Want A House On A Hill With A Walk-Out Basement? Talk With An Engineer First

When my husband and I purchased our first home, the process was stressful, but we settled on one we liked enough to live in temporarily until we expanded our family. When moving time arrived, we both dreaded the expected stress. We ended up using a different real estate agent than we did the first time, and we made a great decision, because she had a lot of home remodeling knowledge! We were adamant on finally finding our "perfect" home this time. When she showed us homes that lacked features we desired that we would have "nixed" before, she let us know if the feature could be added, and usually it could! We are now in our new home that we had a few small renovations performed on after we bought it, and we love it! I want to help others by sharing some remodeling tips I learned on a blog!

Want A House On A Hill With A Walk-Out Basement? Talk With An Engineer First

28 October 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

If you want to buy a ravine lot so you can have a walk out basement but you aren't sure if there is enough of a hill to get what you want, you want to meet with a civil engineer. There are a lot of factors that affect if you can do this with a piece of property or not.

A civil engineer is best because they'll be able to look at many different aspects of building, and because they help advise you throughout the construction of your home. Here are a few things to talk with your engineer about.

Grading Options

The house has to be graded and put at a certain height so there isn't a problem with water and runoff, and so the house can be properly supported. A civil engineer will look at the dimensions of the slope of the lot to see if a house could stand out of the ground to have a walk out basement, and to see how much dirt or gravel may need to be brought in to support the foundation.

Soil Sample

The engineer needs to take a soil sample to see what is in the soil. There could be dangerous chemicals like radon that you will have to prepare for with a mitigation system, or the soil could be primarily sand and isn't going to be enough to support the home. The soil sample will help the engineer choose what materials are needed for the construction and support for the foundation of the home.


The layout of the house on the lot may have to be angled a different way to protect it from weathering conditions and other problems. You will need to have a variety of permits pulled before you begin the construction process, and the civil engineer can do that for you.

If you are considering building a house on a lot that you found and you want it to have a walk-out basement because the lot has a hill, talk with an engineer before you start looking at the layouts and floor plans of houses. The engineer is going to tell you what the layout can be like if you want to make it work, and they can tell what the cost estimate is going to be to get everything done. Schedule a consultation so you can get your dream home under construction fast.

For professional well drilling and engineering, contact a company such as Gray Surveying & Engineering.