Building bespoke log homes in Australia: Pt. 1

Posted Feb 22, 2021, Category: Advice

In our last post, we have covered an easy exception for glulam log cabins. When building small shed-types like that, in Australia, you do not need a separate permit. However, for bigger projects, there will always be a necessity for building permits. So, this post is dedicated for those who decided they want to build glulam log cabins or bespoke log homes in Australia. In this two-part series of posts, we will cover information that you need to be aware of when picking a plot of land and undertaking the actual construction.

Finding land to build on

Wherever in Australia you are, there are zoning rules that apply to all land. This is especially true in rural areas, where there’s a lot of farming land and protected land. In short, not every plot of land is free to be built on. Find out about land zoning on actual plots from local real estate portals.

In terms of finding the right pricing, there’s a simply rule to keep in mind: the closer you are to the coast, the more expensive the land. This, however, doesn’t mean that you need to go inland very far. Smaller cities and towns within 3 hours of driving distance from major metropolises like Sydney can offer attractive pricing for as low as $70/m2 while also having connections to services present. Also, they’re not really that far outback.

Land conditions 

Other than zoning, you need to keep in mind other natural land conditions that may change your building parameters. Custom log homes may also need to be changed from their standard house kits to comply with the regulation.

When picking you plot of land, consider the climate type present in that zone. If you are looking into places that are designated as bushfire zones, your bespoke log cabins will need to be adapted with fire-resistant materials. There will be requirements for these materials issued by the local council or building permit authority. Other house aspects will need to comply with the same regulations. This includes thing like bushfire shutters, metal window frames and the like. This doesn’t mean that you cannot build anything from timber. Glulam beam houses are still very much an option, they just have to comply with local regulation of fire resistance.

Soil testing and contour inspection

Soil of your land determines how strong and how complicated the construction of foundation will be. That is the reason it’s always recommended to test the soil before purchasing any land. Australia is vast and the continent has a variety of climates that gives different soil compositions. High moisture content in the soil means that it’s much more likely to expand and contract, making it unstable. To counter the instability, the foundation might need to go much deeper than usual.

Contour inspection sounds intimidating, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. Check how sloped your plot is going to be. Sloping will influence the building of foundation, as well as movement of water and rain. Only extreme contouring will render the plot inaccessible, but most inspections are only necessary to keep in mind building challenges.

Service connection

If you are opting for remote plot of land, make sure it has all the necessary connections to amenities. Water, electricity, gas and internet may be a given within city limits, but building further away can become a challenge. For your glulam house plans to pan out, make sure you are connected to all the necessary services.

We at Eurodita always encourage to consult your local log cabins supplier. Or a real estate agent, who could advise you on the best plot of land for any given price. When consulting, keep in mind what you want to build, what your budget is and how you will want to approach construction: yourself or with hired help.