Estate Planning “The Land Plan”

June 2013

I have always, marveled at the farmers and ranchers in our country and the arrangements of the homestead. Growing up on a ranch in South Texas and with most of my family being in construction, farming or ranching,  I was exposed to many different sizes of property and arrangements of the building on the land. Many times these folks absolutely did not have a master plan for their land. Not to say that most were successful and lived full and rewarding lives for several generations.

Conversely, when a well thought out plan of execution has been applied, the results were apparent and the land and family were better served. I have personally witnessed considerable amounts of time and money spent unnecessarily when poor or no real thought was applied.Ken_Pieper_Site_Analysis

Today when we approach a property and start trying to visualize where our home will occupy the site, normally the land itself will speak to us as to the placement. “The Land Speaks, We Must Listen” is a phrase that I’ve used for many years and will explain how I work toward the content of the words.

Through the many years of service to my clients I’ve been very fortunate in being involved with many family’s homesteads in various parts of our country. Currently we are in Utah providing this exact service for a new Client. We went to their new property and started the planning process for the home and several out buildings to be located. This is a very wonderful and rewarding function of our design process that I thoroughly enjoy. We involve the Client as much as they want to be involved.

Prior to actually visiting the site we develop a scope of services for the site and the ultimate home plan usage, different functions and buildings that will be required for the homestead. We as a cohesive team with the Client effortlessly identify all the possibilities that we can for the present and future usage of the property. With the items and usage identified, we can walk the property and more fully understand what the land parcel truly offers.

I am not just talking about large acreage, but rather, any size and application of the identified usage of the property. Most of the folks that I have been fortunate to work with have selected the site and how they envision the home on the land. Many times I bring a new vision and question their thoughts and we as a team create new directions for the home. We have of course totally agreed with the Client, but I’ve never been one to just agree unless I truly believe the final placement will serve the Client and the land with the best results.

View corridors, slope of the land, vegetation, prevailing wind direction, access to the site, utility placement, all have an integral connection and must be carefully considered and well thought about in this exciting process.

I strongly advise them when possible invite your design team to walk the land, listen to its voice, understand its language, comprehend exactly what you, the Client want and expect from your new living experience. I cannot express how truly beneficial this action , and yes expense, will serve your project today and in the future. Sharing your vision with a like-minded yet objective and professional design team will ultimately result in a well executed homestead.

Additionally most often, my site visit was well worth the expense to our Client because of the thoughts I’ve brought into their vision. Redirection or placement of a structure or driveway can, and does save our Client thousands of dollars by benefiting from my experience at providing this service.

This is truly an organic experience, one of hearing, feeling and allowing the aroma of the land and its offerings to be more clearly understood. Fully involve yourself in these senses and listen to their natural and perfect language. Allow your senses to respond in a positive way and I believe the clarity of your first vision of your new home will become amazingly enhanced.

As stated above, I truly enjoy the site visit with our Clients, the interaction with each family and reading their reaction to my input. Additionally, when setting the structure on the land, I always apply the language of “Addition to, rather than instead of.”  This simple phrase has served me well and always allows the land to keep speaking well of the new occupants.

Until next time. Enjoy the process.


Ken Pieper


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