Acreage living: What to know before building your acreage home
Whether you enjoy the wonderful elements of nature, privacy or just want a plot of land to call your own, acreages are a great happy medium between the busyness of the city and the solitude of the homestead. Gentry Home Builders specializes in acreage and estate homes in and around Edmonton and Sherwood Park. Rural areas like Strathcona County, Sturgeon County, Parkland County, and Leduc County are host to some beautiful parcels of land that make excellent places to root down outside of the city with ample room for shops, outbuildings, hobbies, and animals.
As with any custom home we build there are numerous details to be aware when considering the land you're constructing on. At Gentry Home Builders, it is our job to coordinate these details and come up with creative solutions to challenges that may arise. Building an acreage may add a level of complication to the building process that you wouldn’t normally need to worry about in a city or town.
It’s not uncommon for homeowners to find a potential “deal” on a piece of land. However, it’s important to be aware of the hidden expenses that may be involved in developing it.
Below are some of the things we recommend considering when buying a rural piece of property.
Depending on how remote the property is, this could be one of the most obvious additional costs to acreage living. If utility connections are not closely available, it’s up to you as the landowner to bring those utilities in.
If the subdivision isn’t serviced with power there are still costs involved in getting power connected to your new home. The cost of this will vary depending on how far your house is from the main line.
If your land doesn’t have access to water hookup from its associated municipality, there are a couple of other water delivery systems you will need to consider: wells and cisterns.
The placement of your well must be located at least 3.25 metres from any building and the area surrounding your well must be graded to prevent water ponding around the well casing. There is no way to determine the final production amount from the water well until it is drilled and completed. Depending on their output and recovery rate, a well may stand alone or be combined with a cistern.
Cisterns are large containment tanks that hold water which is delivered by a truck for a fee. If it’s not feasible to drill a well on your land, a cistern may also be used by itself. This does require the homeowner to pay careful attention to water levels and usage.
In an urban setting, flushing your toilet typically starts a sewage treatment process that homeowners rarely have to think about. Sewage options available for rural properties are different, some of the most common in the Edmonton and Strathcona County areas include holding tanks, tanks and fields, tanks and mounds and open discharge. Soil testing on new properties and conditions such as proximity to natural bodies of water will determine which system is most appropriate for your land.
It’s extremely important to evaluate the water table within a new building site. A water table is a body of unconfined groundwater, which can be viewed directly by drilling an observation well into the groundwater body and waiting for the water level to stabilize. This is conducted by a professional consultant who is qualified in the area of soils and sewage disposal.
A high water table can adversely affect the following:
- the function of a sewage disposal system, which could lead to shallow groundwater and/or surface water contamination;
- render the area unsuitable for residential basement construction.
Areas adjacent to bodies of water often have high water table conditions. Vegetation is often an indicator of water table levels. Areas forested in aspens often have low water table conditions. High water table conditions typically encounter wetlands, such as bogs and marshes.
Just like every home we build is unique, so is the land we build on. Gentry Home Builders is happy to share our knowledge and experience on acreage building with our customers. We can take over much of the responsibilities, pricing, and planning involved in acreage home building and development.
Looking for more information on your future acreage custom home?
Contact one of our knowledgeable Project Managers