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What Does it Mean to Build On Your Lot?

June 24th, 2023

By Sofia Alonso

3 min read

Modern Style Custom Home with Solar Panels by AV Architects and Builders in Arlington Northern Virginia

Building on your lot refers to the process of constructing a new home on a piece of land that you already own. Instead of purchasing a house within a pre-developed neighborhood or subdivision, you have the opportunity to choose the location of your home and design it according to your preferences.

As custom home builders and architects serving the Northern Virginia area for over 20 years, we have worked with many clients choosing to go with the On Your Lot building option. 



What is On Your Lot Building?

"On Your Lot" building is primarily offered by semi-custom or custom home builders. Unlike production builders who buy large plots of land, develop them, and create entire neighborhoods, semi-custom and custom builders provide the option of building on a lot owned by the homeowner.

A3Modern Style Custom Home by AV Architects and Builders in Great Falls Northern Virginia

AV Architects + Builders, The Architect House, Photo by Maxwell Mackenzie

Advantages of On Your Lot Home Building:

1. More Options

In areas where available land is limited, such as Northern Virginia, building on your lot offers more options for constructing a new home. You have the flexibility to choose a location that suits your lifestyle and preferences.

2. Cost Savings

If you already own the lot, you can save money by avoiding the expense of purchasing additional land. In some cases, the property may even be fully paid off, eliminating the need for a new land investment.

3. Freedom of Location 

Building on your lot allows you to avoid living in a subdivision and instead choose the specific area where you want to build your home. Whether it's a rural setting, a scenic view, or a specific neighborhood, the choice is yours.


4. Reduced Site Costs

If your lot previously had an existing home, you can save on site preparation costs. There is generally less need for tree clearing, dirt removal, or extensive foundation digging since the land is already prepared for construction thanks to the existing house on it. Utility connections may also be readily available, further minimizing expenses.

White Kitchen Open Concept Modern Style Custom Home by AV Architects and Builders in McLean Northern Virginia

AV Architects + Builders, The Solar House, Photo by Maxwell Mackenzie

Limitations and Considerations of On Your Lot Home Building:

1. Utility Disconnections and Reconnections

As the property owner, you may need to handle the process of requesting utility disconnections and reconnections since you own the lot. Your builder may not have permission to make those calls on your behalf, adding an extra responsibility for you.


2. Site Costs and Preparation

When working with a production builder, the land within the entire community is already developed and permitted. However, when building on your lot, there may be additional site costs required to prepare the land for construction. These costs can include clearing the site, grading the land, and installing utility connections.

Modern Farmhouse Style Custom Home by AV Architects and Builders in Great Falls Northern Virginia

AV Architects + Builders, Vista House, Photo by Maxwell Mackenzie

Who is On Your Lot Building a Good Fit For?

On Your Lot Building is a suitable option for people who desire more control over the location and design of their home. It is especially beneficial for those living in areas where vacant plots of land are scarce or in high-demand neighborhoods, such as in Northern Virginia. Additionally, homeowners who already own land and wish to avoid the constraints of living in a subdivision may find building on their lot to be an attractive choice.

Building on your lot provides homeowners with the freedom to choose their desired location and design for a new home. It offers advantages such as more land options, cost savings, and the ability to build in a location of your choice. However, it also comes with considerations like utility management and potential site preparation costs. Overall, for individuals seeking more control and customization in their home-building process, building on your lot can be a viable and rewarding option.

Black Kitchen Open Concept Floor Plan Modern Style Custom Home by AV Architects and Builders in Great Falls Northern Virginia

AV Architects + Builders, Inside Out Home, Photo by Maxwell Mackenzie

Who Are AV Architects + Builders?

At AV Architects + Builders we believe in building homes that blend with their surroundings and emphasize the shared and harmonious relationship between architecture and nature. Great design begins with this understanding of people and the place and this analysis of the unique characteristics of each project results in a highly customized home that is unlike any other. 

Our portfolio of projects represents our design philosophy and approach for a variety of different homes. Our philosophy of Vacation Style Living is applied to every home we design.

View Some of Our Projects

Each home is set apart by having specific client design parameters, a different site, and different sizes. Yet each one shares our common design approach of weaving the home to the land and creating strong indoor-outdoor connections to connect family life to nature. 

This in-depth understanding of the region leads to a more sustainable design approach while incorporating modern building materials and technologies. Our diverse portfolio merges our Mid-Atlantic modernism with vernacular design elements, always striving to connect the architecture with the natural environment.


9903 Georgetown Pike Suite 201
Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 865-5065