Selecting a Suitable Lot for Your Sacramento Custom Home 

El Dorado Hills Sacramento area brown hills green trees pink clouds blue skies at sunset

Are you thinking about building a custom home in the El Dorado Hills or other areas around Sacramento? The first step to building a custom home is finding the right builder. The next step is to find a suitable lot on which to build. We strongly recommend finding a custom home builder before you even have land. Why? Simple. An expert custom home builder will have extensive knowledge of what to look for when selecting a lot for your Sacramento custom home, whether that’s making sure you have good soil, surveying the elevation profile to make sure your plans work, or evaluating the zoning of the area to predict what your community might look like in the future.

Selecting a suitable piece of land for your custom home can be an involved process. While you should be sure to communicate thoroughly about your lot with your builder, we hope these questions will help you think things through before breaking ground. Here is a list of things to consider before purchasing acreage or a lot to build your custom home on:

Zoning Requirements

If you’re planning on building a custom home on rural acreage, it’s important to carefully check the zoning on your potential land. The lot you’re looking at could be zoned to eventually be put in a development. If you value your privacy – as most rural landowners do – the last thing you want is a subdivision next door. This can be tough, as more and more people build in the El Dorado Hills, but we’ll do our best to help you plan for the future. 

Building Setback Requirements

Setback requirements may hinder you from building the home of your dreams depending on the lot size and your square footage. Check with the custom home builder you’ve chosen and get their feedback on how to incorporate your needs and wants for your home into the land you’ve purchased.

What kind of soil does your lot have?

Soil types vary all over in the El Dorado Hills. Most people don’t think about soil quality when choosing a lot for building a custom home, but soil plays a big role in the cost of your custom home’s foundation. You may be required to over-excavate and bring in better soil, pour caissons, or build a structural floor. All of these scenarios will increase the cost to build on the lot.

Is your lot hilly or flat?

A hillside with a view is beautiful but, depending on the soil and the structure of the hillside, the lot may not be a viable build-site. Building a custom home on rough terrain can require more work on the part of your custom home builder. That doesn’t mean it isn’t doable, just difficult. Thankfully, our team here at ESI Builders has extensive experience working in the hills surrounding Sacramento. We can deliver homes on even the most rugged terrain. 

Exterior shot of large, luxury custom home in Folsom, California.

What will it take to bring utilities and infrastructure to the property?

Power, water, and septic are modern necessities — it’s important to factor in how much it would cost to run a connection to a powerline, if there is a city water connection or if you’d be drilling a well, and if the soil is viable for septic if there is no city sewer to which you can connect.

Is the property in an area with frequent fire danger?

Needless to say, wildfires have become a common occurrence in years past. Failure to consider proper fire mitigation could cause potential problems in the future. Your custom home builder should include fire mitigation in their building plan, but continued maintenance is also essential. 

What will the adjoining properties look like when they are eventually developed?

This is a way of looking at if you’ll be right up against your neighbors or if you’ll be in a more private, open space. You may have an amazing view while the land is under development, but once all the lots near you are filled, your view may become obstructed or your neighbors may be closer than you initially expected. 

What kind of landscaping will you want your property to have?

If the property is located within the boundaries of a Homeowner’s Association, there may be specific landscape requirements on your custom home. Some areas require a natural native landscape, while others will allow you to be more adventurous with your plantings. Building in more suburban areas will lead to more restrictions, while homes on rural acreage offer much more freedom.

Are you considering adding a garage, workshop, or other outbuildings?

It’s important to look into the future, no matter how distant projects like this might feel, to see if the land you’re considering has the space and zoning for outbuildings. Our customers often consider adding accessory dwelling units, also called granny flats or casitas. We want to make sure your land supports what you want in a home. 

Keep your contractor on speed dial as you search for land to set your project for success.  Having a lay of the land, literally, will help your contractor design the home of your dreams.

With over a decade in experience, ESI Builders has an exceptional reputation for delivering masterfully-crafted custom homes. Our custom homes and our other projects have earned us a sterling reputation as one of the most knowledgeable, experienced, and professional custom home builders in Sacramento and the surrounding area. Our team will make sure your new home is a perfect fit for you and your family to enjoy time together and lead happier and healthier lives for years to come. Contact us today and see how we can deliver the home you’ve always wanted in the location that’s perfect for you.