In addition, a home which is far from the public road (for example, on a rural site) will need to have a driveway which allows emergency vehicles to get to the home, turn around and drive back out. This requires quite a bit of relatively flat land, enough for a 50' diameter circular drive or a 50' wide tee-shaped backout.
The erosion and grading plan shown above was done for a current project of mine. The flat part of the site near the road has a high water table, and the back of the site is very steep, so the home was placed low on the hill, where the grade is shallower. The area where the home will sit is not particularly steep, but space for a driveway and turnaround is limited by the proximity of the house to the property lines on the south and west, and to an existing stone wall and silo on the east. The garage is on the main level of the house, which necessitates a steeper driveway than would have been required had the garage been at the same level as the partially exposed basement.
The plan also calls out what measures will be taken to prevent erosion on the site, both during and after construction.
In another project that I'm currently working on, a large portion of the site is either wooded or sits within a floodplain. The lot drops off steeply from the public road, and it was decided to design the driveway before the home, in order to determine the best location for the home and outbuilding. Ed Short of Exeter Design, Inc. did two possible driveway grading plans, and the design of the home was based on one of those. Ed did the erosion control and grading plan for the first project as well.
When choosing a site for your new home, it's important to consider not only the location of the house on the lot but also the ease of getting a driveway to that location.