Selecting the perfect lot for your new home can be a difficult decision to make. Aside from the size, location on the street, and shape, you also need to take note of the slope of the lot. Some may have a gradual slope, while others might be steeper and require a portion of the house to be built into it. Don’t immediately write off a sloped lot as a “no” though–there are some downsides, but there are also benefits to living on a sloped lot which you should weigh before making a final decision.

Benefits of a Sloped Lot

  1. Privacy. Usually, the slope is at the back of your house. This allows for the lower part of the house that is built into the slope to have more privacy, as it cannot be seen from the front or side. A good portion of your backyard may be hidden from view as well, making it safer for kids to play.
  2. Exposed and shaded patios. Houses built into slopes often have decks built on stilts that lead out from the upper floor, while underneath the deck provides a shaded area for a second patio to enjoy during the hottest hours of the day. This design offers more storage for outdoor equipment and a bigger space to entertain guests.
  3. More natural light. The one and a half or two stories that you get when building a house on a sloped lot mean that you have more room for windows that invite natural light into your home. The privacy afforded by a sloping back to your lot can allow you to put in bigger windows than you might if you were on a normal lot where the rear backs up to other neighbors’ lots.

Downsides to Sloped Lots

  1. Drainage issues. Be wary if all or a portion of the lot slopes toward the house location. Even a small or gradual slope can lead to water puddling near the foundation of the house, which can lead to significant flooding issues during rainfall. While the architectural engineer will design a way for water to be directed away from the house in the construction plans, be sure to have a landscape architect assess your lot after construction so that you can be sure that the grading was done properly. Even so, note that some parts of your lawn may be a bit soggy.
  2. Maintenance can be tricky. Some mowers may have a difficult time on a slope. Instead, you can design your landscape to incorporate xeriscaping and rock gardens that are beautiful, filled with succulents, and need no mowing.
  3. Keep an eye out for erosion. Any slope in a landscape increases the possibility of erosion. You will need to watch your yard for signs of rills forming, and have the areas reinforced if necessary.

While Florida doesn’t have many sloped lots, you may occasionally find yourself presented with one as an option for your home – often on the banks of a river or canal. There’s no need to immediately turn it down; you just need to look at its unique layout to determine exactly which pros and cons apply in that situation before ultimately making a decision.

If you have a sloped lot and are looking for innovative ways to create an outdoor living space, call the experts at West Coast Design Build Florida. We are here to help you to make the most of your home and property.