If you’ve ever thought about moving to the country, there’s no better time than now. With house prices rising in city areas, many people are making a lifestyle change and heading into rural areas. It’s an amazing way of life, but there are also some considerations before you pack up and head for the hills.
Connecting to services
One of the major things to consider when moving to the country is being able to access all of the services you’re used to in the city. These services include power, gas, telephone, internet, water, rubbish disposal and wastewater treatment. We take these things for granted in the city, because the infrastructure is all there, ready to connect to.
When you move to a rural area, you may not be able to connect to everything quite so easily. In some cases, there may be a higher upfront cost to connect to services. In others, you may not be able to access certain services at all. On the plus side, this gives you the opportunity to be more self-sufficient, however, you should note that self-sufficient systems like solar and water tank can be more expensive to set up.
Access to the property
Depending on how remote your property is, you may need to arrange site access if it isn’t already in place. For example, some secluded plots of land may not even have access roads built yet. This can be expensive in the beginning, but it is necessary because your builders and tradespeople need access to build your home.
In addition, if you want to keep costs down, try to find acreage land that already has access roads and convenient access for vehicles. If your plot of land has steep slopes or water running through the property, it may be even more complicated to create sufficient vehicle access.
Save money with natural light
When it comes to saving money on electricity, natural light can be a wonderful friend to have. So, when preparing your acreage home designs, try to consider how you can use natural light to the best effect. When you have beautiful sunlight streaming through large windows or sliding glass doors, for example, it warms the house which means less reliance on heaters.
In addition, you don’t need to run lights as often. Even in slightly darker parts of the house like a hallway, consider incorporating a skylight into the design, because this can eliminate the need to use indoor lights at all during the day.
This is also where the positioning of your house is crucial. If you can design the home so that your larger windows and living areas are facing north, you’ll get more benefits from the sun. The exact positioning of the home may be slightly different depending on which part of the country you live in, so it’s worth discussing this with your builder.
Embrace your outdoor spaces
One of the great things about living on an acreage property is the ability to build a beautiful outdoor entertaining area. Even if you don’t plan on hosting a lot of parties, there’s something magical about sitting outside and watching a sunrise or sunset. With careful planning, you can ensure your outdoor area gets either a lot of sun or not so much sun, depending on your preference.
Either way, ask your builder about including a covered outdoor space. You can even have an outdoor kitchen installed with storage underneath, some comfortable chairs – it’s totally up to you. But with so much open space around, you’ll be glad you invested in an outdoor entertaining space.
Local council considerations
Before you get too far into planning your acreage home design, you’ll need to do some thorough research with your local council. Firstly, they will be able to give you guidelines on access to services, as we discussed earlier. But more importantly, councils usually have planning requirements that dictate what types of homes and structures can be built in certain areas.
In particular, if you’re intending to be self-sufficient, the council may also have restrictions on the types of systems you can install in the area.
Acreage properties give you a great opportunity to raise animals. Whether it’s livestock or more of a hobby farm, it’s one of the wonderful benefits of living in a rural setting. However, there are a few considerations before you go down this path.
You’ll need to ensure animals have the right type of housing and security around them. Being in the bush, it’s not uncommon for other animals to be present, and some may pose a threat. So, ensuring your animals are kept safe and also don’t pose any risk to neighbouring properties is crucial.
Building for high winds
In a rural setting, you may find that the winds are more extreme than in the city. This is because there’s so much open space, and homes are often built on higher ground. As a result, winds can pose more of a threat. While it’s not a reason to avoid living on rural land, it’s something to be mindful of when sorting out your acreage home designs.
Generally, acreage homes may need to be built with different structural materials, namely a larger presence of steel battens and supports. This can increase the building cost, so you’ll need to discuss this with your builder during the planning stages.
Looking for the best acreage home designs in New Zealand?
Stonewood Homes specialises in stunning acreage home designs to suit any lifestyle. Whether you’re retiring to your dream home, or you just want to escape the city, we’ve got you covered. Choose from any of our wonderful house designs or build the custom home of your dreams. Contact our friendly team today to find out more.