So you thinking of building a new house. How high can you build? How many floors? What about the roof - can you have a steeply pitched high roof? Well that depends.
Maybe you are considering adding an extra floor above your existing home - to add extra rooms, or perhaps to make the best of ocean views. Is this possible?
Most town and city councils have building height limitations. These are normally included in the zoning regulations. In general, if you’re only planning a single or two floor residence this isn’t a problem. However, it can be a problem for houses built on sloping properties. It could also be a problem if you’re planning a house with high ceilings, or perhaps you’re planning a steeply pitched roof, or require a roof that’s higher than the norm.
It’s important to understand where the height limitation is measured from since it’s measured from a particular point on the property, which may be the street entrance. In fact, sometimes it even depends on the existing ground levels on the neighbouring properties, which if these are lower than your property already places a disadvantage on the height of your proposed building. More than one builder had to alter the plans and elevations of their building to conform to the local height restrictions.
In some cases, you might want to increase the height of your house to maximise the views from it. Again height restrictions may limit what you can do.
Of course, sometimes these height restrictions work in your favour. You may have views which you don’t want blocked out by another house in front of you. Understanding the height restrictions on the block of land in front of you will enable you to know if your views could be blocked out by your neighbour in the future. It could also limit the height of neighbouring buildings – all assuming the restrictions aren’t changed in the future.
Before purchasing a new property understand the rules governing the land. There could be rules which limit where you build as we discussed last week - Why you cannot build just anywhere on your property
There could also be rules governing the height you can build.
You may find your dream home compromised because you cannot go as high as you would like.
Before starting construction always ensure all planning and building permissions are in place and you are not going to breach any height or location restrictions.
Other Useful articles:
Thinking of Renovating Your Home - Consider A Dream Loft Conversion
Designing the best house for you and your family
Selecting a house designer that will be right for your home project
This is an extract from the author's book 'An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses: Volume 2 - Finding Your Ideal Property and Designing Your Dream Home'
© 2021 This article is not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission from the author.
Want to learn more about designing, renovating and building houses?
Paul Netscher has written 2 easy to read books 'An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses - Volumes 1 and 2'. An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses Volume 1 deals with Hiring Contractors, Managing Construction and Finishing Your Home. and Designing your ideal home Volume 2 deals with Finding Your Ideal Property and Designing Your Dream Home.
("Great for those that DIY. Very helpful in home renovations!" said a Reader on Amazon.com 5*****)
These books are available from Amazon and other online bookstores in paper and ebook.
I’m a construction professional, author of several successful construction management books, and a home owner. I’ve made mistakes in construction management, I’ve seen others make mistakes, but importantly I’ve had multiple successful construction projects and I’ve learned from the mistakes. I want to share these lessons and my knowledge with you.
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