Understanding Your Local Codes and Why Concrete Pavers May Be Your Friend
Relief. After months of searching, you finally found the perfect seaside lot. You can see it now – a two story home with three bedrooms, large swimming pool, wide spacious driveway, and a porch with an amazing view of the ocean. Next step–finding the perfect house plan to bring reality to the picture in your mind. Although you checked off ‘purchase lot’ on your building to-do list, there are a few lot specifics to keep in mind before moving to the next step.
You might be thinking – No big deal, I own the land, it can’t be that hard to build my dream house in this space. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy. You may own the land, but there are certain parameters for the placement of your home on your lot and specifications for the amount of land you can build on. Lot setbacks play a big role in the total allowed footprint of your home. A lot setback is the minimum distance from the edge of your lot that you can build. Setbacks may differ on each side of your lot. For instance, you may have a twenty foot setback on the front and back of your lot and only five feet on the left and right sides. The footprint of your home must be inside these parameters, so be sure to keep these in mind when choosing a home plan. Setbacks differ between building codes, so check with your builder on the specifics for your area.
Common Constraint on the Coast: Maximum Lot Coverage
Additionally, maximum lot coverage, or the percentage of impervious surfaces allowed on your lot, is another major consideration. Especially in coastal communities where flooding is a normalcy, each lot must have a certain percentage of permeable surfaces to absorb water and rainfall. Although your brain is thinking – house, house, house, don’t forget crucial elements such as your driveway, walkways, porches and pool. A long, wide driveway or concrete pool area will increase the percentage of impervious surfaces on your lot forcing you to reduce the size of your home.
Don’t fret, there is an easy solution to reducing impervious surfaces on your lot. Consider installing a Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavement (PICP) system. Instead of retaining water on the surface, these pervious systems allow water to pass through the materials, helping with runoff and stormwater control. These type of paving systems are tailor-made for coastal driveways. If your lot is in an area with a septic instead of a sewer system, like in many coastal communities, installing a PICP driveway systems is even more important. The last thing you want is your dream home sitting in the middle of a flooded yard every time an afternoon shower passes through.
Plenty of Great Looking Concrete Paver Options for Your Coastal Driveway
PICP systems look great too. With a number of colors and concrete paver shapes to choose from, your driveway and walkways will compliment the coastal feel and exterior look of your home. Unlike many standard concrete slab designs, concrete pavers maintain their aesthetic beauty over time. Most PICP systems are guaranteed to hold up for a minimum of 20 years. If you happen to break a few pavers along the way, maintenance is easy too. The individual pavers in these systems can be easily replaced when needed.
Before installing a PICP system and choosing a plan for your lot, keep the overall aesthetics of your neighborhood in mind. Installing a PICP system will help you increase the size of your house, but be sure the size and exterior of your home compliments others in your area. Also keep in mind that combining driveway materials and systems is a viable option. Using, for instance, crushed stone along with your concrete pavers can add visual interest and may save money.
Overall, lot parameters and PICP systems are important considerations in your home planning process. Want to learn more about concrete pavers and PICP systems? Here are several interesting articles we found ion the interwebs that will help you decide the best systmes for your coastal driveway: