From $9.95


Statistics

Users
Total: 32,922
Visited Last 30 days: 202
Forum Messages
Total: 20,966
Last 30 days: 5
Forum Evaluations
Total: 24,160
Last 30 days: 0
Journal Entries
Total: 5,400
Last 30 days: 7
Connections
Total: 15,247
Last 30 days: 4
Downloads
Total: 87,221

Journals

Name
NorthShoreBathrooms
19 Visits | 1 Posts | 2 Pix | 0 Videos
Tenants-Right-When-S... Maryland, MD
616 Visits | 5 Posts | 4 Pix | 0 Videos
furnacerepairon St Catharines, AL
40 Visits | 1 Posts | 9 Pix | 0 Videos
furnacemkm Markham, AL
40 Visits | 1 Posts | 7 Pix | 0 Videos
vallejocleaningservi... Vallejo , CA
39 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
getpestcontrol Delhi, AL
43 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
noithattrieugia tphcm, AL
58 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
httpownerbuilderbook...
125 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Packers-and-Movers Delhi, AL
397 Visits | 2 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
Best-Access-Doors Jackson, AL
174 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Concrete-Contractors...
237 Visits | 2 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
bird Springfield, MO
170 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Tanglewood Colorado Springs, CO
120,452 Visits | 1,004 Posts | 2,581 Pix | 47 Videos
Drywall-Repair-Lehi
249 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
ianpundt
289 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Magic-Of-The-SideSto... San Carlos, CA
626 Visits | 2 Posts | 2 Pix | 0 Videos
httpswwwfaxitfastcom... salt lake city, AL
255 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Owning-My-First-Prop... Grand Rapids, MI
378 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
movers-and-packers Hyderabad, AL
368 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
Investment-Propertie... Rochester, MN
420 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
See all journals...

Current Top-Rated Posters

RatingPosts
Lance in Buena Vista, CO0.002

We are planning to build within the next year. This will be the first of many if everything goes as well as expected. Your book and website keep me pumped; thanks again.
Patti in Salisbury, NC

Try one of our new Construction Bargain Strategies for free. Coupon code: CBS. One strategy could save you $1,000 or $10,000 or maybe $50,000 when you build or remodel.
25,000 pages of free owner-builder resources.  We accept no ads.

Hillside Lots


Filter by date: and/or Keyword



Reply... Subscribe to this topic


Ken's Forum Posts: 6

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Ken on 4/8/2004


Any O-Bs who have built on hillside lots? What advice can you give?
Reply...


David's Forum Posts: 1

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By David in Louisville, KY on 4/10/2004


Ken, I am building on a fall-away lot currently. I have the foundation walls done and will be waterproofing and termite spraying in the next day. I saw you had another email asking about a 30 ft foundation wall to bring to grade. What an undertaking!!! Are you building into a hillside or a fall-away?
Reply...


Ken's Forum Posts: 6

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Ken on 4/11/2004


I'm building on an upslope, and making a cut into the hillside near the top, and a driveway that goes up to it. I haven't gotten engineering done yet, but I've had a few concrete guys give me their opinion, and it's sounding like it's going to be out of my budget. That 's why I'm looking for possible alternatives.
Reply...


Thomas's Forum Posts: 1

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Thomas in Lisle, IL on 10/14/2004


Look at putting the garage under the house. This will save you some money and works well with hillside lots.
Reply...


Don's Forum Posts: 13

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Don in Agoura, CA on 10/14/2004


Hi Ken-

I saw in the other thread that you were in Hollywood Hills. I will hopefully be building in Agoura. I am having trouble figuring out how you are building based on the description. Did you make a point to work your architecture into the hillside? Just want to understand how you are dealing with the hillside.

Thanks,
Don

Reply...


Robert's Forum Posts: 2

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Robert in Mission Viejo, CA on 10/17/2004


You might also consider putting your garage on the second floor of the house, if the driveway approaches from the higher side of the lot. Several homes have done this successfully in Laguna Beach and other hillside areas.

I will be building one lot hillside in Rosemead, and I am looking for a good geotechnical eng. and structural engineer. Does anyone have a suggestion?


Reply...


Daniel's Forum Posts: 2

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Daniel on 10/22/2004


Robert

is your lot slope down or slope up?  How much does it usually cost for the whole project of foundation?

Dan


Reply...


Frank's Forum Posts: 4

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Frank in San Pedro, CA on 10/22/2004


For engineering call: Palos Verdes Engineering at 858-759-2434 speak to Paul Christenson, they are located in Rancho Santa Fe.

For geology call Geo Lab 805-495-2197 they are in Westlake Village but travel all over CA.


Reply...


Nina's Forum Posts: 11

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Nina in Los Angeles, CA on 11/17/2004


How big is your lot? Do you have a survey yet? Is it still in escrow?

I am currently building on a 42,000 s.f. hillside lot, near Hollywood. My slope is around 65%. The house will be three stories, 8,500 s.f.; I designed it myself. Hillside lots are very complicated to build on.

Fire dept. is very important when dealing with hillside lots. So make sure you do your research and start with the fire dept.

You will need a soil and geo report. Call around and get some quotes before you start the project. I got my soil and geo report for $3,800 and I was quoted as much as $7,900. Time factor is important as well, many geologists are really busy right now; so get a commitment on time from them. This way you know how long it will take them to get your report finished.

Also, hillside lots need surveys; so make sure you call around and get a few quotes from a licensed surveyor and remember the time factor also.

Remember it will take the city of L.A. 6 weeks to approve the soil & geo reports, so get started. Also make sure the lot is buildable.

TGR GEOTECHNICAL
SOIL AND GEOLOGY REPORT: $3,800
714-641-7189


Reply...


D''s Forum Posts: 28

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By D' in Tucson, AZ on 11/17/2004


I'm building a house on a steep hillside (more like mountainside), and it is difficult at best. We have lots of rock - had a track excavator and hammer hoe on site for four months to get the utility trenches and retaining wall footings cut in. We later found out when we tried getting footing inspections that the engineer just accepted the architect's word for site conditions without ever visiting the site. Now, everything requires special inspections until we are above the first floor framing.
Reply...


Nina's Forum Posts: 11

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Nina in Los Angeles, CA on 11/20/2004


Did you get a geological report before you started building?

On my hillside lot, I have two geological reports and a survey; these items cost around $13,000. These reports explain in excellent detail the condition on the soil and rock, distances to earthquake faults, and any groundwater and liquification potential.

It would be good practice, but I do not think it is necessary, for the structural engineer to visit the site if you had a good geological report done on your site before you started construction. A good contractor can compensate by overbuilding a little.

But always get a geo report when building in hillside areas.

Kevin


Reply...

2004, 2005, 2006 Merit Award Winner

John's Forum Posts: 278
Interview Answers: 69

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By John in Erie, CO on 11/21/2004


Even with good soils, keep a little bit of a contingency. My soils report said I had good, low expansion soil, with bedrock at 15'. I did, for one room of the house. The rest of the house was located in nearly solid rock, and I pretty much wiped out my contingency in the first 3 weeks of construction blasting! Soils reports are good, but keep in mind that there can still be things hiding below the surface! Probably rare, but it would depend on your locale.
Reply...


Nina's Forum Posts: 11

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Nina in Los Angeles, CA on 11/22/2004


Contingencies are a must!

Sounds like you have a nice solid foundation to me. My lot is solid bedrock as well, and I am very happy about that.

Proper soil samples should be taken at four corners of the proposed footprint of the house and ideally one in the center and several at different locations throughout the property.

Someone screwed up. Either the geologist was not given the proper location of the footprint of the house or the geologist just did not dig within the proper location.

I would love to see a copy of the report and see where he did his borings and how deep his boring were.

Everybody reading this has learned an important lesson. Before the geologist goes out to dig his holes, find out where the holes are going to be dug and make sure some of the holes are dug within and near the footprint of the house. If he doesn't want to do what you say or take your recommendations, find a geologist who will. But make sure you have the proposed location of the house marked on your survey.


Reply...

2004, 2005, 2006 Merit Award Winner

John's Forum Posts: 278
Interview Answers: 69

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By John in Erie, CO on 11/26/2004


We're at drywall now, so it's a bit late. Our contingency (5%) covered the blasting with a small pad left. :) On smaller homes, I would probably suggest bumping up the contingency a bit. (7-10%?)

We had the soils done when we purchased the lot, four years before we built. Where the bores were located, we originally had three done, all in corners of the house. After the house design was finished, and we laid it out, we had two in the house and one in the garage. No matter what bores you have done here, your soils engineer has to do an open hole inspection and your structural engineer has to verify that the soils are consistent with the design.

For us, we wanted to know when we made the land offer if we were going to need caissons and piers (common in our area) and figuring we had to do the soils anyway, did it with the land purchase contract (as a contingency).

With a million dollar view, we'd have paid the blasting costs either way. :)

Even our excavator, who lives in the area (next door), was fooled. Talking with our geologist, he explained what happened. - Over the eons, the hillside and glaciers had deposited "dobies" (bus sized boulders) and topsoil down the hillside. Our house is built on a "knob" on the side of the hill, where these "dobies" happened to deposit and get filled in with soil over the millions of years. (which makes sense, the rest of the hill is covered with moss rock and rattlesnakes).

What I should have done (in hindsight) is have dug several "test pits" to get a better feel for the digging. The core drill was able to "miss" the boulders on two of the bores until they hit 12' and 15'...


Hopefully, this helps other folks. We did get a good price (relatively) on our land - they came down around $40K once we pointed out that we would need a significant road ($15K) a water line ($18K for the line, $27K for the tap) and power ($7K). We did the soils tests with an out in our contract, knowing that if a pier/caisson foundation (which can run $40K in our area) was required, we could find a different lot (although certainly not one with the space or view).

Reply...


Nina's Forum Posts: 11

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Nina in Los Angeles, CA on 11/27/2004


Hi again John, Wow your road cost $15K, our first quote was $800K and then by using some ingenuity we were able to get it down to $200K. Some guys have all the luck.

Thanks for sharing the details of the project. You guys did everything right; just a little bad luck. That is very interesting to know. I was looking at a site in Las Vegas and the site looked rocky/bouldery (if that's a word). But I would have never thought of hitting large boulders like that. Thanks for the info.



Reply...


Homewithaview's Forum Posts: 16
Interview Answers: 2

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Homewithaview in Mountain View, CA on 6/4/2007


I know this message is a few years old, but does anyone have any advice on tearing down and re-building on a hillside? I think the major increase in costs are for excavation/foundation, and possibly exterior siding, painting, etc. while on a slope. If I am building in essentially the same footprint as the old house, can I hopefully assume that the foundation won't be too much over budget compared to a flat lot? I am adding another story to the current 2 story structure, but given that there's a home with a foundation already there, hopefully we won't have to reinvent the wheel, so to speak...

All advice appreciated!
Reply...


Dave's Forum Posts: 16
Interview Answers: 54

Private Message


Dave's Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Dave in Coarsegold, CA on 6/5/2007


Get soils and structural engineers on board early. Based on your location, seismic will be a big concern, so the existing foundation will have to be scrutinized. It's very possible that it won't be adequate for the weight of an additional story. You'll want to get their input on whether it is adequate and your options if it isn't. Good luck!


Reply...


Homewithaview's Forum Posts: 16
Interview Answers: 2

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Homewithaview in Mountain View, CA on 6/9/2007


Thanks for the advice! I'll definitely start working on that. If I plan on a new foundation, though, then would it make sense to *hopefully* assume that the excavation won't be overly complicated. I guess what I'm worried about with the above posters' examples is that they ran into issues with excavation, and having to blast bedrock, etc. If I already have a foundation there, and just tear it out, they could just put in a new foundation without having to excavate more. Right? *fingers crossed*
Reply...


Bryan's Forum Posts: 21
Interview Answers: 137

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Bryan in San Jose, CA on 6/11/2007


Since you are tearing down an existing house I am assuming it is quite old. If that is the case the existing foundation was probably designed to very old seismic code standards that have since been revised many many times. Depending on the exact location you are building the new foundation could require substantially more excavating. Your foundations have to be designed and calc'd by a structural engineer due to where you are building so he will have the final say in what needs to be done. If you let him know you wish for as little excavation to happen as possible he can try to design the foundation to that requirement.

Reply...


Homewithaview's Forum Posts: 16
Interview Answers: 2

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Homewithaview in Mountain View, CA on 6/15/2007


Thanks much! You don't happen to know of any structural engineers in the Bay Area, do you? :) I'm still trying to find an architect or designer, so I guess I'll have to get started looking at engineering, too. I"ve heard I'll need a structural guy, soils, survey, and energy calc. All adds up...sigh.

Jen

Reply...


Bryan's Forum Posts: 21
Interview Answers: 137

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Bryan in San Jose, CA on 6/17/2007


If you are going to go with an architect they will most likely include a structural engineer as a part of their fee. If it's not included then I would ask them to include it and they will have engineers they have worked with in the past and know of good ones to use. I would suggest going through the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to find an architect. They have a search feature built into their website, aia.org/architect_finder and you can browse the firms' websites to find more information about them.

If you decide to do the design yourself you can find a structural engineer through their professional association, Structural Engineers Association (SEA) seaonc.org. Here is a link to a list of Northern California member firms seaonc.org/pdfs/Ref_list_0806.pdf.

I would suggest looking into a dozen or more firms and then developing a "short list" of 3-4 to do detailed interviews with. This is the way many corporations and large organizations select their architects/engineers.


Reply...


Steven's Forum Posts: 51
Interview Answers: 60

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Steven in MN on 9/13/2007


I am building on a hillside lot in MN.  Do I get a soil test right away or wait until the architect is done w/ design/footprint?

Reply...


Cheryl's Forum Posts: 12
Interview Answers: 63

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Cheryl in Park City, UT on 9/15/2007


Steven,  The sequence goes like this -

- Architect visits site to determine best footprint and placement of house on lot, while avoiding obvious, visible things on the surface like major trees, creek paths or rock outcroppings.

- Once you and the architect agree on the rough location of the house on the lot, then it makes sense to get the soils guys out there. Because now they know where to drill their samples. The soils test won't tell you everything about what's under your house, just what's in the spots where they took a sample. But if they spot something like consistently finding rock at 5 ft depth across your site, then your architect can use this information as he/she completes the final design.

- After you have a completed set of floor plans, the structural engineer takes that and the soil test results to calculate the footings/foundation requirements and other structural details.  

Best of luck with the project!  Cheryl


Reply...



Reply... Subscribe to this topic

Copyright 1997-2020 Consensus Group Inc.