Build on your own land Jamaica – Choosing your lot.
Choosing the lot on which you will build your house is very important. Choosing your lot you should take each the following into consideration
The lot of land that you choose can drastically increase the cost of your build on own land construction. Different land conditions have different advantages and disadvantages. Sloping lots tend to have better views because they are elevated about other buildings.
Getting, or being able to access great views can be a major selling point in, or an advantage to buying a lot. However, it is also involves a more rigorous site preparation process. You may need to pay for blasting of rocks and leveling areas of the lot with heavy duty equipment such as tractors, backhoes and trucks to toe away waste and rubble. The rental of this equipment can be very costly and increases your construction cost tremendously. You may also have to construct retaining wall and culverts to catch and direct rain and storm water from roofs and hard ground surfaces.
Flatter plots of land often times do not offer you a view, but they have provide the advantage of not having to spend a lot of your construction budget on preparing the land for the construction of your project.
Means of access to your lot can influence the design of our house. The terrain of the land will dictate the point of entry to your lot. Your access will consequently affect where you place the entry to your house and how you traverse or circulate from one area to another internally. It will also affect the slope or steepness of your driveway and your experience in traversing, such as the ability to turn and reverse vehicles into and out of your lot.
What is the prevailing architectural style of the area? Is it a Spanish style, Mediterranean style etc? in some residential areas there are strict agreements (covenants) that govern the architectural style of the buildings, height of the house, number of stories, colours to paint external walls and roofing materials to be used in the design and construction of your house.
SIZE AND PROPORTION
What is the proportion of between the size of your house and your lot? If you build out to the boundary your house becomes imposing and the beauty of your design can be lost. Why not leave green spaces for recreation to be enjoyed by your children and family? Green spaces can also be on your roof if you have limited land to play with on the ground. Building a green roof is great design option.
What are the geographical features such as wells and water courses that might affect the design of your house? If you have a well on your property it still belongs to the government and it cannot be claimed as your own although it is on your land. If you’re buying a beach front property, the beach is still public property and owned by the government and you now have to think about how you control access from the beach by or from your house and from passersby.
If you buy a property whether in the city or in the country side with a historic (old) building there may be reasons for concern. If there is a historic building on your lot you may not be able to demolish or significantly change its appearance because it is of, or possesses historical and/or social history, and cultural value and significance. It is important to verify with the local historic and preservation societies in your country if the building is on their list for historic significance and value. There have been cases in the past where persons have bought lots with the intention of demolishing a derelict structure only to find out that it’s protected building (although unpreserved) and therefore were not allowed to develop their land in the way they intended. This occurance could cause you to lose on your investment.
Soil and Stability: no it’s only dirt. The type of soil on your lot can significantly affect the construction cost of your project. Different types of soil have different bearing capabilities. Bearing capacity is the ability of the soil to withstand the loads (weight) of the house without significant displacement/movement. If the bearing capacity of the soil is low it may affect the type of foundation system you use i.e., a strip, raft, piers or pile foundations. Some foundation systems are more expensive than others and depending on the soil quality it may not make economic sense to build on the lot instead to sell it. The foundations may cost more than the house itself and this may not be the most cost effective way of building. Another question to ask yourself is if your lot has a history of, or prone to landslides?
Water Drainage: is your house near a river, beach or stream? If so, this could mean that you might be at risk of, or prone to overflows and flood damage. You might have to consider raising your house off the ground to allow for water to run off and under the house towards its natural flow and direction. If your house is being places on a lot that has a history of been a drainage course or water shed you may need to design special features to redirect the water so as to prevent the destruction of your investment and personal property.
Depending on where your lot is situated you could have to face the possibility of noise from various sources. Is your lot near an airport, highway or major roadway? This would need to be taken into consideration in order to limit the amount of noise that enters the building. To constantly be exposed to or inconvenience by external noise can be very uncomfortable, distressing, initiating, and torturing especially when trying to rest.
ZONING, BUILDING CODES AND REGULATIONS
Zoning: Zoning requirements regulate what can be built in particular areas of a city or rural area in order to control the development of the built environment. You need to investigate the zoning affecting or applicable your lot. What may have been a great view can easily disappear with construction of new high way, large scale housing development or commercial complex in front or beside your lot, thereby decreasing the value or features of your lot. Your zoning regulations will stipulate what may be constructed legally in your surrounding area.
BUILDING CODES: Building regulations are legal stipulations, ordinances and requirements that ensure correct methods of construction which ensures consistency I construction and safety for the occupants of the housing or dwelling, reinforced by your local planning authorities and parish councils. These regulations will specify standards for how close you can build to boundary of property, beach, rivers and neighboring lots, concrete mixtures, reinforcement for floor slabs roofs and finishes. Your design cannot be approved if any of these regulations have not been adhered to.
Contact Affordable Home Concepts for more info on building on your own land in Jamaican for all your home construction needs.