Everything You Need To Know About Residential Development

Everything You Need To Know About Residential Development

Whoever said that the more things change, the more they stay the same may have been talking about residential development projects. 

Residential development, construction, and redevelopment initiatives are new living space projects that update and improve a neighborhood's existing aesthetics and facades.

And residential development plans are never brainstormed, created, or approved in a vacuum. Property owners, residents, city officials, and residential developers are all involved in this process, which can take months or years to finalize but starts with a permit.

And the issuance of permits in the United States has been progressively increasing for years.

In March 2021, over 1.76 million building permits were issued, increasing over 30% from the previous year. For context, only about 1.24 million building permits were issued in February 2017.

And even as the coronavirus pandemic rages, the housing industry remains relatively strong. According to a U.S. Census Bureau study, the American homeowner vacancy rate was 1% during Q4 2020. 

And the rental vacancy rate was about 6.5%. Almost 65.8% of Americans owned a home in Q4 2020. And that estimate is an increase of over 0.7% from Q4 2019.

Your company must know what you are doing and how to get started to finalize a residential development project. Only one out of every fifty single-family unit projects that request a permit is granted one. 

And being granted the building permit is sometimes the easy part; only about 50% of single-family unit homes commence construction a month after permit issuance. 

Do you need assistance with a residential development project? Contact My Site Plan today. We are the nation's biggest provider of remote site plans. 

Before we break down what you need to know about residential development initiatives, let's further explore the definition of a residential development project.

Related: Site Plan: Everything you Need to Know in 2021

What is a Residential Development Project?

A residential development project is a real estate development process where new living spaces are brainstormed, designed, and constructed in private, and sometimes public, areas. 

Residential development projects involve creating site plans, schematics, blueprints, construction plans, and conceptual layouts that are then used in the construction of infrastructure and dwellings for an individual or entire family.

Residential development can include construction categories including, but not limited to:

  • Single unit family homes
  • Multi-unit family homes
  • Apartment buildings
  • Condominiums
  • Suburbs 

Some residential development projects are called subdivisions. In a subdivision, each residential structure is built onto divided lots which comprise a neighborhood as a whole.

Other residential development projects include the redevelopment or rehabilitation of existing facades and structures to improve aesthetics and property values.

Now that you have a relatively general idea of a residential development project let's make a list of what you need to know.

Always Have High Standards for Your Development Projects

Image of initial construction of building.


A residential development project is a long-term investment for everyone involved. Construction companies and land developers usually get feedback and suggestions from the contractors and homeowners who will live on those properties.

Forward-thinking residential developers design site plans and layouts that are new, fresh, aesthetically pleasing, and challenge traditional aesthetic standards without sacrificing function.

Always hire the right site plan developers for your projects. Take the time to look over, reconsider, and redesign an aspect of the project, if necessary. The finished residential development project will take years to finish and will be home to countless families and individuals over decades. 

Remember: the residential development project you initiate will bear your company's name on it. Make sure any construction project you approve meets your high standards.

Identify and Eliminate Wastes of Space in the Design Phase

Residential development site plans, layouts, and schematics should be of efficient design and be void of as many empty spaces as possible. Open spaces serve no utility function, act as aesthetic blight, and limit the amount of profitable construction that can be built.

Consider limiting the number of unnecessary intersections in your residential development site plan. Doing so can cut down on the number of corner lots in your site plan. 

Corner lot subdivisions are not aesthetically pleasing or popular with potential homeowners.

Corner lots cost more money to build, sell at relatively lower prices than other houses, and are usually the last to sell. Aspire to have subdivision lots facing both sides of the street to cut down or eliminate empty corner lots where no house faces the street.

Feasibility Studies

Long before construction begins on a residential development project, your company should be technically sure if such a project can be legally undertaken.

Will you be able to source enough capital to start and finish the project? Will you have geographic studies conducted to determine what kinds of rocks and minerals are present on the land? Will the building materials you source conflict with constructing on the existing terrain?

You should understand the terrain and how your company may have to compensate before construction starts.

Property and Land Acquisition 

It is never good to assume when it comes to business transactions. There may be houses, lots, or portions of land on the property where you plan to build your residential development project that could be owned by other entities.

Your company will need to conduct local property record searches to ensure that no person or business entity owns land or property on your future build site.


Residential development contracts are not won or awarded in a vacuum. You will need to market your services to construction companies, city councils, or property owners to win lucrative construction projects.

And if you can market your residential development company to construction firms, city officials, or property owners, you have to impress someone else – residents. 

Your company may have to create the proposals and marketing materials that will be used to market high-scale residential development projects to existing and potential future residents.

Building Permits

As previously mentioned, millions of building permits are issued every year in the United States. However, it takes a lot for a professional residential development firm to get approved for one.

To get a building permit, your company must prove that your construction professionals are competent, know how to build, learn how to install plumbing and electrical systems, and understand how to build relative to local city codes.

Contract the Best Site Plan Developers Today

Site plan developers overlooking schematics on office table



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Answers
What are the key factors that affect the time it takes to issue a building permit for a residential development? The time to issue a building permit can vary based on the complexity of the project, local regulations, the completeness of the application, and the current workload of the permitting office.
How can residential developers minimize environmental impact during construction? Developers can minimize environmental impact by using sustainable materials, reducing waste, implementing proper site management practices, and adhering to green building standards.
What role do local communities play in the approval process of residential development projects? Local communities often have a say in the approval process through public hearings, community meetings, and feedback sessions, which can influence the project's design and approval.
How can developers ensure the long-term sustainability of a residential development project? Developers can ensure sustainability by incorporating energy-efficient designs, sustainable materials, and community-friendly spaces that cater to long-term needs and reduce environmental impact.
What are some challenges in rehabilitating existing structures for new residential developments? Challenges include managing the preservation of historical features, updating outdated infrastructure, adhering to modern building codes, and sometimes, community resistance to change.



The professionals at My Site Plan have over 20 years of experience developing site plans and conceptual layouts for construction projects. Contact them today.

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  • Ryan Crownholm