Finding the Perfect Land to Build (on) Your Dream Home On

survey equipment

Building your own home gives you the opportunity to craft each room to fit your personal desires. Whether you’ve always dreamed of designing a home or are simply tired of viewing houses that aren’t the right fit, take the first step to your dream property today. Find out how survey equipment, a team of professionals and the right designs can all transform your chosen property into your dream home.

Select a Geographical Area

It’s all about location, so take your time in finding property in your ideal location. Just like existing homes, empty lots and land are going to vary dramatically in price depending on where you’re searching. There are different features to consider in different geographical areas. Check out the main considerations for rural, suburban and urban land. If you’re purchasing land in a different zip code, research the local climate and other seasonal factors.

Rural land is typically the most affordable. Unless you’re planning on purchasing acres of arable land, property away from the hustle and bustle of the big city is going to be more affordable. Rural land may require you to dig your own well and install your own septic system, so have your property inspected to see if it’s capable of these improvements.

Suburban land is also very affordable. You may not find more than a single or double lot, but it’s easy to find a quiet corner of a subdivision or side street away from busy traffic. The suburbs can be a great place to find friendly neighbors and a reasonable commuting distance to work and cultural activities. See if your chosen suburb is part of a homeowners association or has its own ordinances you’ll need to follow. Unless it’s a new development, ask your realtor if they know any current residents who are willing to talk about the advantages of their neighborhood.

Urban property is typically the most expense and comes with the most regulations. You’ll usually have higher taxes, more zoning regulations and more ordinances to follow in designing, constructing and living in your new home. There are, however, many perks to being right in the middle of your favorite city. Urban property makes walking or cycling to work a convenient possibility.

Set Your Lot Budget

Plan your land purchase just like a home purchase. Set a budget and identify your list of must-have features. Be willing to be flexible on either the price or some of the features if you can’t find an open lot that fits all your goals. Most lots and land are listed on the MLS, so work with a trusted real estate agent to find a piece that fits your dreams.

Look for Red Flags

Empty land may be a red flag. Unless you’ve found an opportunity to purchase a lot in a recent development, there may be a reason that your favorite piece of land hasn’t been built on. Work carefully with your real estate agent, the local building department and other professionals to inspect every aspect of your property. Here are some potential red flags to avoid:

  • Crime in the neighborhood
  • Poor drainage and flooding risks
  • Proximity to an airport or train tracks
  • Long commute
  • Zoning issues

Perform Necessary Inspections and Surveys

Schedule a survey of your property before you purchase it. Professional survey equipment can help you identify your property lines and look at potential elevation issues. These inspections can find any drainage issues or other factors that need to be addressed in the construction process. A property without the right slope isn’t a deal breaker, but it can increase the time and cost of the excavation and lot preparation process.

Work With an Architect To Pair Your Dream Home and Land

An architect and civil engineer can help you pair your dream home design and your chosen lot. Some home designs need to be slightly altered to accommodate property specifics. Get the most out of your views by melding your home design and property. There’s nothing worse than missing out on stunning sunsets and other views because your home design doesn’t have appropriate windows.

Apply for Required Permits

Once you find your ideal property, you’ll need to apply for building permits. Your general contractor covers the application and approval process, but be aware that new constructions require more permits than remodeling or other tasks. Some empty land is zoned as commercial or multi-family, so you’ll need to petition to change it to single family property before starting your building process.

Stake Out Your Property With Professional Equipment

Use your own survey equipment to get a sense of the size of your home and the space available for your yard. Shop for a magnetic locator at Engineer Supply to find lot lines and stake out your home, porch, storage shed and other features in your property. Enjoy a successful and stress-free home building project with the right tools, the right professionals and these steps.

Create a Trendy and Iconic Home Office

construction tools

Your home office should be a comfortable, convenient space to complete all your paperwork. If you dread a stuffy cubicle or bland office space at work, be sure your home office avoids common design issues that arise in a corporate environment. Find out how to create a personalized, trendy office that leaves you room for paperwork, meetings and storage space for your construction tools and important work documents.

Find the Ideal Space

Do you need a secluded office space or do you need to keep an eye on your surroundings while you work? For some professionals, an office tucked away in an upstairs room is perfect for isolation and concentration. Other professionals may need to supervise children or perform other tasks while at work, so a more central work space is essential.

Either way, when you’re looking for an ideal space you need to be sure you have all the features included. Here are common must-haves for an office space:

  • Quiet atmosphere
  • Ample desk and storage space
  • Well-lit area
  • Room for a meeting
  • Personalized design

Think practically in terms of your existing home. You may have plenty of space in your garage, basement or laundry room, for example, but these atmospheres may not be the most convenient or comfortable for year-round office work.

Take a look at each of these factors and rank them based on your goals. If you only have a small space, you’ll need to think creatively about storage and meeting space. For an office in a central location in your home, think about a convertible desk or an office space that can easily be rolled into a corner and kept out of the way.

Keep It Comfortable

Don’t let your home office feel too sterile. While your office may be a place of work, it should also feel like home. Take time to make it a comfortable place that you enjoy spending your time in. This is particularly important if you work full days from your home office.

Focus on the Essentials

At minimum, a home office needs a desk, chair and computer. Some professionals don’t need paperwork or other tools for their work and can conveniently work with a minimalist desk design. Keep your work in mind as you design your office.

Consider splurging on the essentials. Most desks are between 28 and 30 inches high. Depending on the amount of space you have, you can consider an adjustable-height desk to stretch your legs and enjoy work while standing.

Your chair should be ergonomic and comfortable. Consider any equipment additions that will make your life easier, like a Bluetooth mouse, noise-cancelling headphones or an upgraded keyboard. These little features can go a long way in increasing your productivity. If you’re self-employed and working from home, slight increases in productivity translate into more income for the same amount of time.

Create Sleek Storage Spaces

Most home offices have paperwork. Architects require a range of digital devices and paper blueprints for their job. Other contractors send out paper invoices and receive checks, so all this paperwork needs to be safely stored and accurately organized. Some contractors need home storage for their construction tools.

Storage is another area that deserves your attention. Without a clear organizational system, you’ll spend unnecessary time and energy sorting, storing and searching for important papers and checks. Look for bookshelves, file cabinets and other storage solutions that fit your precise office needs.

Consider ordering or creating custom shelving for your paperwork. If you’ve been working from home for some time, you have an idea of the necessary storage needed to keep your workflow steady.

Make a Meeting Area

Some home offices are a secluded den away from the public and coworkers, while others are a hub for coworkers, clients and customers to interact with your business. Consider the type of office you want or need. If you have other professionals coming to meet you, you need to create a convenient meeting area.

Look for ways to incorporate an additional chair or two in your home office. Some meetings require everyone involved to look over an important document, while others are more of an informal conversation. Either way, incorporate the meeting atmosphere into your home space to make it convenient for individuals to stop by your home and join you in your home office.

Look for Lighting Inspiration

One of the biggest complaints of large office buildings is poor lighting. Don’t make the same mistake in your home office. Find an office space that has lots of natural light. Consider glare on especially sunny days and try to avoid direct glare on your computer or your eyes.

If you can’t find natural light, include ceiling lighting, floor lamps and even a desk lamp to prevent eye strain and to avoid shadows on your desk. Consider full-spectrum light bulbs for lighting that looks and feels light natural daylight.

Ideally, you’ll have a great window to face with a view. If this isn’t possible, look for a piece of artwork or other focal point. Focusing on your computer for hours on end can cause eyestrain, so find a pleasant object or view to look at as you daydream.

Balance Breaks and Productivity

There’s a reason companies offer 15-minute breaks. Most individuals actually perform better with scheduled breaks. If you’re in charge of your schedule at home it can be tempting to try to power through the day without any breaks. This may actually reduce your overall productivity.

Schedule breaks that work for you. A break gives you the opportunity to stretch, drink some water and spend time on a musical instrument, with a good book or with your family.

Make It Your Own

Just like the rest of your home, your home office should reflect your personality, values and sense of comfort. Whether you’re working with a designer or gathering your construction tools to remodel your own home office, look for the tools and equipment you need at Engineer Supply. Browse our furniture and tools today to prepare for a productive, relaxing and personalized home office.