The Log Cabin

Monday, April 26, 2010

Situating a Log Cabin on Your Property

You’ve found that property for your log cabin that’s perfect. How do you determine where the cabin should be located on the property? Here are a number of factors to consider.

First, do you have a survey of the property? Will you need to create a site plan for approval? I’ve got a plot of property boundaries for my street but no individual survey boundaries marked on my property. A survey is my next investment. You may eventually need a surveyor to document the actual location of the house on the property for zoning and lender approval. Find out up front.

Do you have a plot plan of the property? Trace copies of it to lay out potential house locations.

What are your zoning constraints? What are the setback rules, i.e., how many feet from your property lines must you allow from your property lines for construction. Are there any other constraints? Research them up front.

Do you require a septic system? If so, you will need a perc test done before buying the property. This test will determine if the soil will support a septic system. The tester is licensed and digs pits with a backhoe, fills them with water and measures how long it takes the water to drain. Make sure that the test is performed where the system will likely be located. Multiple potential locations are recommended. Local regulation may have guidelines on placement of the system. Check them out.

Where are water drainage pathways on your property? Look for a location where water will drain away from the house. To circumvent this recommendation, plan on building retaining walls, draining tiles or other construction techniques to redirect/block water from the home.

Which direction should your home face? I’m going to orient my house to maximize the mountain views from the rear porch and large windows I will have in the rear. If energy conservation is more important, maximize solar heating and exposure to the South by orienting the elongated direction of the house to run east/west. Passive solar heating can reduce energy costs by 30 percent.

How about a driveway and parking? The further (and longer) from the road, the more expensive.

Have you factored in utility costs? How will the location effect how much will they cost to install?

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