Share This:

Finding the perfect location for your dream home is great feat. However the construction may not begin for a while due to the site variety and putting in all that beach style furniture may have to wait a little longer. Water, rock, vegetation, slope, local weather, soil type, surrounding construction, views and zoning policies vary over dimensions as small as a few yards. It takes incredible determination and resourcefulness to deal effectively with the variations. But it is effort well spent.

The Golden Rule of Site Planning

There is no specific method on how to deal with various sites but there are several insights that can be very helpful to builders, home owners or designers.  There is however one master rule and that is: Do not settle on a house design until you have settled on a site design.

Successful home designs are carefully crafted to fit the building site where the vision for home extensions are almost not existent.  As an architect, it is depressing to spend time trying to modify a client’s treasured ideal home design to a site that cries out for an entirely different house. Clients often come up with their “dream” floor plans or find them in a plan book, finally secure a site and force the two to come together.

Ideal floor plans are a helpful tool in writing the client’s goals and requirements for their future home. There are also various ways to achieve the ideal plans with the help of a meticulous designer and great perth interior designers. But it is best to work out the siting before choosing the model to build Even when dealing with manufactured and pre-designed homes.

Key issues to consider in site planning are:

  • zoning and other regulations
  • site utilities
  • access
  • topography
  • natural light
  • natural scenery
  • weather
  • foliage
  • drainage
  • type of soil


It is essential to consider Zoning and regulations first.

Public Bodies need to thoroughly inspect any proposed design. Regulatory matters are complex, but two general rules are useful:

  • Find out the local rules and regulations concerning a specific site before you buy it or plan to build (if you already own it).
  • Study all you can about the probable outcome of your building proposals.

Sounds easy enough but local officials recommend that you consult with a leading local civil engineer to make sure all requirements are met.


Town services and on-site utilities must also be taken into consideration. For instance, routing trenches to a building has to be planned in case the property you chose has town services on it. You need to be ready with alternative access route or building orientation plans in case the best route will disrupt the existing vegetation.

Waste disposal is another matter. The percolation and groundwater-level tests are essential to verify whether a site is feasible. Consult a local civil engineer to inspect the area to find out the potential of the site. Get a second opinion before you give up. If you’re willing to spend the money and time, it might still be possible use a septic design on a hopeless site.

Roadblocks in construction are often met in towns that use septic-system regulations to control development. A determined owner might expect a fight if they plan to work a site considered unbuildable. Nevertheless, issues may still arise when engaging the power company about total hook-up costs and fees.


Access is another key aspect in site planning. We need to consider how the size of cars, roads, driveways and garages affects the house. A home extension in Melbourne may have different planning requirements than one in perth. Adequate turning and parking space must be planned no matter the size of your vehicle. The designer’s dilemma is to make the driveway natural, while saving key foliage and providing a fluid transition between the car and the front door—all the while taking care to make sure that the site still looks domestic.

The garage door can be taken as one of a long line of elements since it draws modest attention. Transforming the big door by splitting it into individual single doors is one way to lessen the garage door naturally. Separate doors a less likely to overpower the front elevation.

Access roads leading up or down hills also need proper planning since there has to be level place to stop where the road meets the street. To prevent future issues problems with steep roads, grades should not exceed 10 percent. Moreover, water must be drained off or led through culverts to avoid washouts and erosion. And the route should be attractive and should protect the house from headlights.

The driveway should not be dominated by a huge garage door. Also accentuate the entry using steps with landscaping, a covered walk or porch with industrial interior design or anything to keep the garage door from dominating the composition.

And do not block the entry to the back or side yards if you have future plans to landscape or build on.


The topography of a site is the key feature for a designer. According to Frank Lloyd Wright, slopes and land shapes can establish not only the house setting, but the building form itself it can make your coastal furniture look like it belongs or is really out of place.

Subtle topography needs subtle craft in the blueprint. Houses that fit perfectly into site are much more pleasing to the eye than those that merely sit on a big terrace. However, terraces can be indispensable tools for wedding a building to the topography if it is the right size. Terracing can be quite expensive but sometimes can be completed over time after the home is finished. Making changes with a retaining wall or rock-covered bank can even enhance a 2-foot change in grade.

Once, we discovered a property on a west-facing slope overlooking a meadow on a one-acre site that looked magnificent because the house fit properly into the view. This resulted in an amazing split-level design, with the living spaces on the top floor, the entry and garage at the mid-level, and the bedrooms on the lower floor. This example goes to show that correct solution to the siting problem determined much of the house form and plan.