Remodeling a hillside home can be very different than from most remodels.
Can I add a room or under my hillside home?
Many homes built on a hillside especially in the 1960’s and 70’s have a foundation and stem walls built on the slope with tall walls up to the first floor (floor joists) leaving huge areas under the house. Generally this space is great because it does not change the height of your home to add square footage, bedrooms, baths etc.
- From a design review or design approval most likely this won’t block or change any views so it is unlikely you will get any resistance from neighbors.
- From an engineering stand point there can be several answers. Generally these older homes were not built with foundations that would meet todays codes. Often times there are levels of what can be added and how many openings can be cut into these walls because they are mainly used as sheer walls as well as dispersing the homes weight across the footings. It is usually the footings that are not big enough for the weight to not be evenly displaced which brings us to the foundation and soil. This is why I generally say that there are levels of choices you may have without changing or upgrading your existing foundation but whether the opening, window or door sizes are enough without the next level which would be adding foundation costs depends on the individual house.
Can we add a third story on our two story hillside home?
This question has several variables the first two to start with would be your cities building departments and if the home was part of an association. if your home is built on a hillside it may not be approved by how many stories as much as the over all height of the building in comparison to the neighboring homes.
Does the age of the hillside home matter?
Yes the age of the home does matter mostly because building codes have changed over the years mostly increasing requirements. This means that adding on to an existing structure could require upgrades that can be costly.
Has your home had any foundation upgrades?
Often times over the years a hillside home has had some remodeling or has rooms added on. If the foundation was upgraded at the time it came be helpful if it is in the area you are choosing to remodel. however not all remodels require the foundation to be upgraded.
Is you hillside home level, sliding or tilted?
This is something that even when happening its almost to scary to even want to talk about. However almost all homes built on a hillside do creep over the years especially if the foundation is built on top of the soil without casinos drilled into the hill. There are many things that come into play when talking about why one home may have the same foundation and has not moved or others that creep or slide. The soil is obviously the first and most important however how steep the hill is, how the house was laid out on the hill, weight of the property and one major one that home owner never realize how important it is and how much control they have over it its called drainage. Yes drainage is something that most people don’t pay attention to but water and soil saturation is a hillside homes enemy!
Can my home be fixed if it has crept, slide or is currently tilted or out of level?
The good news is almost every home is fixable. The first thing would be to make sure the house is safe. After that it would be to figure out why the home has slide or crept and how much over what span of time or years. The next would be to determine if the home needs to be jacked, raised or lifted or just locked in with foundation improvements.
If your house is sliding or settling we can help.
TGM Construction specializes in hillside homes and can provide real solutions for your home. We have extensive experience with home jacking, stilting, shoring, cassions, hillside foundations and structural retro-fitting. We have a team of draftsmen, structural engineers and soils engineers. We can work through your options and find the most cost effective way to move forward and accomplish your remodel or repairs.