Your property has a huge impact on the design of your home. Size, shape, and layout are all influenced by the elements, configuration and location of the property. In finding the ideal property for David’s House, several factors were considered…


David Small Designs - The Lot - Location

The current and future value of a property is vastly influenced by the quality of the neighbourhood. When selecting the location, David considered factors like proximity to his daughter’s school, easy access to highways, limited vehicular traffic, the pedestrian nature of the neighbourhood and closeness to his office. These elements helped to narrow down preferred neighbourhoods. When selecting the actual lot within the neighbourhood, the elements that were most important were views, noise level, sufficient privacy, and a flat lot that would easily accommodate the family ice rink.


Topography refers to the 3-dimensional qualities of the land; the shape, slope and features of the property. It was important to David that his lot was flat. A central element of David’s design plan was a large backyard skating rink. David is an enthusiastic hockey fan and skating with his daughters is one of his most cherished pastimes.


David Small Designs - The Lot - Zoning

The buildable area of a lot is determined by zoning restrictions, such as setbacks, coverage restrictions, and gross floor area restrictions, and physical features, such as existing vegetation, topography, and existing structures. These are the most crucial factors in determining the size and shape of a home.

David selected a lot that would accommodate 3800 sq. ft. of above ground living space as well as all planned exterior amenity areas. The zoning also accommodated a slightly elevated overall building height and a broad overhang relatively high above the ground plain; a physical characteristic critical to the feel David was looking to achieve.

A corner lot was critical in realizing the desired end result. Corner lots allow the house to be sited closer to the street there by creating more rear yard space for amenities and the preservation of the significant stand of trees. Corner lots typically expose 3 facades of the home to the streets (front, flankage and rear). This provided a larger canvas for David to reinforce the architecture.



To complement David’s “natural modern” design it was crucial that the home be built on an established lot – one with an abundance of mature trees and lush vegetation. Floor-to-ceiling windows that allowed for uninterrupted sightlines were essential to David’s design. In order to ensure adequate privacy, the lot needed to be surrounded by a lush softscape.