Sitting on the perfect block in an ideal location and hoping to maximise what you’ve got? Or maybe your existing home is dated and you’re considering a knockdown rebuild? But what blocks are suitable for DualOcc development?
 
The simple answer is: there is no standard block size, shape or aspect that will guarantee planning approval. The rules and regulations for building a DualOcc in one council area can differ greatly from another.
 
Jarrod Sturdy, Sales & Business Manager for DualOcc By Metricon, will help guide you through what’s possible.

MORE: UNDERSTANDING YOUR DUALOCC OPTIONS



Tip 1: Check minimum land requirements

 
There’s no magic number when it comes to ideal land size for a DualOcc development. It really depends on what, where and why you’re planning to build.
 
But Jarrod notes that the minimum amount of land required for a side-by-side (duplex) development is around 15m wide by 30m long, pending council regulations and neighbourhood character requirements.
 
The slope of the block would preferably be no more than three metres. Any higher can be challenging to build on and increase costs significantly with additional excavation work. 
 
“Make sure you do your homework and ensure the block meets your local council requirements for the type of DualOcc you plan on building,” Jarrod says. “It can be a costly exercise if you purchase land, then discover council doesn’t support your plans. So have it assessed by dual occupancy experts prior to purchasing.”

MORE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BUILDING A DUAL OCCUPANCY
MORE: INSPIRED DUAL OCCUPANCY DESIGNS - THE GRANGE & THE SUTHERLAND
 


Tip 2: Getting what you want out of your land

 
Knowing whether you plan to live in, rent or sell your development can have a significant impact on the type of DualOcc you choose to build. It will affect the size, shape and location of the land you require.
 
"If you're planning to build a DualOcc for you and your growing family, consider purchasing a larger block of land so you can maximise the size of the property," Jarrod says.

MORE: HOW WAYNE RITCHIE TURNED TWO BLOCKS INTO FOUR HOMES
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Tip 3: Where to look?

 
If you haven’t got an existing block of land, Jarrod recommends looking in an area you’re already familiar with.
 
“I would look somewhere you know your numbers,” he says. “That way you can be sure you’re getting good value for money. Remember the old story that if you find a block that’s a steal and it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
 


Tip 4: Ask an expert

 
Navigating council requirements can be confusing. It's best to get an expert on board early, Jarrod advises, looking carefully at crucial planning considerations and restrictions before you buy, or repurpose, your land.
 
“The process can be scary, but you can reduce stress and anxiety by seeking help from the right people,” he says. “They can help navigate through the sea of planning and building requirements.”
 
Every development comes with risks, no matter how much homework you’ve done, but experts can help reduce that risk by checking your project is feasible.
 
“Will the current price of the land along with an average build cost stack up?” Jarrod asks. “There’s no point buying a block of land if you can’t afford to build on it. Similarly, if you’re looking at a knockdown rebuild, you need to make sure you can afford all costs and financial repayments.”

MORE: REALISE THE POTENTIAL OF YOUR PROPERTY
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Tip 5: Check the details

 
If your block is subject to specific council requirements, requires excavation or sits under power lines, the construction costs will quickly add up. “Consider building on land with the fewest intrusions to minimise your building costs,” Jarrod recommends.
 
Things to look out for:

  • Building covenant – outlines limitations and prohibitions of land use. That could include restrictions on the number of dwellings you can build on the site, or specific building material requirements. Building covenants will need to be satisfied as part of the planning process
  • Drainage – most developments require a drainage or retention system for stormwater. Whether your block is sloping or flat will impact that. You may need to install a new system or upgraded an existing one
  • Landscaping – councils generally require a landscaping plan to be submitted as part of your application, and there may be a fee for council landscaping programmes
MORE: WHAT TO CONSIDER IF YOU'RE LOOKING TO BUILD AN INVESTMENT PROPERTY

 


During the build

 

  • Access and traffic management – if your land's on a main road, you need to ensure there is adequate parking and access for tradespeople. Will your council allow you to block a lane of traffic if parking isn’t available?
  • Overhead power – trucks need to be able to manoeuvrer under powerlines, otherwise it could delay deliveries to your site. You may need permission to shut off power in the area for a short period. 

 
Metricon is the market leader in DualOcc and Knockdown Rebuild developments. Speak with one of our specialists to get advice on land that best suits your development. Call 1300 METRICON.
 
You might need to engage a solicitor to provide advice on legal queries.