Site Evaluation


Often a client will focus on the home design before locating a suitable site.  We suggest the opposite, locate your site first and then begin the home design process.  The reason is that every site will have a different set of constraints and opportunities which will influence the design and how a site can be developed.  A good home design will consider the inherent qualities of a site in order to create the optimal living environment.

In completing your analysis, the objective is to collect pertinent data that will assist in determining how to maximize the potential of site by developing a thorough understanding of the opportunities and limitations it offers.

Consideration should be given to the physical, cultural, and regulatory characteristics as well as its adaptability and compatibility with your proposed home design. In other words, locate a site where you would like to live that will accommodate the home you would like to build. 

Your site analysis should include the following considerations:      

Physical Factors

  • Prevailing Winds – Direction
  • Solar Orientation- Where does the sun rise and set in relation to the site. Consider sun angles, shading created by adjacent structures and trees


  • Survey with contour lines and spot elevations, visual characteristics, analysis of physical features including major focal and vantage points, subsurface drainage patterns, proximity to floodplains
  • Egress & Ingress – Vehicle and pedestrian access and circulation 

Geotechnical – what type of soils make up the property?

  • Basic surface soil type: sand, clay, silt, rock shale, gravel, loam, limestone, ect.
  • Environmental Hazards – evaluate impact

Utilities Availability                                                           

  •  Potable Water
  •  Electricity
  •  Gas
  •  Telephone and Cable
  •  Sanitary Sewer
  •  Storm Drainage (surface and subsurface)
  •  Fire Protection
  •  Surroundings
  •  Review Neighborhood Structures
  •  Consider Shading and Solar Access
  •  Noise
  •  Odors
  •  Views

Site History

  •  Former site uses
  •  Hazardous dumping, landfill, previous foundations

Land Use

  •  Present zoning of site and adjacent properties
  •  Present, projected, and probable effects on the development 

Community Services

  •  Schools and churches
  •  Shopping centers
  •  Parks

Municipal Services

  • Food
  • Health services
  • Access to highways, public transportation

Regulatory Factors

  • Zoning
  • Permitted uses
  • Accessory structures
  • Minimum site size
  • Building height limitations
  • Setback requirements
  • Allowable lot coverage – floor to area ration, percentage of coverage, open space requirements
  • Landscape requirements

Other Codes

  • Historic preservation
  • Architectural design controls
  • Special districts

Site analysis is a vital step in the design build process and each site will present a unique set of circumstances. A properly completed site analysis will provide important and valuable information that should be considered in the design of your home.  

If you would like assistance in evaluating a particular site for purchase and construction of your new home, please contact me for a free no obligation assessment.  I can be reached at 813-263-7835.

Andrew Castillo, President