The Signs of a Perfect Building Site

Published August 14, 2015 by Whirlwind Team

If you've already purchased a piece of land, your next job is to select the best site location for your building. If you are still searching for the right piece of property, now is the time to carefully evaluate which features are most important to you. Selecting a piece of property on site alone is somewhat like choosing a book by its cover - you have a good indication of what you are going to get, but you never know exactly what's inside.

Research and Pre-Construction Site Planning Secure the Perfect Building Site

An important part of pre-construction planning involves choosing the right property, and then the best building site on that piece of property, to yield a comfortable lifestyle while simultaneously honoring the tenets of sustainability and longevity.

For example, you may find a gorgeous piece of land with the view you want, only to find out in early spring that it is directly in the heart of the flood zone. Or, you may like one spot, only to discover it experiences unbearably bitter winds, or receives the lion's share of heat-producing sunshine, during seasonal extremes.

5 Signs of a Perfect Building Site

Therefore, we recommend reviewing the following signs of a perfect building site before you begin pouring the foundation.

  1. It's zoned correctly. In most cases, zoning regulations are straight forward - but not always. Things can be a little trickier in rural areas or where one zone rubs up against another. Make sure the piece of property in question is zoned in accordance with the type of building you plan to construct. A simple peek at the zoning map - a meeting with the local building department is always preferred - will give you the information you need.

  2. It has good water-shedding/drainage attributes. Pooled water is the last thing you want around any building foundation. It will begin to erode the concrete and will seep into your building materials. Even a steel building with top-notch protective coatings will eventually succumb to extended soakings. A building site with water-shedding attributes and well-draining soil is a bonus. If you can build on a slight rise, even better. If the soil doesn't drain well, speak with your foundation subcontractor about excavation and soil amendments that will fix it. Building features, like water-shedding roofs, gutters and downspouts are also important for directing water down and away from your building.

  3. The site accommodates future expansion. If this is a commercial lot, keep your eye on the future. Expanding a building is always easier than moving your entire company to a new one, and it's typically less expensive. Think about your 5, 10, and 20 year projections and evaluate whether your site will accommodate that. Is there enough room for parking? Entry and egress? Will encroaching development negatively affect access to the site? If your goal is to expand your business to the point that you will need to add on to your building, space your building on the lot so there is physical room to do so without compromising other integral features.

  4. It's sheltered from the elements. One of the major benefits of steel and metal buildings is their ability to be engineered for extreme wind and snow loads. Even so, the more your lot orientation and surrounding geographical features protect your building from the elements, the better. Evaluate the property for all four seasons if possible, identifying where the wind typically comes from, southern/western sun exposure and how/where/which direction storm water naturally drains from the property. Then take these factors in consideration when choosing the construction location and building orientation. The less you have to battle Mother Nature, the better.

    Considering the elements is nothing to scoff at. Paying attention to prevailing wind directions and speeds, and taking solar exposure into consideration will save you thousands of dollars in heating and cooling costs over your building's lifetime and will also protect your building from unnecessary wear and tear.

  5. Consider the views. If views are important to you, decisions regarding where you construct your building - and how you orient it on the site - should be partly based upon what will be seen from each window. For example, if you love mornings - you may want a bedroom, coffee or patio with eastern exposure so you can make the most of the sunrise. If your home will have an open floor plan, or your office design uses windows to capitalize on sunlight, consider how you can make the most of the views available to you and then design your landscape plan accordingly.

Your architect and/or an experienced contractor will also be able to assist you with the perfect site selection for your metal building. Once you've got that under control, contact us to get started on your metal building design.

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