When building a new home, don’t forget to put serious thought into how the house will be positioned on the lot or acreage. It might seem like a technical detail but the position of the house can have a big affect on day-to-day living. Let’s look at the crucial elements that go into the decision.
Custom versus tract home. In a tract home subdivision, the developer has final say on the positioning of all homes on their respective lots, leaving you with no input. But custom home homebuyers can have a big say in where their homes are situated.
Know the local codes. When building on your lot, it is crucial to know what local building codes require for “set backs.” The house must be a certain distance from the boundaries of the property. There also may be required clearances for fencing and a septic system. These spacing requirements may influence not only where the house can be placed, but the size of the home.
Follow the sun. Ideally, it is recommended that you minimize how much the west sun hits a house late in the day by having the smallest side of the house facing west or placing the garage on that side. If you have large trees, try to place the home where they provide shade on the western exposure. This usually means having the house face north or south. This is particularly important in the South.
Wind. In the era before heating and air conditioning, houses were positioned facing north or south so cooling breezes would blow through open windows. That’s not as important now, but it might be nice on pleasant days to have a gentle breeze bring fresh air indoors. On the other hand, if you live in an area prone to high winds, you might position the home at a slight angle, use hillsides as a wind block or consider planting trees and tall shrubs to slow the wind’s effect.
Views. Take into account the view through your windows. If the area is picturesque, make sure windows capture those views. You may also want to avoid certain views, such as neighbors’ homes or other nearby structures.