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Custom Home Builders

Evaluating Lots for Custom Home Building in Vancouver

October 10, 2022

Choosing the right place to put down roots is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when building a custom home. Vancouver affords homeowners unparalleled natural beauty and convenience but also unique challenges for builders. Tight lots, steep terrain, and varying local building regulations are pretty common in Vancouver, and while these factors won’t prevent you from building your dream home, they could impact the size, situation, and scale of your build.

To help navigate these and other residential building challenges, it is crucial that you choose the right custom home builders in Vancouver.

A Lot to Consider

Chances are, you already have a vision for your dream home. But before you can start drawing up plans, you need the right lot, and this choice could have dramatic consequences for your build. While a plot of land might appear perfect for building at first glance, further investigation below the surface can uncover potential challenges to custom home building.

If you don’t already have land, many custom home builders around Vancouver will offer to accompany you to view potential lots and help you choose the one that works best for your intended build. If you own land, your custom home builders will conduct a systematic survey and give you options for utilizing the land best.

Here are a few things custom home builders consider when evaluating a lot for building in Vancouver.

Location and Terrain

Just because a lot is an acre or half an acre doesn’t mean the entire lot is buildable. Builders need to evaluate terrain issues like slope, water table, soil composition, and drainage to help determine a potential build’s optimal location and size. And while issues like a high water table, tree coverage, or a steep slope won’t prevent building in most cases, they can add significantly to the engineering and pre-construction costs, which may impact your overall budget and the size of your home.


And there are things like road access, utilities, and municipal regulations to consider. If you are buying an empty lot, the odds are high that it’s not currently connected to city waterlines or utilities. If you are building in a rural area, you may not even have convenient road access.

Think about all the utilities you use in your home, things like water, sewage, gas or electricity, and the internet. If your lot’s not connected to these utilities, you’ll need to apply for permits and cover all the costs to connect your home. It’s almost always less expensive to buy an older home on a suitable lot and tear it down to make way for your new build than it is to start from scratch.

Budgetary Constraints

All these factors will impact the size, positioning, and cost of building your dream home. This is where working with the right custom home builders becomes essential. Experience is vital when building a custom home; the more experienced the builders, the better equipped they will be to evaluate a parcel of land and know where the best building opportunities lie.

Working with the right builder will help ensure the accuracy of pre-construction and construction estimates and help keep you on budget. If you are working on a particularly challenging lot, you want to know ahead of time if things like engineering costs require tapering back design plans for your dream kitchen.

Whether you already own a parcel of land or are in the market for a new place to call home, the location and your choice of custom home builders in Vancouver will play a significant role in what you can build and how much it will cost.

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