Choosing a House Block
Orientation that provides access to solar north / winter sun is of primary importance particularly if your choice of site is in a cool climate area. Access to cooling breezes will reduce dependency on mechanical ventilation if you can design pathways for them through your proposed house. The proximity of significant vegetation and buildings, existing and proposed, on adjacent blocks should also be considered. They will have effects that you may not be able to influence to your advantage. The subject block may slope or it may be essentially flat; whichever, the topography will affect your choice of dwelling and site costs may be substantially increased without any noticeable benefit to you.
A sloping block will need appropriate hard landscaping and make maintenance of a garden more of a challenge. A steeply sloping block may be cheaper then a flat block but engineered foundations and retaining walls can be very expensive. Views local or distant can be very seductive and add value to a property that takes advantage of them. But will you “own” the outlook? Prevailing winds and no sunshine may accompany the aspect so you should consider this. A site investigation report will answer questions related to bearing capacities of the foundation materials. Rock can be a problem particularly if it is weathered, occurs as “floaters” or is not consistent across the building envelope. If the block has trees inappropriate to a residential block, such as large eucalypts or pines, you need to determine if there are any restrictions on their removal or trimming. Let me say that however much you like large native trees, on a small block they may present more problems than benefits. The block that you purchase should determine, to a large degree, the house you build. It may not be sensible for you to expect to “fit” your dream house on an unsuitable block.
The above, recently constructed house, in a small country town is more suited in style to a city suburb such as Strathfield. It has a large workshop/garage and adjacent parking for a caravan at the end of a long hard-surface(?) driveway that is widened at the front of the house to access a main garage under the house. It will require 16-18 steps to externally access the front door. The rear faces north-west and is screened from winter sun by a stand of large trees on an adjacent block. The long axis of the house and half the western elevation has no protection from summer sun. There is very little area put aside for landscaping (BASIX?) or, I assume, the “promised” rose garden: in fact the public nature strip is providing the garden that is missing from the block.