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3 Home Design Solutions to Challenging Building Lots
Duo Dickinson / Houzz / May 1, 2013
After World War II, the Federal Interstate Highway System allowed easy access for millions of families to populate subdivided farmland outside every major city in the United States. Flat, dry land with good soils for structural support and for receiving the new homes’ septic flow were gobbled up by suburban sprawl for a generation.
But for the past 30 years, available homesites within commutable distances from workplaces have often been awkward leftovers. Their property lines have trended away from simple rectangles to some pretty crazy shapes. Steep slopes are often part or all of new home building sites. Wetlands are often present. Septic fields are often located by the subsoils rather than responding to accommodate the best house location.
Typical house plans we often see — ranch, bungalow, cape and center hall — were conceived for simpler sites. Now homeowners looking to build must use designers to reconceive stock house plans or come up with custom designs to deal with the irregularities of available lots. It’s the same for those who want to expand an existing home onto sites whose contours, wetlands or soil conditions make simple expansion either impossible or exquisitely overpriced.