as you work with an architect and your local building department to make your dream home come true.