There is such huge pride for the Australian Heritage Homes team, because we get to work on all sorts of different types of properties. We’re not a cookie cutter-type company, instead, we know exactly how special our customers are, and we want to ensure that they feel that way through the entire portion of the construction of their dream home. A theme that we’re noticing more and more is the influx of homes in treed areas. You may have read about it recently when we profiled a home in Warrandyte that was particularly special to us.
AHH knows the value that beautiful trees can add to a home. They add financial value for if and when you plan on selling your property. They increase mental well-being for both the homeowners and those that are visiting. They even add a connection to nature on a daily basis. So, if you didn’t notice this far – we’re a fan of smart building on heavily treed or bush’d properties.
Building in treed areas carries with it a number of challenges, no doubt about it. There are lots of things that the AHH team needs to take into account, as soon as we know that we’re working with a particularly treed area or a bush site.
Here are the initial steps:
1. Identify and confirm with the owners which trees or bushes need to remain. When you’re asked that question, don’t feel put on the spot and don’t feel like you need to answer right away. We’re simply asking to start the conversation, but you should not feel like you need to be an expert in our initial conversation. We take the stress out of this part of the process by providing the appropriate expert and working with industry partners when necessary to get the job done.
2. It is then important to confirm if the local council needs to be notified for either approval, or simply consent. This comes into play more frequently if you live in an area that’s particularly historic or if it is adjacent to any manner of government-controlled or wildlife associated square metres.
3. If all signs say go, you’re allowed to get a little bit excited, but do know that there is a lot of work ahead to bring your vision to life. If trees, especially, have been identified as a need to remove, the work won’t be completed in a day. Rather, you may remove the trees and still have to contend with ground conditions that need time to settle before we can embark on the construction journey. Tree root protection is, and in our opinion SHOULD BE, a very big deal. In general, it’s heavily regulated. In some areas, it’s illegal to remove a tree for any reason at all. Example – you’ve built a home near a beautiful tree. Years later, it dies. Guess who is liable and susceptible to all sorts of different fees? That would be you. As noted in this document, ” Work causing damage to or destruction of a tree’s root system can have a detrimental effect on the tree’s health and value as well as the safety of people or property around the tree.”
4. Some trees are removed for safety reasons, or they greatly impede on the dream vision that our customers have in their heads. But, it’s important to remember, that many of these trees could easily be shifted into the star of the show when it comes to your home. Think about designing a home, or shifting your current design, so that you’re building around these trees. They’ll be an especially important part of the process and you’ll have all sorts of special memories later – both for you, and for future generations of those who own your home. That said, make sure that the design that you land on with the experts that you work with, takes several things into consideration. Tree root protection may be required if the distance between the trees on your property and the proposed construction is within one-and-a-half times of the trees’ potential full height. Deeper foundations or bored piers may be required.
5. You will also want to think through light, shadow, protection from any additional fallen vegetation/leaves/branches. Also make sure that there’s access for any sort of tree maintenance – and unfortunately, there will definitely be necessary tree maintenance.
6. All of the above will mean a necessity of spending a little bit of money. Just remember that it will all be worth it in the end. The best way to circumvent the associated stress with spending, is to plan ahead. Have that fund that’s specifically entailed for home renovation or construction projects. We have a commitment within the AHH family to always provide firm and fair quotes, and to do so with a timeline that keeps you in mind.
You’ll note above that we’ve bolded the key words for each of these pieces of advice. Home construction should never be so stressful that you lose the excitement for your future dream home. And half of the challenge is working with experts in our industry who simply will never lose that spark of inspiration or motivation. That’s definitely something that you’ll never lose while working with the AHH team – now and for as far as we can see into the foreseeable future. Question? Always. Comments on our services? Yes please. Ideas on how we can elevate our creativity even further for you? That sounds wonderful. Phone, email, perhaps in-person – the AHH team is excited to connect with you.