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HOW TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT LOT FOR YOUR CUSTOM HOME

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What to consider when looking for the building site for your home? Choosing Your 360 Home Lot

There are many aspects of a piece of land that you should consider when building a new home. I would like to focus on three that we consider to be key for choosing the perfect lot for your home:

  1. TOPOGRAPHY AND NATURAL LAND FORMS
  2. VEGETATION, SUN AND CLIMATE
  3. REGULATIONS AND ZONING

Choosing the right piece of land is the first step to build your DREAM HOME - your 360 Home. People tend to focus on size or square footage of the property and that is definitely one consideration, but there are several other factors that impact the value of the land and how it will help you achieve your 360 Home.

First, look at the TOPOGRAPHY of the land. Is it on hill, is it in a valley, does it have drop-offs? The smaller the lot, the more important it is to consider all of these topographical aspects, since "every inch matters". As we all know, "water flows downhill" and will drain on your lot if you are the lowest point in the neighborhood - if your lot is in the valley. It is key, to keep natural flow of water and drainage when considering a lot. Always try to look for a property on higher ground - its better practically and aesthetically.

When building the house, you can always move dirt around to compensate for the weaknesses of the lot, however that costs money. The less dirt you need to move, the more cost effective the overall house will be.

As I say: "Taking advantage of the natural topography is key."

Second, analyze the natural and existing VEGETATION of the property. Are there many trees? Are the trees in good condition, are they 100 yrs or older? Where are they located? Do they protect the future 360 Home from north colder winds? Do they add shade where they need to? Before you go in and level the entire property of trees to obtain a "clean slate", consider how many years it took for all those trees to mature and how beautifully nestled your home would look if you kept them? Now, I am not saying you should not cut any trees, I am just suggesting you should carefully consider how many you can keep and try to salvage them.

You can't put a price tag on a 100 year old tree and nothing you purchase will compare, so its worth investing in a civil engineer, an arborist and an architect to figure out how to place your 360 Home on the site and keep as many trees as possible. In the long run, you are saving money by taking this holistic approach to your property.

This brings us to the third aspect: Zoning Regulations and Setback Requirements. I know this sounds like "big words" but the reality is that this is a key aspect to consider when choosing a lot for your 360 Home. Every lot has certain requirements and limitations imposed by the local authorities that allows you to build of a certain size or not. You should be familiar with what these are or hire a professional to advise you since it will have an impact on what you can achieve in your lot.

An architect will create a "site plan" of the new house on the lot and will collaborate with engineers to create grading plans, topographic plans, tree location plans and other necessary plans. When your architect designs your home in relation to the lot or site selected, he or she will consider all these aspects and many more. For example, we look at sun orientation, access from the street, location of existing utilities, existing vegetation, land topography, and many more aspects to choose the perfect lot for our clients.

As you can see, the value of working with an architect before you build your 360 Home, starts even way before the Design Phase. You can benefit from this expertise at the "Lot Selection Phase" and you will not only save money but you will achieve the house of your dreams!

 

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In future videos, pod casts and blog posts we will be talking about everything you should consider when building or remodeling a home to make it your dream house - your 360 Home.

I hope you will join me and we'll build your dream home together!

To see other videos about the 360Home Solution visit the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/360HomesLiving

To listen to other pod casts about the 360Home Solution visit the link below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/360Homes

See you next time!

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: custom homes, Building a Luxury Custom Home in Northern Virginia, blog, home design, architecture