Protecting Your Custom Home Build From Water Part 1: Grading

March 19, 2021


Here at 4G Design Build, potential clients are always interested in learning about the benefits of building a custom home. Every once in a while, though, we get people asking about some of the disadvantages of building a custom home. The honest truth is that, while we don’t really see any disadvantages to custom home building, there certainly are some factors that can interrupt the process and cause future problems along the way — in the home building industry, we like to refer to these problematic factors as public enemies. 

What is public enemy number one for most custom home builders, you ask? In our opinion, the answer is none other than water. Water is bad for construction and is something that you never want to get inside of your new custom home. That’s why we have decided to do a three-part blog series covering the different building solutions that prevent water from putting the safety and integrity of the structure of your custom home at risk. 

Ways to Protect Your Custom Home From Water: Grading

Building a quality custom home involves a lot more than just well-designed architecture and a good foundation — the land needs to be properly graded as well. Especially in areas that are susceptible to heavy rainfall and flooding, grading is one of the best defenses against water. 

What is Grading?

The term “grading” refers to the type of base or slope on which a home sits. In short, a land’s “grade” is its slope. Grading is something that takes place early on in the custom home construction process, among other preparation work on the site, to provide a stable foundation to build on. Proper grading ensures that water flows away from a house and into nearby storm drains rather than collecting near the foundation, which could result in some significant issues and damage. There is an extensive range of factors to consider when grading for custom home construction, many of which are dependent on the lot on which the home is built on, such as soil composition.

Why Is Grading Important?

Grading is vital to the quality and longevity of a home. Improper grading could lead to numerous issues in the construction phase as well as other potential issues down the road after the construction is complete. That’s why it’s important to hire a professional grading company or work with a reliable custom home builder that can offer a referral from their network of trusted contractors. When the job is done properly, grading will contribute to the following:

Strong Foundation

Improper grading will cause water to push back towards the house and begin collecting near the foundation. When this occurs, cracks in the foundation can start to form, which causes potential damage to the structure of the home, as well as some problematic soil erosion. Grading helps water move away from the foundation of the house, which reduces the risk of erosion and damage to the foundation, limiting the number of structural issues that could occur down the line.

Proper Drainage

Water is the last thing you want to find inside of your custom home. Proper drainage relies as much on land grading as it does on drainage systems. By properly grading the land, water’s natural predilection for flowing downhill can be taken advantage of, keeping the home dry and at a reduced risk of water damage or moisture issues. 

Working With a Grading Company

Ultimately, if you want to avoid grading issues with your custom home, you’re going to need to work with a professional grading contractor. At 4G Design Build, we make sure that grading is taken care of before our custom home builders even think about beginning construction. We work with professional grading contractors to ensure that the job is done right. There are various methods that these contractors use to make sure a lot is properly graded. These methods include:

  • Grading out slopes that divert water away from your home’s foundation and safely into drainage areas
  • Creating swales, or lower tracts of land, that divert groundwater away from the foundation
  • Identifying areas which soil must be either added to or removed from the site to ensure proper drainage and prevent grading issues

Grading plays a vital role in helping custom home builders, as well as their clients that they are building for, avoid problematic issues related to public enemy number one: water. Laying a strong foundation through grading results in high-quality construction that stands up to the test of time.

Learn More About Grading or Building a Custom Home

If you’re building a custom home, you should definitely ask the custom home builders you are working with about grading before construction begins. At 4G Design Build, we try to make the custom home building process as easy as possible by handling all the ins and outs. This includes making sure that the lot you want to build on is properly graded.

If you’re interested in building a custom home in Mooresville, North Charlotte, Davidson, Huntersville, Statesville, or the surrounding areas, contact the talented and award-winning custom home builders at 4G Design Build to get started.