Dan Chitwood: Certified Landscape Architect  









Site Planning for New Homes

If you are planning to build a new house, Dan Chitwood can help determine the best location and orientation for your house. The site will often dictate the type of house you should build. "Forcing" the wrong house plan on a site will increase site costs in retaining walls, grading, utilities, etc.

Investing in a professionally designed site plan has many advantages:

  • Saves money on site costs
  • Reduces costs due to oversights
  • Produces a coordinated and integrated final product
  • Enhances aesthetics and usability of outdoor spaces
  • Allows project to be phased without wasted effort
  • Provides a clear vision of goals and objectives

I recommend the following procedure for siting a new home:

First, select a house plan that "fits" the site and your lifestyle. If you already have a house plan picked out, select a site that is compatible.

Next, have a topographical survey of the site prepared showing the boundary, contours, existing trees, utilities, etc. If the location of the house has been staked, Dan Chitwood can help predict views from windows, decks, and living spaces.

Using the survey, Dan Chitwood will develop a conceptual master plan, comprising the location and materials for the house, outdoor living areas, driveways and walkways, plants, and irrigation and drainage.


Before you begin clearing and grading, ask yourself or your contractor some of these questions:

  • Is the house oriented properly? Have all options been considered?
  • Where will the driveway be? How steep is the driveway?
  • Where do guests park? How do they get to the front door? Can you turn around easily?
  • Where will walkways be? What material should be used? Will there be steps?
  • Will there be any retaining walls? How tall will they be? What material should be used?
  • Where will the drainage go? Will any pipes or inlets be necessary?
  • How steep will the lawn be? Can you mow it safely?
  • Will topsoil be saved and stockpiled or will it be hauled in?
  • Can existing trees be saved? How will they be protected?
  • Will cut/fill balance on-site?
  • How will the property be landscaped?
  • Will irrigation be necessary? Where will faucets be located?
  • How will the property be lighted?

Design fees for site planning vary depending on size and complexity of the site and house. Contact me today.

Get the answers to these questions in writing or in the form of a drawing. Talk is cheap but construction is not. Having these issues resolved prior to construction can save you time, money and headaches. Problems are often easy to solve while your options are open. But once the concrete is poured your choices are limited.

With the approach I have outlined, I can answer your site questions accurately.

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