View of Yaquina Bay Lighthouse Vinyard Home Oceanfront living room Visible craftsmanship

A Peter Asher House »

How We Work »

Listen to our Clients »

Learn about Custom Homes »

About Us »

Contact Us »

The Building Envelope

Defining the legal and physical set-backs

The legal and physical restrictions of your site define the building envelope. Your house needs to fit inside this area. Areas that are too steep, too wet, too unstable, or otherwise could not safely support a home are excluded from the building envelope. So are any areas you are not allowed to build in because of laws, codes, ordinances, covenants, easements, or other legal restrictions.

Outbuildings, pools, athletic courts, septic system, garage, and other such structures often have different restrictions, so the building envelope may be different for these.

One challenge of building from a stock plan is that you need to find one that already fits entirely inside your building envelope. Unless you are placing a perfectly rectangular house on a perfectly rectangular lot, you probably will not find a pre-made plan that fits your building envelope exactly. This is one of the advantages of custom design – a good designer can design your home to make the best use of your building envelope.

How to start your custom home design

Your Custom Home Designer

Your Building Site

The Building Envelope

Orienting to Your Building Site

Setting Priorities

Planning for How You Live

Planning Your Storage

Your Custom Home Layout