The Perfect Sitefor your new custom designed home

This is the first blog in a series relating to the challenges and opportunities in building a new custom home.

Many consumers are leery of designing and building a custom home and for many good reasons. As a professional building designer for over 35 years I have seen firsthand the benefits as well as the pitfalls experienced in the process. It doesn’t matter whether you have built a home before or where it is being built. These problems are almost universal. I will be posting a series of blogs to highlight the ups and downs as well as how to make the home design endeavor an enjoyable one.

Find The Perfect Site!

The home’s site is the first and most critical decision in the home building process. Frank Lloyd Wright said about selecting a site “Go to the very edge of town and then drive another seven miles further”. A great number of factors need to be considered. If you work, your commute time is a big factor. Do you want acreage or amenities? Does privacy outweigh being in a deed restricted community?

Once you have settled on a particular site you will need to do a lot of research. If it is unimproved land, are there utilities nearby? What is the zoning restrictions (if any) to building on the property? Will you need a well, septic system? Please remember, large unimproved sites will have much greater infrastructure costs associated with them.

Can’t Build on The Perfect Site?

If you choose a lot in a deed restricted community, make sure you understand those restrictions before purchasing. Don’t be surprised when you can’t build that contemporary home because the community guidelines call for an exclusively Colonial style. Are there minimum square footage requirements that may force you to build a larger home than you want?

I work with many clients that become frustrated dealing with the restrictions of their community and their ARB or “Architectural Review Board”. However remember this process is intended to protect both yourself and your neighbor’s investment. If individual expression is your passion, you had better think twice about a deed restricted community.<

Other considerations are governmental restrictions. Building setbacks; minimum floor elevation; height, use and coverage restrictions should be carefully examined by you and your design professional or builder.

If you consider carefully your home site and its limitations upfront you are well on your way to an enjoyable building experience.

Next Issue: Selecting The Perfect Team