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Handy checklist for choosing a plot to build a house on

Choosing a plot to build a house on, doesn’t need to be a leap into the unknown but there are key considerations you need to be mindful of.

Clients come to me because they want to build a new home on a plot and even though they can afford it and have a good idea on what they want to build, they tell me they don’t know where to start. There is a fear of the unknown, not knowing the costs involved, whether they’ll get planning permission or not, or even if going through all that time and effort will be worth it.

Sound familiar to you? Here’s a simple checklist for you to use when going to buy a plot:

LEGAL CONCERNS • Can the plot be built on? • What is the situation with percolation, if a rural site? • Are the boundaries clearly and accurately marked? • What is the zoning for the plot? • Are there restrictions associated with the plot, i.e. setbacks, sight-lines etc? • Are there right of way issues? Who maintains the road? • Is there adequate road frontage? • Are there any liens, easements, covenants or other restrictions/encroachments on the property? • Are there building restrictions due to historical remains, wetlands or other possible local issues? • What was the previous use of the land, i.e. made up ground, etc? • Is the plot on a flood-plain? • Is there a water supply for the plot? • Are there protected species on the property?

CONSTRUCTION ISSUES • Can construction machinery get access to the plot easily? • What is the situation with the soil, what type of soil? • Is there a high-water table? • Would special engineered foundations, i.e. piling required? • Would large amounts of cut and fill be required? • What is the situation with radon?

DESIGN ISSUES • Can your idea for your home be integrated into the landscape? • How does the sun cross the plot? • Consider the prevailing winds? • Consider the size of percolation area. Would this have an impact on perhaps a future addition/garden room/shed? • Minimum size of plot

COST FACTORS • How much will the plot cost? • Legal fees • Survey • Water connection/sinking a well • Sewer connection/private wastewater treatment system • Clearing of land • Landscaping • Construction of driveway • Local Authority levies

ALSO, WORTH CONSIDERING • Who are your neighbors? • Any adjacent farms regarding smells, hazards and/or noise? • Distance to amenities, such schools, shops, etc? • Plans for future developments in the area?

If you’re really serious and want to know exactly what you can do with your plot or choose a plot to begin then we offer a service that does all this for you. Simply send an email to and we can go from there.

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