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Site Planning – Right from the Start

Your living environment will eventually include outdoor spaces as well as the indoor rooms of  your house, so why not plan both with the same care?

Your living environment will eventually include outdoor spaces as well as the indoor rooms of your house, so why not plan both with the same care?

Planning on building your dream home? Conjuring visions of clever architectural features and interior colour schemes? …but how will that couch from the old house look in the new contemporary open-plan living space?

All of the above are part of an exciting thought process and here’s another item to add to the agenda: Have I given enough thought to the layout of my site and crucially, the positioning of the new house within it?

From a practical point of view this question may throw up issues of access, security or even build costs. From an aesthetic angle, the positioning of the building could really affect how it looks from certain interior or exterior vantage points, but it’s really the amenity value of your site which will be most affected by your early planning decisions.

Whichever way you look at it, it’s important to think carefully about what you want from your site, as well as the house you’re going to build on it. In the same way that your architect has considered how all of the internal spaces will fit together and work to satisfy your family’s requirements, so too should your outdoor spaces be offered the same careful consideration.

Plan your site early – at the same time as the architect is producing their first sketches ideally and certainly before submitting the design for planning. After all, when completed, your property will comprise of building + plot, so to really capitalise on the build you need to make the most of both, and that means planning. So rather than viewing your site purely as a plot of land to build a house on, think of it as a precious asset – a landscape setting which could potentially add real value (in both monetary and amenity terms) to your family’s living environment.

Mark Foenander