One of the best parts of living in Austin is proximity to the striking Texas Hill Country. With such beauty surrounding us, it’s easy to get swept up in a fantasy about life on the range. Ranch life may seem like a dream, but creating your own utopia set apart from the city may be more accessible than you realize. As with any project, building your ranch comes down to taking the proper steps to achieve the goal. Here are five considerations to help you make Austin ranch life a reality.
Planning for, Finding and Preparing a Lot
While finding land for your ranch is an obvious step, it’s important that you have a plan for what you want to build as you explore options. There are many builders in Austin, TX, but you will want to find one with ranch construction expertise. The sooner you involve an expert in your process, the more likely you will find a lot that checks all the boxes. Your lot search is also less likely to catch a snag if you outline your priorities, such as acreage, views, accessibility and land use plans.
Once you find your lot, you will need to prepare it for your build. These steps will depend on how close the lot is to being ready for your ranch. Work to ready your property could include:
- Tree and brush removal
- Excavating boulders and large rocks
- Adapting the topography to support structures and drainage
Designing and Building a Ranch House
It’s likely that your ranch dreams are most clear when you imagine the home where you’ll be living. Maybe you see wide porches from which you’ll watch the sunrise or sunset. Perhaps you envision an airy living room that opens out to a poolside deck for hosting family barbecues.
Though ranch home styles have common features, you know your dream home the best. In our experience as a builder in Austin, TX, we have seen clients find many ways to make their ranch homes unique. It’s important that your builder understands your style, so you can do your part to keep Austin weird!
Though design is important, the materials you use in your home also matter. Building a house on the range may make hardier support like that in an ICF home desirable. Being surrounded by nature, many modern ranches use green materials. While green building is better for the environment, some processes also improve indoor air quality, increase energy efficiency and aid in soundproofing. Consult with your builder to help determine the components that will create a home you will enjoy for years and years.
Connecting to Utilities (or Not)
Just because you’ve chosen to live on a ranch, you don’t have to give up the luxuries of modern living. Reaching out to municipal or county authorities about electricity, gas and water will help you determine how to set up your property for these connections. Plan with your builder for well and sump systems to ensure that your property is fully functional when you relocate.
If you would like to build a hybrid or off-grid home, consult with your builder about how to incorporate rainwater tanks and solar, wind or geothermal energy resources into your plans. You may be able to qualify for tax rebates or other incentives for using renewable energy components.
Driveway, Road and Path Construction
Even if building a ranch is a way for you to get away from it all, it’s likely that you’ll want some connection with the outside world. That means your property will need a driveway and a road. Work with your builder to plan a route, taking into consideration topography, grading, paving, drainage and future maintenance needs. Depending on your lot access points, you may need permits from the city or county to build these routes.
If you have additional structures on your lot, you may want to build a road or path to facilitate safe passage between them.
This item may be the final checkbox on the list, but it’s not an afterthought. How you choose to use your ranch land impacts the other pieces. Whether you need space for a classic car collection, pack of alpacas, honky-tonk or bonsai garden (or all four), you’ll have specific structural goals. Bringing in builders with extensive ranch experience in Austin will ensure that everything goes to plan, from fencing your property to crafting water features. Your ranch dreams deserve to be executed with the same care you have put into planning them.
Ready to plan your ranch? At Mangum Builders, we have the expertise, experience and resources as builders in Austin, TX, to bring your dreams to fruition. Contact us to move your ranch project into the next gear.