New Build- Designing for Your Lot

House Plans for a New Build

Designing for Your Lot

Choosing the right home design for your lot means relying on one golden rule: don't design the house until you've designed the lot. The perfect home design out of a book only remains perfect until you try to have it built on a site that just doesn't fit. Make sure you end up with a house plan that fits your site by taking all of the features of your lot into consideration, including these areas.

House Plans- Topography and natural features: These are two of the first things you should consider when you start narrowing down house plans to fit your lot. The lay of the land plays a major role in which house plan will fit the lot and how the house will be situated. A slope is a great fit for a split-level design that places the entry on a lower level and the living spaces or bedrooms on a higher level. A brook or stream running through a property provides the calming sound of running water - a perfect companion for bedrooms or a patio.

Orientation: The location and direction of your lot influence many aspects of the house design, but perhaps the most prominent is access to the sun. Sitting your house properly according to the sun's movements will help your design team maximize the amount of natural light in your home without overheating it. If possible, aim to place rooms like the kitchen or a breakfast nook toward the east so they can benefit from the morning sun, while spaces, where your family tends to gather at night, can go on the west side of the home to capture afternoon sun.

The orientation of your house should also take the wind into account. Your design firm should account for the typical wind patterns of your local climate when siting your home, as they can design the house with outdoor living spaces that sit in the path of summer breezes or features that serve as windbreaks during the cold months.

Access:  How will people enter your home? How will the entrances on prospective house plans fit on your lot? Access between your home and the street, as well as room for cars to turn around and park, are crucial considerations for a new house. At the same time, you don't want to remove more vegetation than necessary to put in the driveway, and you need a transition from your car to the front steps that makes sense and is aesthetically pleasing. Be careful about blocking or limiting access to the backyard or side yards - you may decide to landscape or build an addition later, and in those cases, poor access will be one more headache for you to deal with during future projects.

Vegetation: How much of the original plant life will you keep? You may not need everything that's currently growing on your property, but it can be hard to know what to have removed and what to leave in place. Consider bringing in an expert who can determine the age, health, and value of the existing vegetation and advise you accordingly. A large tree near the house, for example, can provide invaluable shade and a habitat for birds and small animals, but its roots could grow into your sewer system or damage your foundation if you're not careful. An educated perspective from a professional will help you maximize the value of the remaining plants and trees while removing the ones that aren't contributing to your vision for your home.

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