Choosing Your Building Site

Choosing a building site is of course imperative when you decide to build a new home. If you’re not intending to live in the house that you are building for more than a couple of years, then you have to choose a lot where its’ going to appreciate in value when you decide to sell it. 


Tips On Choosing A Lot

  1. Choose a lot that is not on a busy road. A house on a busy intersection will put off a potential buyers who have children or are of older age range. Some may not even want to buy the house because backing out into traffic isn’t such a great idea. 
  2. The size of the house you want to build will also pre-determine the lot that you choose. If you want to build a big house you will want to make sure that the lot is going to accompany it. Look into the easement stipulations as they vary between different cities, and you want to make sure that if you’re looking at a lot on the smaller side, you will need to find out what the easement are and the set backs so you know exactly how you would have to fit your house on it and if it would fit at all.
  3. Look at the neighbourhood. Appraisal value of a house is not only decided on your house and the square footage of your house but also the houses around it. If the houses around the lot that you are looking at are old and are not as nice it is going to bring down the value of your house and might end up being worth less. This will also factor not only the re-sell value of your home, but also into the amount that the bank will appraise it for loan. You might not to be able to get as much money from the bank because on new construction loans they usually only will loan you 80% of the appraisal value. 
  4. Choose a lot that will ‘show off’ your house. For example if you get a corner lot in a cold de sac you can put your house on an angle so that when people drive in and out your house will draw their attention. Cold de sacs are also easier to back out of their drive ways and they have more parking when they have people over. 
  5. Know where the property line starts and stops. You will want to make sure that you have it surveyed and that you know where every corner of your lot is. It should be marked out for you with stakes or some other type of markers. The reason why this is important is so that you can make sure that you are getting all of the square footage that you are paying for. 
  6. Find out where the sewer and water lines are. This is important so that when the excavator comes in to do his job he will know where to dig to find where to connect to the water and sewer. The water and sewer should be marked with markers. This is an involved process. How deep it goes depends on how deeply the ground will frost during the winter and how saturated the ground will become in the spring. A structural engineer will be in charge of exactly how deeply the foundation is dug.
  7. Plumbing. This is something that you must decide on before the foundation is being laid. If you’re wanting a wet bar to the family room or a half bathroom in the basement, those decisions must be made before the foundation is laid. Be solid with your decisions on this as making changes afterward will be very costly.
  8. Elevation. The elevation of your home, whether it is on a hill or in a low-lying area, is one of the first things you need to look at on your home site. Potential flooding, run-offs and liability for lower elevation home especially if you’re on a high elevation must be taken into consideration when deciding on your lot. Also think about the actual slope of the plot of land and how it will affect your driveway, recreation areas, and so forth. 
  9. Look at the direction your house will face. Where the sun rises or sets can set the whole mood in your home. Bear in mind that if you’re wanting a sunny area, a full sun exposure can cause fading to your home\’s furnishings. A late afternoon sun into the living room may also prove too hot for some home owners.
  10. Ever heard of that beautiful view that’s been compromised because of new building projects around the area? Find out what the builder\’s / neighbourhood plans are; that nice wooded lot next to you may eventually turn into a house. Take into account city planning as well. If you are building a home off of a large parcel of land, there is a good chance it could be commercially developed in the future, compromising your views. 

Laying the Foundation 

So after all the above considerations, you’ve got your lot purchased, secured the permits and finances to build your new home. The next step is to get started on your foundation. There are some steps you must take to get your lot ready for the foundation.



The survey process is done to make sure that the placement of the house will meet all of the codes and regulations for that zone. Every area has a set of requirements about things like how close a house can be to the sidewalk, or how far it should be from property lines. This is not done by yourself, you will have a surveyor come and survey your property.



After the land is surveyed, the surveyor will insert stakes at every corner of the house that which will be built. You or your builder will insert a second set of stakes a couple of feet outside of the surveyor stakes called offset stakes. These off set stakes will be the markers that the excavator uses. 

This leaves some room between the hole that the foundation will be poured into and the actual frame for the foundation. It would be very hard to pour the foundation if there were no working room around the foundation frame. These offset stakes also provide some working room.

You will need to hire expert help at this stage. Foundation dug at the wrong depth can cause shifting, and this includes your walls and floors that will shift with it, causing cracks. If your foundation sinks so will your whole house. This will only make your house difficult if not impossible to sell. Foundations problems can happen almost over night. One freeze and thaw cycle can change your dream home into a nightmare.