Sun drenched blocks, bush hideaways, sprawling meadows, rolling hills and maybe the greatest perk of all, barely a neighbour in sight! Welcome to Acreage homes.
Concept sketch of our Palmdale Valley acreage home
Acreage, or rural lots, offer great potential to realise almost whatever home you desire, as far as the budget allows, without many of the common constraints of higher density urban living. Higher density issues such as visual and acoustic privacy, overshadowing, view loss, consistency with an established street archetype don’t often play a defining role when designing acreage homes. It is essentially design freedom, or as close as it comes!
Construction progress vid of our Palmdale Valley acreage home
We considered a few of the advantages, and also the possible disadvantages, of acreage living:
1. Privacy and Flexibility
Without the ever-present issue of privacy, these homes can really capitalise on the indoor / outdoor flow and visual connection. Glazed windows and doors can be customised to the layout and views rather than being stipulated by an overlooking neighbour. Besides the obvious perk of being able to look out to the beautiful backdrop of nature, this often allows these homes to be designed with excellent passive solar design.
2. Connection and Access
The larger size of these sites generally allows for a single level design, which for most offers very practical living arrangements, affording most rooms a great physical and visual connection to the outdoors along with easier access throughout the home and easier ongoing maintenance (think cleaning windows and gutters etc).
3. Passive Design
With the flexibility to orient the building as desired in many cases, you should be able to ‘open’ the home to the northern sun and favourable breezes. Systematic use of deciduous planting to screen hot afternoon summer sun but allow solar access during the colder winter months can be implemented.
4. Running Costs
Due to a greater opportunity for passive design methods and onsite storage (water tanks, PV panels etc) there is the distinct possibility of reduced ongoing running costs. Other items such as re-use of fill on site, rather than getting trucked offsite, helps you save a dollar and also put it towards tangible features of the home
5. Construction cost
With easy vehicle/truck access, predominantly single storey builds and often reasonably level grounds to build upon, these homes can be more cost effective than their urban equivalent, who may have; difficult access (street and footpath closure, difficult material drop-off and store), often forced to build on only one part of the site (which may be sloping), may require a second storey to cater for the sqm requirement which generally incurs higher sqm build cost.
A nice place to come home, unwind and get that chi back in balance.
1. Land / Environmental constraints
There are some constraints common (though not always applicable) to these sites; bush fire prone land, flood or ecologically sensitive land. For the most part these are easily overcome by locating the build in the right location, at the right floor level and constructed of the correct material in the correct manner. *Many areas, both rural and suburban are now mapped as ‘bush fire prone’ so this isn’t a distinct disadvantage, but is common to acreage sites.
2. Services / Infrastructure
Consider what ‘town’ or ‘mains’ services the property is connected to and what services may be managed on site. Generally, sites located near a major centre will have mains power and town water but commonly they are not connected to mains sewer so will have an onsite effluent disposal system (i.e septic tank – or more commonly used these days, an aerated wastewater treatment system). The further out you venture, you may not have town water but generally keep the mains power. Depending on the remoteness of the property and difficulty of access, you may not have either! However, where there is a will there is a way – you may setup an ‘off the grid’ rural abode, completely self-sustaining. For some, this is a preferable lifestyle and not a disadvantage at all.
With a larger rural property often comes a higher demand for property maintenance. Depending on the desired aesthetic you may consider designing in such a way that only elements remain formally maintained with other areas intentionally naturally / wild to lessen the maintenance required.
If you’re looking at acreage sites or acreage houses for sale on the Central Coast, Sydney or Newcastle please feel free to give us a call or email to discuss. We are more than happy to give you some preliminary feedback to put you on the right path to selecting the best site for your dream home, we also have great Real Estate, Buyers Agent and Builder contacts that we can put you in touch with to make it all easy.
We offer bespoke acreage home designs that respond to your brief and your property. We can manage the entire process from the concept plans to council approvals to construction documentation and management during construction.
***Prior to the purchase of any property we recommend input from a suitably qualified building / pest inspector as well as all necessary property searches / certificates from your conveyancer / solicitor ***
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Some key determining factors affecting project costs: