Drainage, slopes, and hidden gotchas

    house-on-a-slopeI've seen just about every challenge a piece of land can present when it comes to slopes and drainage issues you might have to deal with when building on your land. And those aren't the only unexpected issues that can slow down a home build!

    It can become expensive to fix unforeseen problems, and it might even get in the way of carrying out your home design. Here are a few challenges you'll want to keep an eye out for.


    When it comes to slope, I've seen both extremes: so much slope it took $70K in site prep to make the lot build-ready, and so little slope that a conventional septic system wouldn't even function. Have you ever seen rainwater fill underground lateral lines and run back into a septic tank? It isn't pretty.


    Drainage patterns on raw land can be tricky to plan for. Some patterns are so subtle, you might not even notice them until you watch your living room become an indoor swamp in the first heavy rain.

    Other common issues

    It's possible that an excellent plot of land might have other difficulties unique to building a home. Maybe there's no clear way to enter or exit the property. Or there might be dense tree cover where you want to build your home. There may be unexpected easements on your property.

    How can you handle these issues? Make sure you check out the lay of the land before you build. Get a professional involved.

    They may even be able to help you choose a building site on your land that will avoid some of the more challenging problems. In most cases, these issues won't mean your home can't be built; your builder will just have to get creative. And it'll make your job easier if the builder you work with has experience with a variety of land issues.

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