Many factors determine the cost of a building site, from the size of the plot to the value of other homes around it. One of the hidden expenses of construction, however, is changes to the land to accommodate your dream home. You can save substantial money by taking into consideration the contours of the building site and either construct a home that adapts to it or find a plot that better suits your ideal floor plan.
If you are building on a plot where a previous structure once stood, then chances are much of the necessary landscaping for laying a foundation has already been done. New ground, on the other hand, can pose numerous obstacles before home construction even begins. Clearing trees can be time consuming and will probably require sub-contractors. In-filling and grading are even more time consuming and potentially costly.
Should you have your heart set on one floor plan and have your choice of plots on which to build, it may be worth your time to consider the cost of landscaping at those different sites and choose the one that requires the least change. However, often the perfect neighborhood and open plot is harder to come by. You can work with a contractor to modify your house plans to fit a site, or choose a different floor plan altogether. Fortunately, there are plenty of craftsman house plans with various layouts from which to choose.
Homeowners should also work closely with their contractor to determine exactly what needs to be done in order to make a site build-ready. Should you need to in-fill, it's possible for your contractor to get free dirt from other building sites that required grading and need a place to dump the excess. Your best plan is to pick a site before you choose your dream home, so you can tailor the house to match.