A Lot to Consider


Buying a lot may be the first step you take in building a home; so it’s important to get it right. You’ll be thinking about factors like noise, proximity to neighbors, and price. But what about the actual lot itself? What kinds of things should you look for?


A simple square lot offers room for creativity without too much hindrance. In your search for property you may come across some shapes that are not so easy to figure out:

Pie Wedge

This type of lot works well if you want to live in a tight-knit neighborhood while also maintaining a little bit of space. It also affords the option of living closer to the sidewalk or having more space for side yards. Neighbors are great, but not if you can wave to each other through your living room windows.

Reverse Pie Wedge

This shape has immediate backyard appeal. Anyone with ambitions for a large deck, a pool, or garden shed will be drawn to them. The narrower front means a longer driveway and your home may need to be pushed back farther than anticipated. It’s the perfect lot for those seeking seclusion.


Some lot shapes just don’t fit into any category and that’s okay! This is what building a custom home is all about. Talk to your builder about the lot and they will work with you to find a solution. Funky lot shapes can lead to very innovative solutions and designs.


Flat – These lots are ideal for that “classic” home. Your choices may be limited though if you’re looking to build something more out-of-the-box.

Gently Sloping – This is debatably one of the better lots to come by. You’ll have opportunities for walk-out basements or an overhanging deck on the first floor.

Steeply Sloped – Usable yard space could be a concern here but you can still build a unique house on a piece of property with a larger slope. You and your future home will have to conform to the landscape but that’s not a bad thing.

Lot Location

Where you want to live is entirely up to your family’s needs. Younger families gravitate towards parks and schools while retirees may be drawn to something quieter. Where were you considering?

In a Subdivision – It can be hard to be the first or last to buy in a subdivision. Somewhere in between is best. Make sure you know what the subdivision has in store for the future. Will you be inundated by new construction for the next decade or just a year or two? Take note of the high traffic areas or areas that will become high traffic. If you select a lot that’s closer to the entrance, you’ll have an easier time getting in and out. A lot that’s farther back will keep traffic noise down but may be harder to plow.

In the Country – Beautiful views (especially here in La Plata County) are hard to pass up. Lots with acreage and room to grow are highly sought after. If you’re considering a wooded lot, keep things like tree removal and future raking in mind. If you are thinking of something REALLY out there, look to see what kinds of hazards your future home may be vulnerable to: Rock fall, avalanches, or flooding are the big ones.

Sun Exposure

Lastly, figure out what kind of sun exposure you will get on your lot.

Eastern Exposure – Lots of morning light. Having your front door face that way will help encourage ice and snow melt on your steps early in the day.
Western Exposure – Lots of sun in the afternoon (which is nice for later risers). Be aware that the afternoon sun could make exposed decks hotter than your family finds comfortable.
Southern Exposure – Get the most light all around.

 Northern Exposure – Get the least amount of light all around but would be ideal for hotter climates.

No matter what lot you end up choosing, a creative home-builder will be able to work with it. So prioritize your must-haves and go with your gut. Your future homes is going to look great where ever it lies.