Where to put the house.

Art has never been my strong point, but at least I learnt how to use graph paper and a ruler.  This is roughly what we envision for the position of our new home on the block:

House placement on block

20 x 37.6 m (+ canal water frontage)

The canal is South-West of the block and we think we’ll get the best view down the canal with a house plan orientated this way, rather than flipping it over for a mirror image. The problem with this is the Western sun.  We are going to have to be clever with our windows and their treatments and outdoor shade.

You may have noticed a pool!  Personally, I prefer the outdoor lounge (with previously mentioned glass of wine) but the 3 Little Pigs and the Nice Wolf are big fans of swimming pools.  So now it gets complicated.  All my reading suggests that it is best to design in the pool right from the start of the build, and may even be necessary to dig your hole before the house foundations are laid.  So much for adding in the pool later, when the shock of new home payments has dulled a little.

The next bit that I can’t quite get my head around is how to make the canal retaining walls have “street appeal” while sticking to the covenants.  I really would like something more than just a limestone wall.  Since the retaining wall will be one of the first jobs (if not the first?) this also has to be thought about well in advance.

We are starting to think that it may be wise to involve a landscape designer from the start to get these bits right.  (We’d do as much of the landscaping as possible ourselves, following the designer’s plan.)  The dollars just keep adding up.

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11 thoughts on “Where to put the house.

  1. kaye says:

    Hi Jo,
    Pool… Our pool lies between the house and the canal. (Never ending water effect.)
    However make sure you have enough room for your pool fence.
    All places around here have pool on either road side or canal side of the house. Not sure about WA breezes but if its too windy on the canal side you can sit round the pool on the road side and vice versa. Then you get a water view in both directions. Maybe bbq in the middle with lots of room for sun lounge and Glass Of Wine.

    Sun…… We have large outdoor covered areas to keep sun off most of the day and drop down outdoor blinds for early morning sun. Works well. Lots of people here also use window tinting to keep out glare and heat.

    Retaining wall ….If You wont see it. Don’t worry about it.

    Swimming in the canal…….. Too many Noahs for me. (Although my kids swam in the canal on numerous occasions.)

  2. Hi Jo, your block does seem to have a ‘tricky’ orientation, but I reckon you have got it right for what it is worth. As you say, you will need some clever landscaping and windows. Matt and I were quite suprised at how much double-glazing has come down in price. We are getting double glazing for our extension (4 bedrooms, dining and lounge with double doors and a further 6 windows) for an additional $4,500. ‘…it’s only another four and half grand…’, ‘…it will keep our upstairs so much cooler…’, ‘…we will get our money back in heating and cooling costs in no time…’ ‘…Anne and Marthijs have double glazing and they say its amazing…’ . And that it how we added another $4.5 grand to our build cost!

  3. Bruna says:

    With a library and pool it sounds like some serious relaxation could occur. I always find garages non events which I’m sure Igor would not agree with. Also I know my Austrian cousin was talking about getting a steam oven when I was there 3 (4?) years ago. I’ll check next time I email her. xx

  4. Your builder should be able to help you with orientations etc. All houses now have to meet the 6-star energy requirements so there will be ways to make the best use of windows, insulation etc. it might just increase costs a bit! Love the layout you’ve drawn, especially the library overlooking the pool!

  5. Bit late with my contribution. Many beautiful blinds are see through from inside and reduce some heat and glare but from reading previous comments they might be as expensive as extra glazing features.

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