As a home builder there are actually a lot of different considerations that you are going to want to make. When you have a specific lot that you are going to be building on, you will want to consider what it is that you have to work with and how your current lot is going to impact the types of building that are available to you.
- The difference between a flat lot and a sloped lot may not seem like a big deal, but there are huge considerations to make. You really need to be able to make sure that the plot of land and the building and foundation style are accommodating to one another, because they need to agree with one another in order for your home to be structurally sound and cost effective.
- Flat lots may have drainage problems, for example, in situations where the soil is not ideal for good drainage. If your soil is not going to work for your drainage considerations, then you need to plan to bring in a specialist who can help you make the right building decisions in preparation for your home.
- You should choose your lot first, and then choose your home style. Or choose a home style and then select a lot that actually suits the house plans that you have chosen. It is essential that you ensure that they accommodate one another before you begin the building process.
For example, the differences between flat lots and sloping lots are numerous, and are actually going to have a pretty large impact on what types of homes you can build on the lot, especially as far as foundations are concerned. Here are some of the flat lot considerations that you are going to want to make.
If you are looking to install a basement in your home, and you are living in an area where the soil beneath the home is not going to drain well, such as a type of clay soil for example, then the truth is that you should avoid a flat lot. On the other hand, you will find that your footing drains are going to better benefit from a sloping lot because it is going to provide the ample amount of drainage that you are looking for.
When you are looking at a flat lot, you are definitely going to want to consider the type of soil that you are dealing with. If you have any doubts, bring in a specialist who can test your soil and give you some advice about how to proceed with the building of your home. Take their advice seriously: If they tell you that you have poor soil and need to change your drainage considerations, then make sure that you follow their direction so that you can build a home that suits the land that you are working with. Poor quality soil is definitely capable of leading to more expensive foundation considerations. It is definitely going to benefit you to have your soil tested before you buy the lot so that there are no surprises later on in the process.
Sloping Lot Benefits
There are a lot of benefits of choosing a sloping lot over a flat lot in this particular instance. For example, if you choose a sloping 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 natural 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 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, then they will be able to take some extra care in the waterproofing of your exterior basement walls. They will be able to provide you with footing drains that will drain either into a sump pump or into a lower elevation somewhere on your property depending on how much land you have to work with. It is going to be important for you to consider local codes because sometimes there are specific codes in place that dictate where your drainage is allowed to be discharged, and you are going to want to make sure that you are building in such a way that you are following all of the local and state building codes so that there are no nasty surprises along the way.
Non-Basement Building Considerations
If you are not actually interested in building a basement foundation for your home, then it will definitely benefit you to find a lot that is relatively flat in nature. The reason for this is because you are not going to have to deal with excessive amounts of crawl space. This is also the best course of action if you are looking to build your home on a slab foundation, which is a foundation that involves pouring concrete directly onto the ground and then building atop the concrete with no basement or crawl space.
The type of foundation that you want to build is going to have an impact on what type of lot you need to buy for your building purposes. On the other side of the coin, the type of lot that you buy is definitely going to have an impact on the type of foundations and the types of homes that you will reasonably be able to build. If you buy the land first, make sure that your foundation and home styles correspond with the land that you buy. If you have your heart set on a specific type of building or a specific type of foundation, then you should absolutely make sure that the plot of land you buy corresponds with the building style so that you do not end up with a problem somewhere along the way.
Choosing a Foundation
If you are not sure what foundation style you are currently interested in, then you might allow the lot that you choose to dictate what foundations are available to you. On the other hand, you can do a little research and find out what types of foundations are common in the immediate area and then make your choice accordingly. Crawl spaces are more cost effective as a foundation style as compared to basement foundations, but basement foundations obviously offer their own benefits in that they create additional living space for the family living in the home. If you are looking for the most cost effective foundation and your lot is flat, then choosing a poured concrete foundation is definitely a solid way to go. The drawback here, of course, is that there is no space under the home for living space or to access the various mechanical systems of the home.
Ultimately you are going to need to weigh the pros and the cons for each type of foundation and then make your choice accordingly. Take into account the types of lots and the types of soil that you have in your area so that when you buy your land, the land is going to correspond with the type of foundation that you want to build. If you do not necessarily have a foundation preference, then feel free to make your choice based on whatever type of lot you end up buying.
Ultimately, though, you need to make sure that you are considering how different slopes of land can impact the types of foundations and the types of homes that you can build on the space. Flat lots and sloped lots have completely different building considerations for you to make, especially when drainage is considered. If you build the wrong type of foundation for the type of land that you are working with, or if drainage considerations are ignored, then you can end up with a moisture and drainage problem, or even worse, you could end up with a home that is not structurally sound.
When in doubt, work with a specialist who can give you honest answers about your options. Bringing in professional help is often the best course of action when you are trying to make the right decisions about your home building. If there are any doubts about the shape of your lot, the drainage options available or the ideal foundation style, then asking for some advice will definitely behoove you in the long run.