Select Your Lot BEFORE You Design Your Home

The Importance of Placement of a Home on Your Lot

Have you made the exciting decision to build a new home? Are you ready to start the building process? Stop right there. Do you have a lot yet? If not, you’re missing an important step.

When deciding to build a home, you should find and secure your lot before you design the home. Clients often do this in reverse and end up having to rework a design to fit the lot, or end up settling on a lot they don’t love in order to accommodate their design.

You do need to decide on the basic style of home you want (ranch, 1 story, 2 story, etc.) and a general overall size to be sure the lot will be large enough to accommodate it, however it is not advisable to do any final designs until you find your lot. To get a good idea of the size of your future home, consult plans on the Internet, in books, or if you are working with an architect or builder, they can also assist you with this preliminary information.

The reason to secure the lot before doing any final designs is to properly place the home on the lot to emphasize the good qualities and minimize the less desirable features of the lot.

Examples include:

  • Direction of the sun
  • Existing large trees
  • Landscape features – valleys, ponds, etc.
  • Planning for the future – pools, patios, extra garages, sheds, etc.
  • Neighboring homes and the related views

In the photos above, you can see the lot that was chosen by our example client. Before designing their home, this family chose the pictured lot for its location in their desired subdivision, its proximity to the owner’s workplace, its private wooded backyard, and its ability to accommodate the overall size of home they desired. There are some unique challenges with this particular lot that we’ll discuss in the coming weeks as we begin to design their home.

The way the lot is oriented can have a direct impact on which side the garage(s) would go on, and therefore how the home will need to be designed and placed on the lot. If the lot slopes from side-to-side this could also affect the garage placement and overall design. Do you want the sun in the kitchen in the morning or in the master bedroom? This could affect which side of the home the kitchen is on. The neighboring home on the left of your lot may have a pool you don’t want to look at from your family room, forcing you to design it facing the other way. The reasons for placing importance on the home orientation are endless.

Most homes that are designed before a lot is purchased are compromised in one way or another or the buyers are forced to buy/build on a lot they don’t really like because they need their house to fit. Building your new home is a significant investment and it should reflect your likes and lifestyle, not what has been forced on you by the limitations of your lot.

Bottom line: Do your homework and select your lot before you finalize the design of your home.

The top ten things to consider when selecting your lot will be covered in the next blog post. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have or to discuss building your new home or remodel project.