According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC), the share of custom homes in our built residential environment increased to 20.2 percent of all single-family homes started in 2019. Building a custom home gives future homeowners the power of choosing what design elements will make your home uniquely your own. Furthermore, custom homes also allow for more functionality, as you are able to design a home and a floor plan that is specifically designed for your needs and your daily routine. As an added benefit, custom homes also give you the freedom to choose the highest quality materials for your home while also finding ways to reduce your home´s environmental footprint through renewable energy options and energy efficiency building techniques.  

Before you start planning every square inch of your future home, however, you need to start to think about where you will find the land to build the home of your dreams. Though some people might dream about owning a 100-acre homestead, significant acreage of land will obviously increase the final price of your home. Most people looking to build a custom home want to know the minimum amount of land that is necessary to fit the home of their dreams. Below, we take a quick look at the average house lot size and a few other considerations related to how much land is required to build a house.  

The Average House Lot Size

Incredibly, the average lot size for new single-family detached homes that were sold in 2019 dropped to a record low 8,177 square feet. That is just 0.188 acres, and is a decrease of 390 square feet since 2018. In most suburban neighborhoods, builders attempt to place as many homes as possible within the given landscape. It is customary for builders to place at least 2-3 homes per acre, depending on the landscape.  

With custom home construction, lot sizes generally tend to be a little bigger. This is due to the fact that many custom homes are significantly larger, and because custom home construction, especially in rural areas, may require a lot more space for utility installation.  

How Much Land to Build a House?

So how much land do you need to build the future home of your dreams? Most custom home builders start by calculating what is known as the “Land-To-Building-Ratio.”  This ratio is calculated by dividing the total square footage of the land or lot, with the square footage of the future home. One acre of land is equal to 43,560 square feet. If you plan on building a 10,000 square foot custom home, your land-to-building ratio will be 4.36 to 1. Throughout the United States, the average land-to-building ratio is around 3.0 to 1.  When thinking about how much land you will need for your future custom home, you should start by determining the maximum square footage of your home, and multiplying that by 3 to get an adequate land-to-building ratio.  

Secondly, you may need to add more land if the land where you plan to build does not have any utilities on site. The American Planning Association puts forward these minimum requirements for lot sizes given the state of utilities on the lot.    

  • You will need to have at least half of an acre when both sewage and water systems are lacking on the land where you are planning to build.    
  • You will need at least a quarter of an acre when either sewage or water systems are not present on the lot.  
  • You can make due with less than a quarter of an acre when both sewage and water systems are present on the land where you will be building.  

Once you have found the land to build your future custom home, Natale Builders is proud to be the leading custom home builder in the Western New York area. We have over 50 years of experience building the most legendary custom homes that will last for a lifetime. Our custom homes are built to the highest standards, and incorporate the highest quality materials and construction practices. Contact Natale Builders today to get started planning your future custom home.