As a custom homebuilder specializing in Long Beach Island, we work with our engineers to ensure all of our homes have proper grading and drainage. This is especially important for homes within flood zones, where runoff water from storms can be more of a risk. Not only is it important to protect your home, it’s important that your home’s finished grade does not negatively affect neighboring properties. This means that establishing a proper grading plan is a must for new custom homes on Long Beach Island.
A grading plan is usually provided by a civil engineer and refers to the landscaping of the house site and soil elevations. This plan will help avoid having water from storms and irrigation run back toward the home and cause moisture issues and create hydrostatic pressure against the foundation wall, causing foundation cracks, structural damage, or soil erosion requiring costly repairs in the future. Improper grading plans on your home can also cause trouble for your neighbors, whose homes can experience erosion and flooding from improperly diverted rain and snowmelt.
When it comes to site engineering and grading plans, our site supervisors follow the specific information provided on the plan by the engineer, which can include additional (or removal of) soil, retaining walls (as seen being installed at one of our homes under construction in the photo to the left), and other means of properly controlling the flow of water and grading the site. Our landscaping crew also uses these plans to add patios, retaining walls, garden, and planting areas in the correct areas called out by the engineer to add the finishing touches that beautify the home. The finished landscaping is what the homeowners, their visitors, and neighbors see, but there is much more than landscaping going on below the surface.
A few other things to think about with regard to grading plans:
- Doing most of the grading during the “dry season” helps to prevent erosion of the soil during construction and prevent the need to re-grade later.
- If the final grade is too close to the wall cladding, future moisture issues can occur and can create a perfect environment for termites to enter the home. Proper backfilling near the foundation is critical. This may not apply to our elevated homes on Long Beach Island.
- Much of the soil that is excavated from the site can be used as backfill to help establish the final grade. These stockpiles should be covered during construction to help prevent erosion and runoff.
If you are building a custom home on Long Beach Island, it is recommended to have your builder, or a civil engineer, provide a grading plan to ensure your home is properly protected from runoff, and that the neighboring properties are not negatively affected by your home and its construction. Stonehenge Building & Development can help you throughout the process of building the home of your dreams. For information on home designs, site engineering, and the building process contact us today.