Top 5 site attributes to consider for your custom designed home


The best home designs seamlessly integrate into their surroundings. They complement the natural environment whilst enhancing your lifestyle.

If you’re looking to build your own home, it’s one of the most exciting and rewarding journeys you can embark on, however, the process isn’t as easy as picking a design and expecting it to be compatible with your site.

Regardless of whether it’s a vacant block or you’re planning a knockdown rebuild , every site has features, opportunities and constraints, all considerations to achieve the ultimate design outcome.

With the right custom builder even the most seemingly challenging sites can be capitalised upon to create one-of-a-kind stunning custom home.

Here’s the top 5 site attributes you need to consider before you start your journey.

1. Sloping Sites

1. Sloping Sites

Our aim is to always ensure we work with the land and not against it, so we will consider the opportunities for a spit-level design which can add to the dynamic form of your custom home and maximise the accommodation within.

Sloping sites are home to some of the most beautiful properties in Australia. Their elevation offers spectacular sweeping views. Sloping sites do come with unique site challenges that need to be taken into consideration when designing your home, but we see sloping sites as an opportunity for a great design outcome to enhance everyday living.

Regardless of the configuration of your site, our award winning “in house” design team will consider possibly incorporating a basement or semi-basement garage, split level configuration, raised ceilings and other suitable design features that help mask the fall of the land and integrate the home comfortably into its environment, avoiding the need for costly and unsightly retaining walls and embankments were possible.

The payoff for what are typically higher site costs compared to a flat block, can be well worth it, as it leads to opportunities for a unique design outcome, incorporating large balconies and unique landscaping such as an infinity edge pool.



2. Solar Orientation

2. Solar Orientation

Solar orientation refers to the orientation of your site in relation to the sun’s path, and it should always be a major consideration in how your new home is designed.

How the sun tracks over your property throughout the day plays a big role in the homes natural heating and cooling abilities and ensures that sunlight is maximised whilst ensuring running costs of your home are reduced.

We will ensure that your home has appropriate protection to keep cool in the summer whilst the sun is at its highest, and passive warming in winter when the sun is at its lowest.

Blocks can face in all directions, and you may hear terminology such as east-west and north-south facing blocks. Each direction has advantages and disadvantages but these considerations are the very reason a custom home design will maximise sunlight.

How can solar orientation affect your design? It can determine the position of your outdoor entertaining spaces – is it on the side of the home or facing the back yard? Your bedrooms and window positioning will be carefully considered according to a sites specific orientation, but it also brings opportunities for beautiful design features such as double height voids to let more sunlight penetrate into spaces of your home are positioned on your south boundary. 

Talk to our experienced team to consider the opportunities for your site to maximise solar orientation and ensure your new custom home is both efficient to operate and comfortable to live in all year round.

3. Trees & Vegetation

3. Trees & Vegetation

Trees provide a beautiful aesthetic to your property, but they also present challenges for owners who wish to remove certain vegetation to build their vision.

Government Councils have local laws and vegetation overlays that protect vegetation, particularly large established trees. 

Depending on the configuration, location and type of trees on your site and neighbouring properties, this can present significant challenges in designing a new home. Large tree protection zones can heavily impact the design outcome whether they are on your site or neighbouring properties.

A custom design solution inevitably lends itself to designing around any tree protection zones to comply with Council requirements or simply working with trees that will enhance the design outcome.

We can assist you by engaging a qualified Arborist to assess all vegetation of yours and neighbouring sites to consider the constraints and opportunities afforded by existing trees.

It is often of significant benefit to work with e stablished vegetation that surrounds the home, to bring the visual impact and tranquility of the surrounding treescape into living spaces, while aiding privacy and providing welcome shade.



Designing a home to capitalise on spectacular views is the foundaiton of a Latitude 37 home. 

Bay views, city views, you name it, if the potential exists, our award winning design team will ensure views are maximised by orientating living spaces and bedrooms to face the view and incorporating balconies and other vantage points throughout the home.

A custom design will ensure that you are capturing the full potential of your views, so you can watch the fog roll through the hills as you wake up, or wind down in the evening to a spectacular sunset and watch the city lights take over in the distance.

5. Planning Requirements

5. Planning Requirements

There are a range of planning requirements that need to be carefully considered to ensure that the home we design for you is compliant.

While each council has differing requirements, typical considerations include;

1. General/Neighbourhood Residential Zones.
2. Design & Development Overlays
3. Significant Landscape/Vegetation Protection
4. Bushfire Protection
5. Environmental Management
6. Heritage limitations (rare but significant)

Our experienced design team will investigate all relevant planning requirements to ensure that we maximise the potential for your design  whilst remaining compliant with all requirements under the Planning Scheme.


Some projects will require a Town Planning permit be obtained from Council which can significantly extend the time required before works can commence on site.  By designing around the various requirements, we may be able to assist in avoiding the planning permit, thus expediting commencement and completion of your new home.

Choosing the right custom home builder for you

Understanding the site attributes that will affect your home design is just the beginning of your journey. We work with each client to create spaces that truly encapsulate the opportunities afforded by your site, your desired lifestyle and budget. Before we start your design we will visit your site to get a sense of the space, the neighbourhood, vegetation, and the like, to ensure we find the ultimate design outcome.

Latitude 37 is one of Melbourne’s most awarded custom home design & build companies. Our experienced “in house” building/interior design team have a range of architecture and building design qualifications creating amazing, award winning designs.

Are you ready to design and build your dream home? Get in touch with us below, or book a discovery session in one of our custom designed display homes, today.

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