In the first installment of my series making luxury affordable, I talked about how the right design choices can help you manage your home building budget. This month I’m going to talk about another little-known way to manage costs: house placement on your property.
Building a custom home on flat land is less expensive than building a home on an uneven lot.
A house at the top of a hill may have an amazing view of the Texas Hill Country landscape, while a house on lower ground may afford you an excellent panorama of centuries-old oak trees. While neither of these directly affects price (except as explained above), it’s still important to consider which view will make you happier.
Choosing the land most suited for you is often the first big step in custom home design; working with a builder you trust can make this process easier.
Controlling and using natural light
We believe that natural light is as important as any tangible material we use during construction. Incorporating and controlling light as part of your home’s design is a key way we help minimize the cost of heating or cooling your luxury home once you move in.
- In South Central Texas, we design our homes to reduce our exposure to the west sun. It can be brutal in the summer months.
- West-facing rooms get the most afternoon sun, and that sunlight comes in at a low angle. This means they are not the wisest choices for living rooms — who wants to watch television with all that glare? — or kitchens, because they’re likely to be hot in summer. We ensure that large living spaces face away from the sun so that you save money during the hot Hill Country summers.
- Eastern exposure gives you soft morning light, perfect for kitchens and breakfast nooks.
- Outdoor living areas are ideally located towards the south east so that that southern easterly breeze prevails.
We install double-paned, low-e glass in every home we build — these are significantly more efficient than traditional windows, keeping hot air outside and cool air inside.
The distance that utility lines must travel from junction boxes to the connection points on your home may also be a factor in your custom home’s cost. This could be a separate article on it own, so here are just a few of the things we ask and plan for as we consider a home’s lot placement.
- How far does the power line need to go? If there are trees planted, are they likely to fall on the power line during a storm? Are the power and phone lines buried or above-ground?
- Is there community water and sewage service available or do we need a well and a septic tank?
- How long is the driveway? There are more costs associated with a longer driveway.
Shading and landscaping options
It’s not always possible to perfectly place your custom home on a lot; fortunately there are many other ways to help keep your home energy efficient.
- We use deep porches, light-filtering screens, and outdoor awnings to provide plenty of shade and reduce trapped heat.
- You have the option to plant trees and shrubs along windows and beside doors to provide shade and/or help break the wind.
- Lawns are lovely, but we like mixing in areas with mulch and native plants or succulents. These “gardens” can reduce summer humidity, lower your water bill, and look great.
We know luxury home design
A custom home’s lot placement is more than just an aesthetic decision; it can help you maintain a luxurious lifestyle at an affordable price.
If you’re thinking about building a custom home in the Texas Hill Country, we can help. Our certified green builder team will work with you every step of the way to make sure your home is energy efficient, comfortable and beautiful.