Building a Custom Home on a Sloping Lot

May 23, 2016


It’s one thing to build your dream house, but what if your lot is less than perfect? One fact about house construction is that not every lot seems suitable to begin with. Sloping lots can present a challenge, but it does not have to be the problem that some make it out to be. Yes it can raise the difficulty level, and it can increase your costs, but there is no reason to despair.

Increased Costs

Preparing the lot for the foundation and then laying the foundation are possibly the biggest drains on your resources when building on a sloping lot. On the plus side, slopes create interesting possibilities for landscaping. Regardless of the exact spot where you will place the house, cutting out a level base can increase overall costs. Another task that can turn out to be costly is the removal of soil dug up at the site. Sometimes this can be utilized on the property, as is the case with landscaping. Otherwise, if there is no place to store it, removal is the only option. Extensive filling is a strong possibility for the base of the house to avoid too much pressure being placed on the walls of the structure from the outside.

Bracing Against the Soil

Any attempt to build a house must involve steps to protect the structure against outside forces. A sloping lot will have a natural movement that can put pressure on the house. Building retaining walls will hold the soil in place, preventing the kind of movement that can affect the foundation and the structure itself. This is vital in areas with heavy rainfall. A basement with strong walls can also have this effect, but the contractor may determine that a separate wall is necessary.

Possible Solutions

While this situation is not without challenges, you can find ways around them to build your home. Putting the house on stilts will negate the need for the extra foundation work. This also means that there will be no need for a lot of digging, so this preserves the natural sloping look, if that appeals to you. Building on stilts can give the structure some added height, and it will not restrict your ability to build an upper floor.

Identifying a lot early is key to getting the kind of home you want, but your options may be limited by your budget and the location you want to live in. Your lot may not be perfect, but with the right contractor, you can make it work. Give Sundance Homes a call if you’re in Earleville, MD or the surrounding areas and would like to schedule an appointment to discuss the potential for building your custom home on a sloping lot. You can reach us at our Maryland office at 410-877-6112 or our Delaware office at 302-793-9352.

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