Visit your local council first

23 March 2016

Before you start talking to Paal about your new kit home, it’s a good idea to first visit the local council and catch up with the planning rules that may affect your project.

The council’s Duty Planner should always be available to advise you on matters such as bushfire regulations, wind and snow loadings, and house setbacks from front and side boundaries.

“Every council has different requirements, so being familiar with these can help you decide what is best for your chosen block of land,” said Paal housing consultant Michael Christie.

Trying to situate a large house on a smallish block can sometimes lead to issues of site coverage. Land zoning may also require you to alter your preferences, possibly ruling out some types of designs.

“If the block is on bushfire prone land, your home’s fire resistance will need to comply with the BAL (bushfire attack level) for that area. This can affect the cost of construction and therefore the home builder’s budget,” Michael said.

Exemptions or variations to the regulations can sometimes be made.

“For example setbacks may be required, but if a number of houses in the street don’t have setbacks for historical reasons, the council may grant you an exemption.

“This type of information is generally available on council websites, although these are often aimed at professional builders. Talk instead to your local council – and put yourself in the best possible position for a visit to Paal,” he said.