How Big is the Average Backyard for a Single Family Home?

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How Big is the Average Backyard for a Single Family Home?

Examples of Homes with Big and Small Backyards

What is The Minimum Size of Backyard?


A backyard is a lot or piece of vacant land behind your house (also known as the rear yard). You also have the front yard which is a piece of vacant land in front of your house adjacent to the street or main entrance. The total size of your yard is the area of the residential lot minus the building area (area occupied by the house). How big your backyard is will depend on the architectural design of your home as well as the design of your landscape. Here is what you must know, according to Building Regulations and Codes, you can have your home built anywhere on the residential lot as long as the building profile doesn’t encroach the setback area. City councils in each and every state of the USA have setback requirements. The setback area is measured from the boundary line to the internal perimeter (setback line).

So you are planning to build a new house, and you wish to know how big is the average backyard? Well, depending on your residential district, the size of your backyard may be limited by local zoning ordinances or it may be a personal choice if no minimums are required with the exception of the setback distance. Look at your needs and requirements and convey them to the architect, they will most likely give you better options which comply with building codes. Remember that building a house is not just designing the plans and building. Your house plans have to be approved by the Building Department to see if they meet a set of codes such as daylight requirements, setback area, height, site drainage, safety, structural standards, fire, environmental health, pollution control, location, siting and zoning. You may find that the orientation of your proposed house may need to be changed to meet daylight requirements, drainage and some of the above-mentioned codes.  This will in turn affect the size of your backyard.

The best way to know the average size of a backyard in a particular state, city, county or district is to check site plans of a particular house which is up for sale on real estate/property sites. Local building authorities also have this information as well as architectural design firms. As you will find out, many homes up for sale on real estate sites do not have the same backyard or front yards. The size and location of the backyard on the premises differs a lot. There are homes with a very large backyard and small front yard, those with a small backyard and large front yard, and those where the yard is evenly spread on the lot.

Do you love outdoor activities such as tennis, swimming, gardening, basketball and farming? Then your average backyard will be much bigger than somebody who likes staying indoors. Do you love privacy, away from streets and passersby? Then you should push your proposed house a little bit to the front, to make way for a big backyard which gives you a secluded place for leisure activities.

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