It sounds so simple, it's often ignored. But, the location of your building site has a big impact on the design and orientation of your home. If you're building on an infill lot, the proximity of neighbors will affect where you place windows for privacy and views. If you're building in a new subdivision, property owner association covenants may dictate your exterior finishes. Building on a steep lake lot? Don't worry - we've built on lots as steep as 55 degrees. If your site is in the country, you're lucky! You'll have the greatest flexibility in positioning your home the way you want for views and access to solar energy.
Before we begin the design process, we visit your site with you to see the lay of the land, observe natural drainage patterns, and take note of existing trees and other natural features. We consider privacy concerns, what your views will be from inside the home, the location of existing utilities, or whether you need to drill a well, install a septic system or bring in utilities. The latitude and elevation of the site help define microclimates and seasonal sun angles. Everything will help define a floor plan that takes advantage of passive solar energy and creates a mix of spacious and intimate living spaces for you and your family.
After the house plan is approved and working drawings are complete, Stitt Energy staff visit the site again and “stake the house.” This establishes the footprint of the house and shows workmen where to excavate. We rope off areas to be protected and make every effort to minimize damage to your site. This includes setting aside space for the basic needs of workers and delivery drivers - parking, equipment storage, and even portable toilets. Any trees that must be cut are generally cut for future firewood or ground for mulch and used as erosion control. When necessary, we construct silt fences to prevent soil from being washed away during rains.
As construction draws to a close, we encourage grading the site to meet Energy Star® 3.0 water management standards. The final back-fill tamped ground should slope at least half an inch per foot for ten feet or more around the house. Patios need only slope half that amount. This ensures water drains away from your home's foundation preventing future erosion. Construction waste is never buried on the site.
We also encourage Xeriscaping, a form of landscaping that promotes water conservation and the preservation of topsoil. By planting drought tolerant, indigenous plants, you'll create a beautiful outdoor space while reducing your need for landscape maintenance and irrigation. Consider installing rain water collection barrels or underground reservoirs for a sustainable way to provide water for plantings without using treated water.