flexiblefullpage - default
Currently Reading

Key Design Tips for Alley-Loaded Homes

billboard - default

Key Design Tips for Alley-Loaded Homes

Consider these factors when designing alley-loaded home plans

June 22, 2021
Row of homes with front steps leading down to the street
Photo: PT Hamilton | stock.adobe.com

No, you can't simply flip an existing front-loaded plan for an alley-loaded home, says Housing Design Matters. The resulting streetscape from alley-loaded homes creates a more community-centric, pleasing appearance because facades aren't interrupted by garages. Housing Design Matters says it’s important to remember seven key points when designing an alley-loaded community: three-car garages, rooms over the garage, the water heater, primary bedroom, private outdoor space, build to line, and egress from the garage. Private outdoor spaces are big hits with buyers, so it’s important to ensure the backyard has covered and uncovered areas.

Many alley loaded communities require a front “build to line” or zone. This is to ensure the houses hug the sidewalk for a friendly streetscape. With a build to zone from 18’ to 24’, you get “bounce” and animation in your streetscape.

Sounds easy enough, until you think about the length of the lot. Say you have a 130’ long lot and 60’ long two-story home including front porch and garage. The build to line is 20’ on the front. The quick math (130’ – 20’ – 60’) tells us the back of the garage, if attached, is 50’ from the alley. That’s a long driveway and not a great use of the backyard. In that case, you would detach the garage. On the plus side, the detached garage provides backyard privacy from the road. On the negative side, it can be a long hike in the rain with groceries.

As just described, access from the garage may be difficult in an alley loaded house. Ideally, you want to arrive inside the home for convenience, inclement weather, and security. When the garage is detached, you could add a breezeway to add shade and protection from rain – unless it’s one of those sideways rain showers. And breezeways are cheap both because of lumber cost but also because of uplift. For security, you could fence the yard. Then hopefully locate the kitchen closest to the garage.

Ranch plans can still offer the opportunity to enter the home directly from the garage. If the owner’s bedroom is forward, you might be entering at the kitchen – perfect for the grocery getter. It is still important to try to create a welcome home valet for alley plans too.

Read more


leaderboard2 - default

Related Stories


2023 BALA Winners: The Best of the Best

You'll find plenty of inspiration in these four award-winning projects from the Best in American Living Awards


What Gen-Z Buyers Really Want in a Home

The fervor of planning for Millennials in the home building industry has now pivoted to Gen Z. So, what does this new generation want?


4 Luxury Production Home Designs to Inspire

Yes, these are designs for production homes, but you won't find any cookie-cutter repetitive elements in this high-end selection

boombox1 -
native1 - default
halfpage2 -

More in Category

Delaware-based Schell Brothers, our 2023 Builder of the Year, brings a refreshing approach to delivering homes and measuring success with an overriding mission of happiness

NAHB Chairman's Message: In a challenging business environment for home builders, and with higher housing costs for families, the National Association of Home Builders is working to help home builders better meet the nation's housing needs

Sure there are challenges, but overall, Pro Builder's annual Housing Forecast Survey finds home builders are optimistic about the coming year

native2 - default
halfpage1 -

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.

Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.