Building on Sloped Lots in North Idaho

North Idaho Homes Builder Blog

North Idaho is known for its amazing mountain and lake scenery, which means building on sloped lots.

The landscape and what it offers is why many are looking to call North Idaho home. When choosing property or lots to build your new home there are many things to consider. One of the most important factors to consider is the terrain and slope of the lot you are building on.

Sloped lots not only offer amazing views, they also come with their own set of challenges from a building perspective.

I have seen it time and time again. I meet with a customer, and they show me this amazing view lot they bought or are looking at purchasing. Only to find out that what they want to build won’t work for their lot, or their budget.

Work with your builder when choosing your sloped lot

It is very important to include your builder in the purchase of a lot, or design a house around the property. It is much less expensive to design a house to fit the property, instead of changing the property to fit the house. Building on sloped lots tend to have some upfront cost that a homeowner may not be aware of before construction begins.

Upfront Costs to Consider

Some of the upfront costs stem from studies that need to be performed in order to receive a sign off from the planning department. These include:

  • topography and site survey
  • site disturbance and storm water plan
  • geotechnical analysis

Some of the counties in our area require these studies while others do not. However, many of the developments in the area do require these items even if the county their building in does not. The total upfront cost for these items to be completed can range from $12,000 – +$20,000. This can be a shock to some homeowners that may not be aware of this cost when first planning for building their new home.

Knowing some of these requirements and expenses in advance can help a homeowner plan ahead. It is important to work with knowledgeable professionals with expertise in building on sloped lots. They can guide a homeowner on the best way to keep expenses to a minimum.

The terrain and slope of the lot will also have a determining factor on what house design you choose.

If you have a down sloping lot, you will want to pick a floorplan with a daylight basement design. If you have an upsloping lot you will want to pick a floorplan that has a basement entry garage. That will help to keep costs to a minimum. Certain lots wont easily accommodate a garage on the upper level, but it will increase the amount of excavation and the length of your driveway. Either way a knowledgeable professional can assist you with the design that best fits your lot, and how you intend to use it.

We have years of design and build experience with sloped lots. Let us know what you are thinking of so we can help!

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