Flat Lot vs Sloping Lot

Steps in Building a House-Choosing the Right Building Site-Flat Lot vs. Sloping Lot

If you want a basement and you live in an area of the country where the soil doesn’t drain well, such as clay soil, AVOID flat lots.

A sloping lot will provide drainage for your footing drains.

Another advantage of a sloping lot is that it allows you to design your house with a walkout basement with doorways or windows on one side to provide natural light and ventilation.

Also, in some areas the open side can be frame construction, which is a little less expensive than poured concrete or concrete block.

If you have no alternative to building a basement on a flat lot with poor drainage, be sure to hire a professional waterproofing subcontractor.

They will take extra care in waterproofing the exterior basement walls, providing footing drains that drain either to a sump pump and/or to a lower elevation on your property.

Be sure that local codes are considered as to where the drainage can be discharged.

If you don’t want a basement, try to find a relatively flat lot so that you won’t have an excessive amount of crawl space (or fill, if you decide on a slab foundation).

Building a crawl space is cheaper than digging a basement.

If the lot slopes on only one end or corner, though, it will not cost too much more to accommodate the foundation to the lot.

Notice that you are accommodating the foundation to the lot, not the other way around.

Carl Heldmann

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