Building a new home is a major event in one’s life, especially when the home you have in mind is not that of the cookie-cutter variety that you’d find in a display village – with a standard set of options, upgrades and colour schemes to choose from and the half a dozen minor changes allowable for the block you’re on – but that of the totally unique variety that has been designed, planned and built for no one else but you.
One of the first steps you’ll take on the journey of building your dream home will be finding the piece of land you’ll be building it on. Only then will your architect be able to start working on the design, knowing the building envelope, block elevations and terrain they’re working with.
Many times, that block of land will already have a home with connected utilities that you’ll need to demolish before you can start on your own build.
In this 2 part series, we have compiled a list of steps and tasks you’ll need to carry out in the planning of a knock-down and rebuild.
Step 1 of 8: Council Planning
The very first thing you should do – well before you even put an offer in to buy – is contact your local council to establish if there are any overlays (heritage or vegetation) or easements affecting your land, what you can and can’t do or where you can and can’t build on the property.
If you’re bidding at auction, being armed with this information well ahead of time is critical, because if you call out the winning bid, you are purchasing the property ‘unconditionally’, meaning there is no option to pull out of the purchase if you find that you cannot do what you want later.
Your council can provide you with summaries of the land’s Planning Zone and Planning Overlays. Take the time to review these reports, or contact your local council for further details regarding clarification.
Remember: Australia’s real estate industry is one of the most policed industries in the world and there are harsh penalties for those not adhering to its strict codes of conduct. However, as most agents are not trained on the legalities, you should ALWAYS do your own research.
Unless you’re very experienced in the knowledge and meanings of these council codes and restrictions, we recommend that you provide these reports to your legal representative and architect for review.
The next step is to consider the block frontage and depth.