How to select a land to build your house

When selecting the land to build your house there are many things to be considered. Today's article explains some major aspects on how to select a land area.

As kids we had many dreams and hopes. Those dreams change as we grow up. Once you start earning, the need of having your own home becomes important. Building your own house, having your own house can be pretty enthralling. But one must not forget how complicated and difficult this process could be. Before building your own house, you need to select a proper land for that. But how can you check if a land is ideal to build your house? This is a really important fact to consider because once you’ve done building your house, there is no return. You got to accept the result. If it turns out great land, well you are in luck. These are some of the aspects we should consider when selecting a land.

  • Zoning restrictions
  • Utility access
  • Climatic aspects
  • Disaster return periods (if any)
  • Soil quality of the land
  • Orientation and inclination of the land

Zoning restrictions

It is important to check the zoning regulations of the land as well as surrounding property. Because your land might be under special law that you are not aware of such as, you are not allowed to remodel that land even though you are the owner of the land. There have been incidents where people have tried to sell these kinds of lands under cheap prices. These restrictions and regulations can be caused due to many reasons such as historic value of the land or the biological or the ecological value of he lands. One can find the information about the land from the respective local authority.

Ownership of the land

To select a land, the buyer must know the ownership of the land. This can be achieved by examining the deed of the land. Generally, the seller need to have a deed report of the land before selling them. However, deeds are legal documents. Hence it would be difficult for you to understand, especially if you have no clue about these legal aspects. So it is advised to examine the deed of land with an experienced professional. Hiring a lawyer for this task is one of the best options you have. In the deed there are many information such as whether it belongs to a single owner, whether there are boundary issues, original ownership of the land etc. And as mentioned earlier, these details are tricky. If you do not pay attention, you might end up in a legal mess.     

Accessibility of the utilities

A land must have the easy access for the utilities such as water, electricity. These are the essential utilities, in order to carry the human life. Furthermore, proximity to stores and supermarkets is also crucial.

Climatic aspects

There are different kinds of people in the world and these different people prefer variety. Some people prefer flowery springs, some prefer cool winters, and some prefer colorful autumns. One must identify the climatic character of the area prior to selecting the land to build their dream houses. This affects in 2 ways. One is the personal preference of the climatic aspects and the second is the house design. There are specific house designs that is designed according to different climatic aspects. Tropical climate zones need houses that has continuous ventilation, but also careful enough not to invite bugs in. houses in the cold areas need more sunlight within the house in order to maintain the heat. Hence it is important to identify the climate zone of the area, otherwise the result would be problematic. You won’t experience these issues until you finish the house completely.

Natural disasters

It is important to identify the natural disasters that the land is prone to. Heavy rain, flooding situations, landslides could affect your day to day life in a very bad way. And it is not that simple because these disasters can invite the death to your beautiful house. For an example, the landslide in “Aranayaka” area caused so much casualties. At this kind of situations, one must not think about the cheap price of the land because, what they are dealing with could be the life of one of their loved ones.

Related article: What are Pre Engineered Buildings

Soil quality of the land

The quality of the soil can impact the land in many ways. If the soil is too week to bear a load, the cost of the house foundation increases. It affects the vegetation as well. Over clayey soil or over sandy soil situations are not ideal when it comes to building structures. Amount of soil work and earth retention that needs depends on the soil quality of the land. Not only the stability of the soil but also the soil nutrients levels should be taken into consideration, especially if you prefer your own nice garden.

Orientation of the land

Many people have no idea about the orientation when selecting the land. Some worry about it because of the “Wasthu” factors. The orientation of the land plays a major role of the planning stage of the house. Identifying the cardinal directions are vital before implementing the plan. If someone needs, he morning sunlight in their house they need to know how to orient their house for that factor. If someone does not want any major sun rays in their house, they should be cautious not to orient their house on the north or west directions. Furthermore, one must consider about the borrowed landscapes or the views before placing the house. It is not ideal if you have a terrible view in a place where you expected to be chilling, is it?

Inclination of the land

Most people prefer flat lands, since it is easier to build their houses without worrying about additional technical details. This is in fact right. A higher level of technical knowledge is required when it comes building structures in inclined lands. But even if this is a bit more difficult, the end result could be more fascinating; provided that you have a proper house design. There are many beautiful houses built in inclined lands and their beauty is amplified with the land inclination.

Personal preference

No matter how stable your land is not matter how it is close to the city, if the owner doesn’t like it, that’s the end of it. Some people prefer lands that are closer to the city and people, and some prefer isolation. Imagine that you prefer peace of mind and the land you selected has a busy neighborhood. You might regret that forever. Same goes with the people who prefer company. Another aspect to be considered is the distance to the nearest city. This also depends on the personal preference. If you are an introverted person who prefers isolation, may be a land in a city is not for you. However, there are number of advantages you’d get living near a city. Better schools, better hospitals, better markets, many choices etc. And if you look carefully you can find many calm and isolated lands close to the city without the disturbance of the city life.

As we mentioned earlier, building your dream house is a major milestone in your life. But you don’t want to mess that at selecting the land. Select a land very carefully, because that is the place where you are going to spend the most of your life.

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S. Herath
Landscape Architect Department, University of Moratuwa

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