Don't Fight the Land

Since time immemorial, people have battled against nature. It’s how we’ve survived and gotten to where we are today. Yet it often seems that the more we push against nature, the more it pushes back. Sometimes, it’s best to just let nature run it’s course and to work with it, rather than against it. This is especially true when building a new home, especially if your plot of land has slopes and hills. Rather than trying to level the ground out, there can be some advantages to working with the lay of the land, such as built in rainwater management, or even a daylight basement.

What is a Daylight Basement?

A daylight basement is similar to a typical basement of a house. A full level below the first floor, basements often serves as a storage space for most homeowners, typically where the water heater and furnace is installed. The difference between a standard basement and a daylight basement is that daylight basements are built into the natural slopes surrounding your home. So while it might look like a single level home from the street, the entryway to the basement is exposed in the back. Because daylight basements often have full sized windows which allow for a considerable level of natural light (hence the name) this style of basement can provide more opportunities for designing your home than a standard basement allows. Daylight basements also have their own entrance, typically in the back of the house, which makes them safer and more suitable for living quarters.

Photo taken by: Wonderlane

Because of the added daylight and increased accessibility, having a daylight basement increases the total livable space in your home. Whether you’re looking to build the ultimate home theater, a family room, an in-law suite, or just a few extra bedrooms, building a daylight basement turns what is normally just a storage area into an extra floor of your home.
Why it’s Important to Work With the Land

When building a new home on a plot of land, getting a feel for the land is always a good start, watching the way the water flows when it rains for example. While it’s possible to level the hills to create flat ground, it’s not always the best choice. Hills and slopes help to create a natural means of channeling rain water. This can help reduce the risk of flooding your basement or dealing with foundation issues. Hardscaping to make the ground level can also be very expensive, adding a significant cost to building your new home. While designing the layout of your new home to incorporate the natural slopes might be more difficult from the outset, it can very easily help you cut building costs as well as adding value to your home in the form of more livable space.

When you work with the land, you can help protect your home against the ravages of the environment. Leaving the natural slopes and hills of the landscape around can also help to add a touch of beauty to your new home. When looking to build a new home, consider how you can make the landscape work to your advantage, rather than making it another obstacle to overcome.

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+Ken Uhrich likes houses. In fact he lives in one. You can drop him a line at the Custom Home Group website.