What Happens During the Preliminary Design of a Project?

What Preliminary Items Are Taken Care of Before the Final Design Phase for a Home Project?

Hello, everyone, Caleb with Dansie Design Build here today. I wanted to talk to you a little bit about the preliminary things that we take care of before we start the design. So if you’re looking to build an addition onto your home or you’re looking to add a detached garage or an ADU, an accessory dwelling unit on your property, there are some things that we need to look into before we start actually drawing plans and getting into that end of the design.

What Are the Requirements for Building Setbacks on Your Property in Herriman, Utah?

The first thing that we’re going to look at is the building setbacks and those requirements that your property has. So we’ll be looking at what the setbacks are and then typically, on the sides of the lot, they’re going to be smaller than the back and the front. A lot of times, in the front yard, it can be 25, or 30 feet. Then the sides can be anywhere from 3-10 feet, just depending on the neighborhood, city, and the zoning.

What Are Public Utility Easements?

Once we have the building setbacks figured out, the next thing that we’re going to be looking at verifying is the PUEs, which are the public utility easements. Those essentially are agreements or rights to that portion of your property that’s been given to the utility companies that provide services to the neighborhood so that they can run those lines, and maintain the utilities for your home and your neighbors.

A lot of times we see a five-foot setback on the side of your property and a 10-foot public utility easement. Sometimes, I have found that they don’t actually have any utilities installed in that easement of 10 feet or anywhere on the side of the home. What we can do is go through and get written permission to relinquish their rights. They sign those off and give those back to the homeowner or the property owner. This allows us to use up to the actual building setback requirements set by the city, to build with and put a building there. Then, that can really help gain a lot more space and increase the possibility of what you can build or the size that you can build on your property.

Verify the Height Requirements for Your Accessory Dwelling Unit or Garage

The next thing that we are going to be looking at doing is verifying the height requirements. Now, this is more applicable when you have a detached structure than if you’re doing an addition. With a detached structure, whether it’s a garage or an ADU with a living space inside there, the height is typically going to be 30-35 feet high, or the height of the existing home, whichever is lower.

If you have a house that’s 27 feet tall, that elevation is what we’re going to be required to design up to, so that the new structure is up to that height or less. Even though, otherwise, they would’ve allowed 30-35 feet. That just varies a little bit by each city and their codes.

Dansie Design Build New Design Examples in Herriman, Utah

Those are some of the first things that we’re looking at when we get into a new design. Now I want to share with you some examples. 

Example 1: Unable to Build Due to PUE Setback

This is one example of a property that we are doing some design on. Here, it’s showing the neighbors’ properties and their lots. Back here on this corner, you’ll actually see here that it says there’s a six-foot PUE, public utility easement. Right there is where we would not be able to build. Then that public utility easement comes across on the side yard. Again, it is six feet again. That’s the setback that we’re working with, as far as the public utility easements.

Example 2: Maximizing the Amount of Space for a Home and Yard

Then I also wanted to show you different properties. This one actually has a 30-foot setback on the rear. The rear of the property has a 30-foot setback back, back here. As well as a 30-foot setback on the front yard and as well as the side yard. That really limited us down as to the amount of yard that we could actually build and put a building on. We were able to extend that back, all the way to the rear setback as well. We’re maximizing the amount of space that they could use on their property.

How to Check for the Home Height and Height Allowances in Herriman, Utah

Then also, we are checking for the height. This particular structure is a 24, this red line is 24 feet, 2.5 inches high. That is the height that we’re designing to. The benefit that we can do here is, if the lot’s on a hill, we can actually build-up to the height of the house. Even though the new structure may be actually taller, because it’s built on a lower ground level, just so long as it doesn’t pass the peak of the home, that is allowable in a lot of situations.

Helpful Home Resources for Herriman, Utah

That’s a little bit about the setbacks, public utility easements, and how we get set up to actually be able to start drawing plans, so that what we draw is actually going to be allowable by the city, meet all the requirements, and then, of course, meet the customer’s needs as well. If you need help with a home addition or building an ADU, detached garage, or doing home remodeling, we have some resources that can be especially helpful. You can also reach out to us on our website via the voice message tab or request a project consultation. Thanks for your time today, we look forward to hearing from you. Have a great rest of your day. See you!


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