Check It Out. Things to Check in Picking a Building Site.

If you want to build a new house, there are a number of factors you need to verify. Assumptions can lead to problems or at least added cost.

–To know if you can legally build what you want, check zoning and private restrictions. You may find you cannot build that accessory building you want.

–Verify access, especially if the lot does not front on a public road –Also consider sand dune, wetland and flood plain restrictions.

–Verify the long-term water table. It fluctuates so you need to check for mottled soil. Many people verify the water table is low enough to put in a drain field–that is what the health department evaluates–but do not consider if their basement will be built into the water table. If it is, you will have water in your basement eventually. However, if the water table is high, you may be able to build higher on the same lot and have a walk-out lower level too.

–Look at the availability and cost of all utilities. You need to know what utilities are available and how much they will cost. Don’t assume you can install a well and/or septic system. Drill a test well and obtain a perc test. Check into connection costs for all utilities. It may cost much more on lot than another to bring in gas or electric.

–Check out a few builders. Cost is one factor but so is quality.

An attorney experienced in construction issues can help you avoid ending up in a minefield.

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