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How to build a heavenly home

Dream of constructing the perfect pad? Follow these tips:

Get a lift An elevated position gives you more panoramic views and ensures that your home will get a lovely breeze.

Window know If you can, include large windows on the north side of your property to let the low winter sun in. It makes sense to make the north-facing rooms your daytime living areas, with bedrooms, bathrooms and utilities on the south.

Toil that soil Make sure there is no asbestos present in the soil on your plot of land. A clue: is any vegetation there now and does it look healthy?

Inspect aspects Check out how much sun your plot gets and build the house to maximise sunlight and avoid shading from trees.

Have subsid-sence Be aware that on coastal or hilltop plots of land, subsidence, erosion or landslides could be an issue.

Ease your mind If there are easements, council pipes or water courses on your potential block of land, there may be restrictions. Also contact the council to find out if the area is fire or flood-prone or if there any plans for developments nearby.

Stay true to views Check out which aspect has the best views and build the property to make the most of these good vistas.

Ask the experts An architect can help you decide on your house layout and dimensions. They can head up the project during construction or help you find a contractor with a good reference.

Love thy neighbour Don’t annoy your neighbours before you even move in. Try not to obstruct their view or overshadow their plot - a single storey property should be positioned 6m from next door, while double storeys should be 11m away.

Recycle ready If there are any materials on your block of land, use them! Old timber, sleepers, bricks, soil, rocks and vegetation can all be recycled to make your home an eco-friendly one.