Finding The Perfect Place To Build Your Home
Finding and evaluating the perfect lot for your new home is not always simple. Years can be spent searching for the right opportunity. With our trusted team of architects, engineers and agents, Sprouse House has the experience and resources to perform the necessary due diligence and expedite your search!
Sometimes, documentation provided by sellers may be out-of-date or incomplete. Discovering and understanding the real limitations that can impact the cost and feasibility of building your new home can be difficult and time-consuming.
From years of experience in pursuit and purchase of land and developed lots, we understand the important questions and answers and their implications..
- How will we design around trees that we want to save (or must be saved)?
- What are the local permitting processes?
- How long does it take and how much does it cost?
- How do we get utilities to our house?
- Deed Restrictions & Building Codes
- Architectural Control & Homeowners Associations
- Neighbors & Privacy
- Utility & Sewer Access (Well & Septic)
- Topography & Land Features
- Soil Conditions & Flooding
- Environmental Regulations
Surprise is not something you will savor after purchasing land or investing significant time and expense in designing, planning and engineering a home. We’ll help you determine the usable square footage of a property, identify land use and zoning requirements, and understand property valuation, transaction history, and nearby land comps. Our full-service methodology is designed to address all your concerns upfront—even those you might not have considered.
’’There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
You can easily walk a lot and fall in love only to later discover you don’t have adequate space for your house, drive, a pool or septic system. To help identify potential issues and limitations, Sprouse House will arrange a survey to verify and record site information needed and required for the construction of your home. A survey showing boundaries, topography, trees, utilities, property lines, roads, and adjacent structures is not only helpful, but generally necessary for design, engineering, planning and permitting.
Beyond size, shape and orientation, we’ll evaluate topography—identifying slopes and valleys that could be problematic and add additional costs as well as flood potential and trees that may limit your building area and require setbacks during planning and construction.
Soils and stability of land is a complex and important consideration in designing your home and specifically your foundation. We’ll perform an environmental assessment and materials testing to evaluate soil properties and pinpoint challenges specific to residential construction.
Understanding community restrictions is critical to planning your new home and the optimal use of your land. These restrictions often include setbacks from front, side, and rear property lines as well as limits on your home’s height, window locations and the placement of air conditioners, utilities and pool equipment.
Many homeowner’s associations require specific design elements relating to exterior materials and finishes. Regulations on roofing, cladding and masonry such as stone, stucco and brick are not uncommon. Some also require specific landscaping, garage door styles and driveways such as pavers). There may also be specific provisions on detached structures such as a garage or guest house.
In some neighborhoods, you must submit architectural drawings and exhibits to a review board—generally consisting of developers, neighbors and board officers. Having your potential neighbors critique and allow your dream home can seem arbitrary and frustrating. We will handle that process for you.
It is a good idea to know the intentions for neighboring land. Discovering a water treatment facility or prison is planned would cause anxiety for many.
Your lot may be governed by local land use codes. We’ll make certain of any controls and present the necessary building and land use applications at the appropriate jurisdictions.
Utilities may not be present in some new developments or on acreage lots. We’ll let you know what you need to budget and plan for gas, electric, communications, water, storm and sewage.
WELL & SEPTIC
Is there water? A well? Is that well tested and approved by the local jurisdiction? What is the expected flow rate and water quality? Often a well has a very large setback from the drilled center point and a septic system cannot be built in this area. If there is not a sanitary sewer system available, you will need a septic system. How large a septic field (lateral field dispersing sewage into the ground) is required based on number of bedrooms/bathrooms you want to build can also be significant. We will coordinate with a licensed and locally knowledgeable septic designer and installer on your behalf.
In some areas, laws pertaining to storm water—including rainwater shed by roofs, drives, walks and paved areas—can be confusing. Paved surfaces may be considered impermeable and therefore produce storm water run-off that has to be accounted.