This week's post is going to be a quick one. Whether you have already chosen a home plan or a lot or are just starting the process and looking for both, we'd like to let you know of a few general rules to make sure the home plan you pick fits on your lot.
Of course, you're going to want to check with the city in which you're building to be aware of any specific rules they have that may differ regarding placement of a home for your lot. The good news is that many cities have posted their building codes online. Search the web for your city and the term “residential building code.”
Here are the top three questions you should be asking:
1. How wide of a lot do I need?
The most important measurement is going to be the width of the lot. You are going to have to account for space between your home and the property line. Depending upon the location of your lot, the buffer, or “side yard” requirement can be as little as only 5 to 10 feet.
If you already have a specific lot in mind, or if you have purchased one, look at the other homes on the street. In most cases, you should expect your home to have similar requirements.
2. How much extra space does a “side-load” garage require?
For narrower lots, a “front load” garage, where the garage door faces the street, will be the preferred option. For wider lots, a “side load” garage, where the garage door faces the side of the home, will take advantage of the additional space to provide a more decorative and higher-end look.
The standard width for a side load driveway is 20-24 feet, although we would recommend a minimum of 25 feet to accommodate larger vehicles and ease of entry and exit.
3. How far from the street should I put my home?
Residential building codes will also have a minimum requirement for a front yard. Again, look at the other houses on the street where you plan to build to see how far back you should put your house. Some lots may only require a 30-foot front yard while the norm for neighborhoods may be around 50 feet.
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