Photo: Wally Gobetz

Once you find the perfect lot for your dream home, it’s important to have it reviewed by an expert who can explain the design possibilities as well as the potential obstacles that may come with building on the lot.

If your lot happens to be on a steep slope, the builder may be addressed with some additional challenges, but don’t let this steer you away! Steep slopes often reveal the most beautiful views and offer unique design features. The positives will likely outweigh the challenges, but you can prepare yourself for the process with the considerations below.

Steep Slope Positives

View: A common reason for building on a slope is that they often overlook breathtaking views of the city or mountains since they are at a higher elevation. Depending on the location, it may also provide greater privacy from neighbors than a flat lot.

Design: Building on a slope allows for unique design options, from the landscaping to the exterior view and interior space. Working with an expert throughout the lot selection process is ideal, as they can help you visualize the various possibilities.

Here at Westlake Development, we continue to build a wide range of exciting architectural designs, from Asian Contemporary to Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired homes, in a variety of unique conditions and terrain.

Extra Space: With a steep slope lot, you get the added space of basement levels with much more natural light, full-length windows and walkout capabilities, unlike basements that are fully underground. This has become a popular option in more recent years.

steep slope building tips

Photo: Photo Dean

Steep Slope Challenges

Complexity: Since sloped lots are often in unique locations, specialized equipment might be required to function in the available space.

Cost: In some cases, sloped lots may require a greater budget if the land needs to be built up and/or if is does not have adequate drainage and sewage accessibility from the street at ground level.

Extra Work: In addition to cost, the extra work of making a home on a sloped lot stable and safe may require extra time. Building up the land to the standard 8 inches above soil, along with adding retaining walls for stability in the home, is extra work that isn’t incurred when building on a flat lot. If it needs to be equipped with sewage and drainage capabilities as well, this will also require additional work.

When you work with us, you can rest assured we have taken all the precautionary measures to build you a well-constructed home.

Working with a builder who can give you expert advice, beginning with the lot selection process, will allow you peace of mind knowing that your new home will be built to the highest safety and quality standards. Westlake Development Group has more than 20 years of experience constructing custom homes on steep slopes and challenged properties throughout the Portland metropolitan area. With this experience, we know the proper way to place and construct a residence in the most structurally sound and cost-effective way, while gaining all the benefits the home site has to offer.

Visit our Steep Slope Experts page for more details on building your custom home on a steep slope lot!

Sources: Homebuilding & Renovating