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Q&A: Design Options for Steep Slopes


Photo: Scott Amend, Courtesy of Real Log Homes
 

Q: I have a lot that slopes gently toward a steeper drop off. What are my design options?

 

Answer:

Multi-level floor plans with walkout basements lend themselves to sloping lots because they take advantage of the site’s natural topography and open up a whole new level to natural light and outdoor access. However, the degree of slope a piece of property has may play a role in how the lower level functions.
 
If the slope is too gentle, extra excavation may be necessary to accommodate a walkout. A sloping lot also may mean that creating a gateway to the great outdoors from the main living level will either have to be on the side of the house or from a deck above the walkout basement, creating a potential barrier to ushering natural light into a subterranean space.  Although, that deck will afford extra outdoor living space above the area where the property drops off (particularly if you cantilever the deck so it hovers above the sheer face) and, depending on your location, create jaw-dropping views.