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House Plans - Choosing the Right One for You

Choosing a Home Building Lot for your house plan

Level building lots are less difficult and less expensive to build, although they are not always as eye-catching as a sloping lot. A sloping lot will allow you to tuck the garage under the house and possibly plan for a daylight basement.

Narrow lots generally require a house with multi-levels instead of a sprawling layout, whereas, wider shallow lots can be ideal for broad one-story house plans.

Scenic lots or sloping lots with beautiful views will inspire you to choose a house plan that includes large panoramic windows and roomy outdoor deck space which will allow you to enjoy those wonderful sunrises and sunsets.

When purchasing a new house plan it is important to consider how many cars you currently own. Will there be adequate driveway space as your family grows or parking if you entertain large groups of people?

If you have already purchased your house plan you might need to look for building lot that will complement that design.

Some other things to think about as you search for a lot; remember you will probably have to make a few compromises along the way, so rank them in the order of importance.

The first thing we recommend is to make a list of the things that you liked and disliked about places you have lived and visited in the past.

Once you have prepared a complete list of the most important attributes you can begin researching different locations. While searching for you ideal building lot, evaluate each lot based upon the qualities that you have identified on your list.

Questions to Investigate before you purchase your lot

Is the building lot large enough to accommodate your house plan and any future expansion?

Often there are building code restrictions limiting the precise location on the lot space upon which the actual house construction can take place. Therefore, check with local building department prior to purchase to determine what restrictions might be in place for the lot.

If your house plan necessitates a particular side or location for a driveway or garage you will need to figure out how much space you will need to turn into the space and allow for adequate distance on one of the sides.

Although you could submit a petition after purchase to the local zoning board for a change in variance this can be a lengthy process which can drag out the completion of your home and often communities will not consent to any changes or modifications to the zoning restrictions for residential areas in the community.

Check with the county in which you are building for local codes that may need to be met by your builder.

What is an easement?

Easements grant rights to people other than the owner, to access and use of a property.

A private easement is limited to a specific individual such as the owner of an adjoining land. A public easement is one that grants the right to a large group of individuals or to the public in general, such as the easement on public streets and highways.

Easements include:

Driveway easements, also known as easement of access
Telephone easements
Storm drain easements
Sanitary sewer easements
Electrical power easements
Sidewalk easements
Restrictive Easement

A restrictive easement is a condition placed on land by its owner or by government that in some way limits its use, usually regarding the types of structures which may be built there or what may be done with the ground itself. Restrictive easements are also frequently placed on wetlands to prevent them from being destroyed by development.

If the zoning of a lot has easement restrictions it may limit or restrict which areas of the property can be built and can confine and limit the construction of your new home to a specific size and dimension as well as portion of the lot space. Therefore, prior to purchase it is advisable to check with the local zoning laws to determine if any easements or restrictions might apply to the building lot that you are considering.

Will the lot flood?

Check the drainage after a heavy rain. Make sure the lot is not in a floodplain. A lot with standing water or a heavy flow of water during a rainstorm can lead to wet basements and other problems down the road. Lots which are situated on low-lying areas adjacent to streams that periodically overflow may cause your property to flood. A landscape architect can suggest some solutions to bad drainage or flooding concerns.

Check the direction of the sun. Where does it rise and where does it set? If you are an early riser you might enjoy those early rays of sunshine beaming into your bedroom windows, or you might enjoy watching the sunset from a backyard deck. Which side will get a southern exposure making it ideal for growing plants and flowers; also, you might want to position the house so the garage and or storage buildings can be on the north side. This keeps them in shadows most of the day and allows the living areas to receive more light.

Another point to consider is the direction of the wind. By positioning the house to shield the outdoor living spaces from northwest winter winds you could extend the seasonal usage of these spaces by three or four months.

Keeping the above factors in mind will help you select the perfect lot for your new home.

So, now that you know what to look for all you need to do is choose a style! See our information on Architectural Floor Plan Styles.

We also have a great deal of information on How to Read and Understand Blueprints.

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