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6 developer requirements to watch for when purchasing land

Choosing where you want to build your new home is a big decision, however this can be influenced by the design guidelines set by your developer. Developer’s requirements may add costly changes to your home that you may have overlooked. We have made a list of six requirements to watch out for when purchasing land through a developer.


Time frames

Time frames that are set by land developers are a very important clause to consider. It is not only the time frame in which you should start to build on the block of land, but often includes time frames to complete the house, and a time frame in which to complete landscaping. These items are important to keep in mind, so you do not incur extra costs from the developer.

Minimum build size

Some developments stipulate that you must build a two-storey house or a house of a minimum size. It often comes down to the specific block that you have purchased and the size of that block. However this clause can often change your house design or force you to build a bigger house then you intended to or budgeted for. So research the development before jumping in.

Screen wall types

Plenty of developers note the fences that you must build in order to comply with their requirements. The fence type along the rear and side setbacks are often a standard colorbond of a specific colour and height. Yet if you are building on a corner block or in particular areas, limestone blocks or rendered brick low walls with a permeable infill can be required, and are at the owners cost unless otherwise noted.



The materials in which you build your house are very important. These materials and their colours need to be approved by the developer and therefore must match what is outlined in the developers guidelines. A mix of two different materials, such as weatherboard clad and rendered brickwork, may be required. There is often a list of preferred colours, and the roof and front elevation are usually the focus. Heads up, a hot pink façade is rarely allowed!


Check what you can build before you design your house. Your front elevation is usually the elevation that will be scrutinised the most. It must comply with the design guidelines. For instance, your garage may need to be set back 500mm to the front of the house. When you house plans are sent to the developer for approval they will consider the design with reference to their guidelines, and are well within their rights to reject any designs that do not meet their standards. Keep in mind corner blocks usually require additional elements.


Building envelopes

A developer controls where on the block you can build, how high your house can be and how far back from the road you can place your house. These are considered a part of your building envelope. They are to keep the development of a certain standard, and create what they consider a certain quality of living. When designing your home you may need your house design adjusted to suit these requirements. It may be in your best interest to review your developers guidelines carefully so as to not be disappointed when you can’t have what you intended.