Property Access:
Counting the Cost

Estimating the cost and ease/difficulty of property access is critical to your decision to buy a piece of property.

Access issues can be real budget-busters.

Answer the following questions to help cement your own priorities.

Where will you choose to spend your cash?

If it costs more for access, you may have less for your home.

If property access costs are reasonable, you might end up with more leeway in choosing "extras" for the homeplace.

Consider These Questions:

  • What type of driveway will you need to provide access
    for trucks to deliver materials?

    How long will it need to be?
    How about permanent driveway and cost?

  • Will it be relatively easy or difficult for supplies and workers to get to the site?

    Is the road steep or dangerous?

steep road

I once resided in a home in the foothills of the mountains. The view was breathtaking. The property access was treacherous. The decision was made to save on funds by shortening the driveways.

Ideally, the road would have meandered horizontally up to the entrance to the home. Instead, it was plowed as a steep shot - rarely feasible to the non-4 wheel drive vehicles with their not-so-brave owners.
One inch of snow pretty much left you stranded.

Then there was the time the brakes went out on the way down....

How expensive do you suppose it was to get materials and trucks up and down that road? Many couldn't even make it to the pinnacle.

Perhaps it would have been cheaper after all....
to just build a meandering, welcoming driveway.

  • Do you have access to local utilities?

    * Water/Sewer?

    * Electricity? (try to find out the provider and approximate monthly bill for the size house you are building)

    NOTE: If you plan to build "off the grid", or without access to traditional electricity, there is something you should know. If you live in the United States, any bank loan is typically tied to the assurance that you will access electricity. In other words: On the Grid - We'll float you a loan. Off the Grid - You're on your own.

    * Phone Service?

    * Cable TV hook-up?

    Are these convenient to your lot?
    Do the utilities run above or below ground?

  • If you must have a well dug, how difficult would it be?
    How deep would you need to drill to find fresh water?

  • If septic is a requirement, was your land perc-tested?
    If so, what was the rate of perc?

  • Discuss with your builder your concerns about access, particularly
    if there are trees you wish to preserve which are close
    to the proposed building site.

    Ease of property access is vital to your family as well as
    to your builder and subcontractors.

    Think through the weather changes where you live.
    What are the potential drawbacks for varying
    scenarios of access?

    Pre-planning now before you begin building
    your dream green home is time well spent.

    Enjoy the adventure!

    Go from Property Access to Lot/Land Selection

    Building Your Green Home Page

    The time is NOW. The future is HERE. The color is GREEN.


    Favorite Pages
    Flooring Options
    Energy Saving Ideas
    Walkout Basement
    Basement Foundation
    Dream Green Home
    Energy Efficient Home Design
    Basement Finishing Ideas