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Construction Tips – Foundation Height

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Ask the builder what height above sea level will the finished floor of the home be. This should be clearly stated in the specifications of the home. All communities give minimum floor elevations that must be followed. Furthermore, you should always try to choose a homesite that will allow the floor of the home to be built well above the curb of the road. Find out exactly how much higher than the curb the proposed elevation is. You will never worry about heavy rains plus your home will have much better “street appeal”. Most people want to look up at their home as opposed to looking down at it. Be very careful with this as it is expensive to raise the height of a home. It is not unusual for a builder to offer a lower price than a competing builder with the intention of providing a lower floor elevation. Be very careful if floor elevation, site clearing and fill dirt are shown as allowance items. You can very easily have a surprise that can cost you 10’s of thousands of dollars. Any good builder that knows costs should be able to give you a firm price for this item and eliminate it as an allowance item. However, unless you state in the specifications that the floor of the home shall be ______ above the curb of the road, in front of the home, eliminating this as an allowance item is meaningless. We have found that a home that is placed 25 to 30 feet from the front lot line needs to have the floor at least 18-24″ above the curb of the road in front of the home. When it is placed on a larger lot, 70-90 feet from the front lot line the floor needs to be at least 4-4 1/2 feet above the curb of the road in front of the home. When a home is placed as described above you always look up to it and no drainage problems should occur. If ever in doubt, always go higher.

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