6 Tips to Ensure a Potential House Floor Plan Fits a Lot Shape

There’s nothing like starting with a clean slate when doing a new home construction! While it can feel like the sky is the limit when creating your home’s floor plan, the reality is that your new construction needs to conform to your lot. These six tips to ensure that a potential house floor plan fits a lot shape will help you start planning with confidence!

1. Focus on Lot Dimensions Instead of Size

You may be used to talking about your lot size in terms of acreage. While that’s useful for knowing how much raw land you have to work with, it’s not quite as helpful when it comes to understanding what your buildable space looks like. For smaller lots, make sure you know the lot dimensions to get an idea of the shape of your floor plan. When building on acreage, measure out your building plot’s dimensions to get a clear idea of what you’re working with.

2. Plan Your Driveway

Don’t treat the driveway as an afterthought! Plot the path of your driveway from the road to your garage door in order to get an idea of how your home will need to be situated in the lot. Prior to finalizing building plans, confirm that the driveway won’t be impeded by any topographical or underground features that will force you to reroute.

3. Understand Your Lot’s Topography

In addition to lot size, lot topography can help to determine the right type of home style. A home with a flat lot probably won’t be able to accommodate a walkout basement. Meanwhile, a home with a sloped lot may be able to fit a daylight basement.

4. Research Local Setback Ordinances

Nearly every town and city has setback ordinances declaring how much space needs to be maintained between a structure and the plot boundary. The purpose of a setback ordinance is to ensure that you’re not encroaching on your neighbor’s property. This is important information to have in mind as you work on your home’s floor plan because it may determine how much you can extend your home if you have a tighter lot.

5. Research Local Rules for Front Yards

A house plan might not work just because it fits in a yard! Many towns have residential building codes with minimum requirements for new front yards. While older homes may be grandfathered in, anyone constructing a new home will need to meet these minimum requirements. Generally, the minimum size required for a front yard is 30 to 60 feet. Working with an experienced local home builder is essential for making sure you don’t overlook important rules regarding where you can build on your lot!

6. Utility Accessibility

Part of successfully positioning a floor plan on a lot is aligning your design with available utilities and infrastructure. If hookups to electricity, water, sewage, and other essentials are available, positioning access points in the home in relation to these features is important. When building on raw or unimproved land, hookups need to be created in conjunction with a floor plan.