Key points to know when building a rural home
More land, more privacy, more opportunity! However, there are a few key points that you should know and be aware of when looking to build a new home in a rural area. Make the exciting opportunity easier by doing some extra research for your new home build. Embrace the unique Australian landscape but look to understand the elements of the rural setting and some early challenges it may entail.
Unexpected costs can well and truly arise when choosing to build on rural land so let’s get an idea of what type of costs and key areas you may want to look out for:
Rules & Regulations
Yes, you have a larger land space to call yours, but unfortunately, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can do whatever you want. Building your home wherever you like and chopping down trees by any means necessary is not always possible. Research the relevant building rules and regulations for building a new home in a rural area and cross-reference these with your own builder. Consider the building envelope of where your new home can be built on your property and council eligibility for the rural block. This envelope will outline the area where your home can be built and includes the building blueprint, sheds, tanks, pools, and areas in which building is not permitted. It applies specifically to rural residential property to minimise impact and protect the natural environment.
For areas that are prone to bushfires, new homes constructed must apply to the building standards under the Australian Building Code. The Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) measures a property’s risk to bushfire, ember attack, firefighting area, and the direct flame when in contact with a bushfire. You must have your property independently assessed if it poses the risk of being within 100 metres of over a hectare of bushland. The BAL forms the basis of building requirements to protect people and the property before construction.
Considering the earthworks needed to commence construction will most likely be the first step of construction on your building site. Earthwork contractors will look to clear your block from debris, rocks, unwanted trees, excavating, levelling and compacting the ground, and filling where needed. Take note that earthworks can endure other costs such as difficult access to a block, retaining walls for sloping surfaces, footing requirements, and external engineering needed to grant access to building on certain types of ground levels.
Services & Utilities
Now, this is something you may know but it is always good to keep in mind and factor in when looking to build on a rural property. Additional charges for services and utilities are also a given for building and setting up in rural areas as they cannot be easily connected. You must consider electricity, water, telephone service, gas, and internet. For services, check the distance from your home to the potential service and check whether these services can be accessed and constructed in your chosen location. Keep in mind that added expenses from running additional and longer power lines to your main supply can apply.