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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Moran

Building a Custom Home on Your Own Land

While some custom homes are built in planned communities, luxury home builders frequently find themselves designing homes for lots that owners have already purchased or otherwise have acquired themselves. Often, this provides owners with more creativity when it comes to their custom home design. But owners don’t have to go through the land selection process alone. Luxury builders like J&K Custom Homes can guide homeowners through the entire process. Their expertise in home building and lot selection can make the entire custom building process so much easier, resulting in an even more rewarding final product.

So much attention to detail goes into selecting a lot and designing a home based around that piece of land. Here are some factors to consider when selecting your own land for a custom home.

Lot Topography

The slope and topography of a lot can impact many pieces of a custom home’s design and construction process. An incline might offer the possibility of a walkout basement or an elevated view, but it may limit other design features. Contrarily, a flat lot offers more traditional home design options with the possibility of reduced building costs, but it might limit that stunning view from the back deck. The topography of the land can influence how you use (or don’t use) your backyard as well. Things to consider:

  • Do you want a walkout basement?

  • Do you want an elevated view?

  • How do you want to use your backyard?

  • Will the slope impact the final design for your dream home?


Though unglamorous, basic utilities are a necessity when it comes to building your dream home. The home needs access to water, sewage, electricity, and internet access. Some pieces of land offer easier access to basic utilities than others, but there are options available for lots that don’t. Things to consider:

  • Can the land easily connect to a water source?

  • Can the land connect to a public sewer?

  • Where does the most reliable/cost-effective electricity come from?

  • Which company provides internet access?

  • Are there multiple options for utilities in the area?

Zoning Regulations

Local governments place firm rules on how land can be used (residential, commercial, and industrial). Some local laws and associations have guidelines on set-backs which can impact the dimensions of your homes that can be constructed in residential areas. In the case of a tear-down there can be limitations the zoning and planning department place on what the new structure can be in terms of size and construction materials. Doing some research to understand how your land can be used is a key step in the custom home design process.

Things to consider:

  • Is this lot zoned for the type of house I want to build?

  • Are there any restrictions on house set-backs dimensions?

Natural Risk

Building a house on a flood plain can put your dream home at risk from the start. Look into the property’s level of risk for natural disasters. While custom builders can adapt designs to minimize risk, understanding the risks involved with building in a certain area may change where you decide to build.

Things to consider:

  • Is this lot within a floodplain?

  • Is this lot within an area prone to wildfires?

  • Are there tall trees within falling distance of the future home?


The way in which a home faces can impact your daily routines, so it’s important to consider how you use your home before selecting your piece of land. Hot afternoon sun on the back deck might make barbecuing unbearable, or maybe you want full afternoon sun for the backyard pool. It all depends on your lifestyle and how you plan to use your space.

Things to consider:

  • Where do you want the sun to rise in your home?

  • How do you use your outdoor living space?

  • How much sun will your pool get?

  • Are there any religious considerations regarding direction?

  • How will the home’s facing direction impact its aesthetics?

  • Do you want large windows for natural light?


Some pieces of land come with unavoidable restrictions. Easements might prevent you from building on a certain section of the land. Underground power lines might eliminate the possibility of a walkout basement. Nature preservation might impact the removal of certain trees. A custom home builder can guide you through the research process to figure out what restrictions might exist, and how to work with them to create your dream home. Things to consider:

  • Does the lot have any easements?

  • Are there any utilities that run through the lot?

  • Are there any protected areas within (or around) the lot’s property line?

Surrounding Area

While life in your luxury home is the primary focus of the custom building process, it’s important to consider life outside your home as well. Think about the features you need from your surrounding community based on your own lifestyle. If you have kids in school, which schools will they be attending? If you enjoy going out to restaurants frequently, pay attention to which restaurants are nearby. If you enjoy going for walks every morning, think about the trails, streets, and scenery you appreciate.

Things to consider:

  • What do you enjoy doing in the community outside of your home?

  • Do you have kids that will be attending school in the area?

  • Do you enjoy shopping, going out to restaurants, outdoor exercise, etc.?

Future Plans

Imagine building your dream home with an unobstructed view of the lake from your back deck, only to find that view blocked by a massive factory two years later. Open space around your land might not stay open forever. Take the time to research future plans for the surrounding area, along with the zoning regulations for nearby pieces of open land. Things to consider:

  • Are any major road or infrastructure projects planned in the near future?

  • Are the nearby open spaces zoned as residential, industrial, or commercial?

  • Is there a possibility that a treasured view might become obstructed?

Next Steps

So much strategy goes into selecting the perfect lot for your dream home. Whether you already have a piece of land, or you need help in the selection process, a luxury home builder like J&K Custom Homes can guide you through each step. Whether you already have a piece of land or you want to purchase your own lot, connect with a custom home builder to start the process. Let their expertise turn your dream into a reality.

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