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Upstate NY Home Building and Lifestyle Blog

The Importance of Site Selection in Custom Home Building

Posted by John Graziose

Wed, Dec 20, 2023 @ 11:12 AM

The Importance of Site Selection in Custom Home Building

Your beautiful new custom home is only part of the equation. Where will it sit, and what will surround it? If you're considering constructing a home in the beautiful Greater Rochester area, you've already made a great choice. The right site lays the foundation for your dream home, influencing everything from the design to how you enjoy your space. Gerber is here to guide you through this important decision so that you make the best choice for your future home.

Drone view of new home community site in greater Rochester, NYLocation Factors in Choosing a Building Site

When picking the perfect spot for your custom home, several key factors should be at the forefront of your decision-making.

  • Proximity and Accessibility: The location of your site dictates many aspects of your daily life. Consider how close the site is to essential services like grocery stores, hospitals, schools, and your workplace. Factor in accessibility to major roads and public transportation, especially if you commute regularly.
  • Community Environment: The community around your potential home site can significantly impact your lifestyle. Some might prefer a serene, secluded environment, while others might thrive in a lively neighborhood near urban amenities. Think about the community’s character and whether it aligns with your lifestyle and values.
  • Natural Environment: The natural surroundings of a site can greatly enhance your daily experience. Proximity to water bodies, parks, or nature reserves can offer recreational opportunities and scenic views. However, it’s also important to consider natural risks such as flooding or landslides, especially in certain geographic locations.Drone view of site for new construction home in greater Rochester, NY

Evaluating the Physical Characteristics of the Lot

When narrowing down your choice for the perfect lot, it’s crucial to delve into the specific physical characteristics of each potential site.

  • Land Use and Zoning: Before falling in love with a piece of land, it’s essential to understand the local zoning laws and regulations. These can affect everything from the type of structure you can build to specific land use practices. For instance, some areas may restrict the height of buildings or the percentage of land that can be covered by a structure.
  • Soil and Topography: The soil quality and topography of your lot can have significant implications for construction. Conducting a soil test before finalizing your purchase is crucial, as it can reveal potential problems like poor drainage or the need for extensive grading. The topography of the land also influences the design of your home and can impact both construction costs and aesthetic appeal.
  • Utility Access and Lot Preparation: Another vital aspect to consider is the accessibility to essential utilities like water, electricity, gas, and sewage. If these utilities aren’t readily available, the cost of installing them can be substantial. Evaluating for septic and well use on undeveloped land is also vital. Additionally, the level of lot preparation required, such as clearing trees or leveling land, can also add to the overall cost and should be factored into your decision.
Gerber Homes team walking on lot for new construction home in Orchard View Estates

Legal and Regulatory Considerations

Navigating the legal and regulatory landscape is a critical part of the site selection and home-building process. Expert site selection services can be critical in evaluating the land use details relevant to any lot.

  • Land Use Permits and Regulations: Before you begin building, it's essential to understand and comply with local land use regulations. These may include zoning laws, environmental regulations, and building codes. Securing the necessary permits is not just a legal requirement but a step that ensures the safety and legality of your home.
  • Timeframe Considerations: If you're wondering how long after buying land you have to build, this is often dictated by local regulations or permits. Some regions may require you to start construction within a certain period after purchasing the land or after obtaining permits. Familiarizing yourself with these timeframes helps plan your project efficiently and avoids any legal complications.

Designing Your Home Site Plan

A well-thought-out home site plan is crucial in bringing your vision to life. This is the joy of building a custom home on your lot. Every detail can sing in harmony. 

  • Integrating the Home with the Land: A good site plan takes into account the land's topography, orientation, natural features, and any unique characteristics. For example, positioning your home to take advantage of natural light can enhance energy efficiency and ambiance.
  • Considering Future Developments: When designing your site plan, think about potential future changes. This could include additional structures, landscaping, or renovations. Planning for the future ensures that your home can evolve with your needs.
  • Professional Input: Architects and planners can provide valuable insights into creating a site plan that maximizes the potential of your land while adhering to regulatory standards. They can help in making informed decisions about the placement of the home, driveways, outbuildings, and other critical aspects.

Gerber Homes new construction sign on Ontario Center Road land for custom home buildingChoosing the Right Partner for Site Selection

Embarking on the journey of building a custom home is thrilling, yet it comes with significant decisions. One of the most important is selecting your home site. This is where choosing the right partner becomes invaluable.

John Graziose of Gerber Homes in office on phone

  • Expertise and Insight: A knowledgeable partner like Gerber Homes brings years of experience in assessing various sites. We understand the nuances of location, from soil quality and topography to local zoning laws and future development plans. Our insight ensures you avoid potential pitfalls and find a site that meets both your needs and your budget.
  • Understanding Your Vision: We take the time to understand your lifestyle, preferences, and long-term goals. Whether you're looking for a quiet, secluded spot or a vibrant community close to amenities, our aim is to find a location that aligns with your vision.
  • Navigating Legalities and Logistics: With various regulations and requirements involved in land purchase and home building, having an expert by your side simplifies the process. We help navigate zoning codes, land use permits, and other legal aspects, ensuring a smooth path to building your home.
  • Customized Options: Whether you're looking to build in one of our existing developments or have a specific piece of land in mind, our team is equipped to offer tailored solutions. We can even assist in finding and evaluating new land, expanding your options beyond the conventional.
  • Budget Management: Understanding the cost implications of different sites is crucial. We provide transparent cost assessments, helping you make an informed decision that stays within your financial comfort zone.

Are you ready to embark on the exciting journey of building your custom home in the Greater Rochester area? Contact us today to discuss your ideas, and let's turn your dream into a reality.

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