Selecting the right block for you and your home

Oct 3, 2018

When it comes to building, we’ve got you covered.  But when it comes to finding the right block of land for your home, there are many things to consider.

Here at Riverstone we are often asked for advice on how to choose the right block.

Taking the time to do your research prior to putting an offer on a parcel of land is crucial, and could save you time, money and your sanity in the long run.

Riverstone Building and Design Consultant Cleve Riches talks us through the six key things you need to think about; Lifestyle, Position of Block, Cost Implications, Rules and Regulations and Return on Investment.


Size of block

What kind of house do you want to live in? Are you after something big for the growing family or are you down-sizing? Do you want a sprawling backyard? The size and shape of your block will affect what goes on it.

“As blocks in Perth continue to shrink, Riverstone are accustomed to dealing with varying block sizes,” Cleve explains.

“Our custom-designs allow us to build incredible homes regardless of the block size. Our luxury Riverview display home in South Perth is a great example; a 600m² house on a long, narrow 450m² block with a 10 metre frontage.”


Where do you want your house to be? Do you want to be able to walk to the beach or your local café? Is it important that you are close to a park or the shops?

Another important aspect is public transport and access to where you work.

“School catchment areas are also a very important factor,” Cleve says. “Even if you don’t have school-aged children, it is a big consideration in real estate.”

Position of Block


The design of a home can be greatly affected by the orientation of a block. Generally, it is more desirable to have a block with north facing to the rear, with the longest part in an east-west direction to maximise heating and cooling efficiencies. It is recommended to have the living, entertaining and main outdoor spaces facing north, keeping you comfortable and well as saving on energy costs.


Whether it’s beach, river, city, park, or bushland, views can add to the whole feel of a home, and should be considered early on to ensure any potential outlook is capitalised on.

Cost Implications

This is where it really pays to do your homework. Buying a block because it’s a bargain can come back to haunt you.


How easy or difficult is the block to build on? Is it flat, or will extensive siteworks be required?

Cleve says that sloping sites – either up or down – can be worked with, however they will add to your build costs.

“Retaining walls can be expensive. They can also impede on the amenity of the site, but with the right planning can add value to the home.”

Soil Conditions

“This can be one of the biggest cost issues. Not only dealing with various soil types, but often something has occurred previously on the site, such as a swimming pool being filled in but not compacted.”

Further Help

Dial Before You Dig is a free national referral service designed to assist in preventing damage to the infrastructure networks providing essential services we use every day, such as power, water, sewerage and phone lines. Visit for further details.

Rules and Regulations

Different estates, suburbs and local government areas can all have varying guidelines as to what can be built, and where.

Are you looking to build in an estate with specific design guidelines that must be followed? Is there a caveat on the title?

Even the setback you are proposing may not be possible depending on the zoning and Residential Design Codes (R-Codes).

It is vital to find out from the real estate agent and the local government authority about any applicable guidelines, both current and planned.

Return on Investment

“Shire requirements can vary from such things as heritage listings of heritage precincts, design guidelines or items contained in the Town Planning Scheme – these can all have an impact not just on cost, but what you can build on the site.”

Is this an emotional purchase or a commercial decision? How will the property be valued after the build?

“If you’re in for the long haul this is not as relevant, but it still needs to make sense,” Cleve says.

Look at the location, capital growth on houses in the area and the value of the land.

Next step?

Give us a call.

Whether you’re planning on demolishing an old home or you have a blank canvas, Riverstone can carry out a site assessment to ensure you’re on the right track – or street!

“We are happy to give you advice or help with any of the items discussed. We’re used to thinking outside the square and ensuring a block is used to its fullest potential, or assessing any potential challenges so that you can make the right decision for you and your home.”

For further information call 9436 9696 or contact us here.



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