Home Repair

a lot, a lot, a lot of hill? Can we build on an incline?

This topic is available here on The Repair-Place forum
Well, we managed to find a city lot here in MN in our price range! It's in a nice, older neighborhood, within easy commuting distance. Hooray.... However, when we went to look at it, it was immediately apparent why no one has snapped it up yet....

The land is lovely- very brushy and tree filled, a nice size... just one problem. It faces a busy street, and the frontage goes up, and up, and up... From where you stand at street level, it probably goes up about 15 feet high at a very steep incline, before it finally levels off.

Most of the other homes in the neighborhood are older (I'd say ranging from turn of the century to 1950s). The ones next to the lot have the garage dug into the hill right off the street, with the home built at the top. I don't really see where it would be accessible from wither of thew side streets, and I'm not sure how in the world you would get the excavation machines up there to dig the holes... Not to mention the work crews? I know a lot of the brush, and some of the trees would probably have to go

Oh great Guru...
Does this sound do-able? What if any, are your experiences on building homes on inclines? Is it prohibitively expensive? Are clearing out trees and brush a big deal, or not? I'm anxious to hear your wisdom on the subject!

Anybody else have homes on hilly/bluff areas?

Karen Smile
I would find and talk to an excavator dude in the area to get an idea on the cost. Is there going to be town sewer/water? Guess there wouldn't be drainage problems! Your going to have lots of steps to get to the front porch remember. The contractors would have no problems clearing, getting, and working there. They may whine a lot but remind them of the great excercise they are getting for free!! Then give them a bottle of water!! The biggest expense would be the initial excavation, so check around for some pricing. You'll have to build some retaining walls too to hold back the dirt when all is done (or you could have the concrete contractor do it out of concrete!)

Is there a flat place for a back yard?
Yeah! Luckily- the incline is only at the front- once you get up there, it is pretty level, from what I could tell. There is city water and sewer- all utilities (Thank goodness, I wouldn't have to worry about septic.) I think we could have a "walk out" next to the garage... but who wants to walk out to the street? Yuck! I'm not sure that'd be very secure either...

I think I'll contact my uncle- he's a G.C. in the area... He might be able to direct me to a good excavator....

Clearing the brush and trees isn't too big a deal then?

By the way- your dog is totally adorable!
Thanks or my pooch thanks you!! I figured everyone else has doggie pictures so I felt I could blend in better this way!! (besides ron HATES the moving gif files!!! lol) maybe I should put it back then!

Clearing brush and trees is no problem for someone who does it all the time. Landscape guy, tree guy, etc. Have fun with the project and keep me posted!!
What about leveling the lot somewhat? Moving the dirt back? Building the house behind the garage, with the first level at garage level, and as you move "back" in the house you go up floors as well? The kitchen and living area would be on the main floor, so it would be easy to carry groceries in from the garage, and then perhaps another living area and bedrooms on higher floors.

I would imagine this house would be EXTREMELY energy efficient as well, as half the house essentially would be subterranean (underground).

Probably very expensive to build that way, and you probably don't want the house facing the busy street all the time, and all the windows would be facing that one direction...so behind the garage would be good to keep the street noise down.

I dunno, just random thoughts.
Thanks Ron! If we end up going this route, we'll keep all of that in mind. We've got a meeting on Wednesday with our rep, so I'll keep you updated!

Karen Smile
That sounds like a great idea. I might, if it is in the budget, talk to an architect too and get some ideas or maybe even a set of plans. Most of the time there has been someone else with the same situation and there are already plans close to what you would like.

You would need to talk to the excavator to see if slightly leveling the lot would be feasible or even do-able


Questions to Webmaster