Posted by JWmHarmon on April 22, 2003 at 12:36:22:
In Reply to: help with a hillside home posted by n downey on April 19, 2003 at 10:06:48:
Building on a hillside site requires careful planning and attention to design details. There is a tendency for buildings to creep down the hillside a tiny fraction of an inch a year. Over a long period of years this may add up to several inches of movement. Hillside driveways are particularly difficult to design to avoid this hillside creeping. Also, care should be taken to prevent undo hydrostatic pressure (Underground water). Proper drainage must be designed around the building.
Generally foundations built into a hillside should be reinforced with steel reinforcing bars much like a retaining wall is reinforced. On a hillside site there is pressure from the earth on one side of the building, with no corresponding pressure on the downhill side to counteract those forces.
If you want to do a sufficient amount of excavating, it should be no problem to build a garage on a lower level with rooms built above. Please be aware of the danger of fire in a garage and the need for proper installation of code approved drywall or other fireproofing on the walls and ceiling.
Depending on the conditions on your site, and the layout of the lot, it might be simpler to build a garage that does not need so much excavation. Have you considered all your other options?
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