One of the most important decisions a home builder has to make is whether to build their house on a flat lot or a sloped lot. Both types of plots offer unique advantages and disadvantages, and before you decide on a house plan, it’s important that you choose a plot of land that can actually accommodate your vision.
There are certain types of house features that are difficult to build on flat lots and easy to build on sloped lots, vice versa. If you’re considering a flat lot house plan, read on to learn about the capabilities and limitations of level land, as well as for sloped plots. If you have your eye on a plot, and you’d like to know if it’s a wise option for your blueprints, contact your Naperville home inspectors, the BrickKicker!
If you are looking to install a basement in your home, and you live in an area where the soil beneath the home is not going to drain well, you should avoid a flat lot foundation. That’s because water can erode your basement foundation and cause it to sink. If you’re unsure of whether the soil on a lot will accommodate your future basement, consult one of our specialists. They can assess how well your plot drains water, and whether the lot can accommodate a basement. Remember that the cost to build a basement foundation can greatly increase if you don’t take early precautions by getting a drainage analysis before you start building.
Advantages of Building on a Slope
If drainage or the cost of building a basement are important to you, then there are many benefits to choosing a sloped lot foundation over a flat lot. For example, if you choose a sloped lot, it is going to make it possible for you to design your home using a walkout basement, which means that you could use windows or doorways on one side of your basement in order to provide the space with some natural ventilation and light. Another consideration is that, in some areas, you will be able to use frame construction on the open side of your walkout basement, and this is generally going to be a lot more cost-effective in comparison to a concrete block or poured concrete basement.
If you absolutely have to build a basement foundation, but you are dealing with a flat lot house plan that has poor soil for drainage purposes, then it is going to be a wise idea for you to hire a professional subcontractor that can help you with the waterproofing and drainage considerations that your home is going to need.
Waterproofing Exterior Basement Walls
When you hire a specialist to help with your drainage and waterproofing, they can install footing drains that can drain water to a sump pump or an area in your property with lower elevation. Before you hire someone to waterproof your basement and increase the drainage effectiveness of your lot, make sure you consult your city’s zoning department to identify local or state building codes that could apply to whatever new drainage system you install. You can also call a home inspector near Aurora, IL for a thorough consultation.
Non-Basement Building Considerations
If you’re not interested in building a basement, it’s more beneficial to choose a flat lot house plan. That’s because sloped lot foundations often require you to simulate a flat lot foundation. This can be done by leveling part of a hill, which is incredibly expensive, or by building a crawl space under your house. Crawl spaces are more expensive than slab foundations, and are at risk of rot and termite issues. That said, they provide excellent storage space for pipes, HVACs, and other mechanical aspects of your home’s system.
Which is Right for Your Needs and Budget?
If you’re shopping for a lot, it’s important that you consider whether it can accommodate your house plans. Here’s a quick recap of the most important considerations when choosing between a flat and sloped foundation:
- Flat Lot Recap: These are good options if you don’t need a basement. They’re less expensive to build traditional foundations on. If you are set on a flat lot and want a basement, bear in mind that, while it’s possible to build, it’s going to be expensive and complicated. It will also be expensive if you were considering a crawl space for mechanical storage.
- Sloped Lot Recap: Sloped lots are more expensive to build foundations on, because they often require leveling parts of hills or build crawl spaces in order to have level support. That said, they have excellent drainage, and if you’re looking to build a basement or crawl space, it can be done far cost-effectively and safely than if you were to add these features onto a flat lot.
Reach Out to the BrickKicker for Help!
If you’d like to hire a Chicagoland home inspector to analyze your lot, the BrickerKicker can swiftly identify how suitable the land you’re considering is for your house plan. Take a look at our residential services and environmental services to learn more about all the benefits we can provide!