The property owner can seek a variance to exceed the "building envelope," the allowable area that a home can occupy on a lot. However, the process is often lengthy and there's no guarantee that permission will be granted. Local zoning boards and community organizations often require a house be set back a certain distance from the street. Before purchasing a corner lot, find out if front-yard setback regulations apply to the lot's front and side-street boundaries. This could substantially reduce the area available for a home's footprint. Easements as well as natural features, like rock outcroppings and mature trees, may also influence where the house can be located.
Having a custom drawn designed house means a professional architect applies his skills limited to the individual homeowner's needs or what they have in mind. Factors considered in such a situation are the size of the site of construction, ideas of the individual homeowner, population around the area, and the nationally and locally existing building code plans. Time is also a considerable factor for completion of a custom designed house.
You may also find out after looking at several sets of stock house plans that one is your dream house. Depending on your house building plans, this could save you thousands of dollars in architect fees. If you do order a set of stock house plans, check with the company first to see if you can exchange them later if you want a different plan. Some blueprint suppliers will give you up to 90% credit toward a different set if you return the original plans.
Streets and topography may be the main determinates of a house's orientation, but it's also a good idea to consider sun exposures when possible. A homeowner might reorganize a floor plan to take advantage of morning and afternoon light. Martin says that covered porches that face a southern exposure can help block out heat and sunlight.