house on a hill

What do you guys write when a house is on a hill. Its obviously negative grade toward the front of the house. There is no way to regrade that so I don’t want to put my saved negative grade comment in this report. Any comments, suggestions, thoughts?

“Yard sloping towards the house.”

Myself, I stay away from using words such as negative or positive.


Were there any problems/defects related to this house sitting on the hill?

Just like Left and Right… too political! :twisted:

That was my first thought. The answer to that would dictate my comments.

There should be a slope of 6" in 10 feet…if not then I simply determine if moisture is entering into the foundation AND determine what water management systems are in place ie. gutters with proper downspouts / extensions, french drains (interior or exterior), type and condition of any moisture barriers etc.

Any structure if done properly and prevent moisture from getting inside…the Navy is proof of that. :slight_smile:

The water should be directed around the house even on a hill.

Visual description for report

Do you mean like this where is your pic this cabin had moisture problems on the back side I always take pic of all four side and describe how the water drains away/towrd the foundation and I do not use the word postive or negative they are use in describing the amount of carbon monoxide on a furnace discharge

I had a house like this on a hill where the water had not been diverted around the house properly and it had eventually started to push the foundation over even though it had been reinforced. Water DEFINITELY needs drainage ditches or pipes around the house rather than going through the house.

Hmmmm. Thanks.

like this?

Whether or not it can be regraded is not your problem. You were hired to report on the condition of the home and the fact that the grade slopes toward the house is undesirable and could have negative consequences such as foundation deterioration or moisture intrusion. Say what you always say and let the chips fall where they may. Grading, moisture mitigation, foundation repair…those are all issues I wouldn’t want to be ordered by a judge to pay for.

P.S. a French drain is always an alternative to re-sloping the land, but I wouldn’t make suggestions in the report. The best part of our job is that we don’t have to design the repair.

Thanks Joe. Excellent point. I never recommend repairs I just get wrapped up in trying to figure them out for my own knowledge.

Instead of getting wrapped up in figuring out repairs, spend your time on your marketing program.

I can multi-task :slight_smile:

Just finished up looking at a home we are getting ready to put an offer on…1970’s, negative grade, no gutters, major structural issues…get to the basement and see where an INTERIOR french drain has been installed inside the basement / crawlspace with two inoperable sump pumps. Mold growing throughout, duct work, HVAC system stolen and/or duct work has to be removed…price went from 94k to presently 64k. We are going to offer 30k and see what happens…but what I was getting at is that french drains do not always solve the problem in light of the fact many contractors do not know how to water proof a home…you still end up with moisture infiltrating into the building envelope which over a period of time will in fact adversely affect other systems.
I have never believed in interior french drains…you are pretty much conceding defeat and simply addressing the symptoms as they develop.

Even if our offer is accepted, we are looking at putting close to 100k into the home…this particular home was purchased by a novice who wanted to do a fix and flip…they spent around 20k before they realized they were screwed…but I digress.

In regards to existing repairs…I note any repairs that were made, that documentation should be provided and if necessary consult with a professional who deals with such repairs.

If a home has negative grade then report it in a manner that first and foremost conveys the issue to your client…weather you put home has negative grade or simply put that a “professional landscaping contractor needs to properly grade around the perimeter of the home to ensure proper drainage so as to prevent moisture from infiltrating into the building envelope”…etc…just as long as your client understands the problem and the ramifications.



Thanks Jeff