Your Site

By Meg Escott

The design of your new home all starts with your site or lot.  You may already know where your project will be, or you might need to find your land or a home to remodel.

You may even be considering where you want to live - doing research on different locations before you get to the stage of looking for a site.

The importance of your site counts just the same if you're building a new home or doing a remodel, or if you're planning on buying a tract home.

If you're remodeling, you may have the opportunity to move your space around and perhaps add some space to respond better to the site conditions.  If you're buying a house plan or tract home, you get to choose the lot and the house plan so you want to be sure to select a plan and site work well together.

your site

If you were going to design a vehicle, you'd want to know what type of road you're designing it for - the race track, the city, or rugged country roads.

If you were putting together an outfit for a party, you'd need to know what type of party it is and where it's going to be held in order to best decide what to wear.

It's the same with your home.

When you're designing your own home, there is an enormous temptation to jump straight into designing the floor plan.

Your home design will be more successful if you take the time to get to know your site first.

I think you'll be surprised at how much there is to observe and know about your site before you start on the design and how the attributes and qualities of your site will influence the design of your new home as you progress through doing your home design.

Your site will come with some rules about what you can and can't build and there are lots of observations you can make that allow you to use your site to its full potential.

When I concentrate on a specific site or place for which I am going to design a building, I try to plumb its depths, its form, its history and its sensuous qualities.

Peter Zumthor

Find out more about your site

Finding out more about your site will you the knowledge to make design decisions that make sense for your site.

So, what is there to find out?  Make sure you read these pages.

  • Site Orientation
  • Site Survey
  • Site Zoning
  • Site Analysis
  • Site Plan
  • Finding a Site

When you've finished finding out more about your site you'll be armed with lots of information in the form of notes, plans, images and diagrams.

As you're taking in the information about your site, you probably find yourself automatically thinking about the design implications.

Here are some of the decisions you'll find yourself thinking about while you think about your site.  Remember though not to let thoughts of design distract you from the process of observation that is really the crux of getting to know more about your site.

I feel like the site is a metaphysical link, a poetic link, to what a building can be.

Steven Hall

More about your site