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Building on a slope

 
Posts: 12
Location: Skiathos, Greece
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Hello everyone,

I'm pretty new here and even if I've been reading a lot, it is the first time I write (I guess this free book offer got a lot of us out of our holes...)
I don't have any experience in permaculture, I'm not even in the designing part, yes, as I a still discussing with the banks about the loan that could get me the land of my dreams but... As I was dreaming and imagining and  researching, I kept stumbling on one choice I have to make.
The land I want to buy is a but hill, a 20% slope... In the future, I plan on building with cob and.or dig in the hill but, to start the project, I plan on just installing a yurt and/or a modular home. And here is the question. Where do I put them ? What would be better ? For me to start digging terraces or to build a nice wooden platform ? I feel like the wooden platform wouldn't disrupt the land but maybe there are problems with it that I cannot think of ?

Thank you !
Ilektra
 
Posts: 551
Location: Abkhazia · Cfa (humid subtropical) - temperate · clay soil
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Hello Ilektra,

there are many smaller questions to answer before you can get a answer to the big one.

- What about water? If I were to dig 1m down into the soil here on a 20% grade, I'd have a spring. Not quite the place for a house…
- Which direction does the slope point at? Sun facing or not sun facing? How much sun do you get overall? Do you need the extra sun or do you want to avoid it?
- Soil temperatures: Does it make sense to use the soil as a thermal buffer? How wet is it?
- Foundation: How long will wood last? Here everything is build on stone foundations that also double as (quite humid) first floor. The wooden part where people live in sits on top of that. The stilt houses sit on steel pipes. which are cast into concrete foots. (Steel in direct contact with the soil does not last here.) What also works is to have big natural stones/boulders and to place the wooden framework on top of that (assuming plenty of ventilation below the wood).
- Wind: Do you want the extra protection of sinking the house into the slope?
 
Ilektra Kou
Posts: 12
Location: Skiathos, Greece
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Thank you very much, Sebastian !
I will now have more specific things to be checking next time I'll go and dream under the trees
 
pollinator
Posts: 286
Location: Ozarks
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I thought about digging into a hillside here but I dug some holes for a pole barn and they filled with water from the sides and held water for over two weeks with no rain. When we had heavy rain, I saw a mini geyser appear in a garden bed.

Here in the Ozarks, people do dig into a hill though, especially with what they call a walk out basement. Two or three sides are dug in and one isn't so you can walk out onto the ground on that side. Odd thing is, they face them in all different directions, even single story with no basement. I've seen them dug into N, S, E and W slopes. We're going to face our house S/SE because I want morning sun to warm things but I'm more concerned with keeping cool than heating. I can burn wood for the cost of fuel for the chain saw and splitter. I have to pay for A/C though.

My neighbor is dug into a hill and I loaned him my wet/dry vac one time so he could vacuum the water off of his floor because his foundation has a crack.

Now I do have two classifications of soil here and for drainage, one is considered "poorly drained" while the other is considered 'somewhat excessively drained'. There's a major color difference. The poorly drained is yellowish brown and the excessively drained is white-ish gray as the nutrients have been flushed out of it. I just started digging for a root cellar in the closest thing I have to a North facing slope and it looks like it's the excessively drained stuff. I need to poke around and see if I can find a spot like that facing South or even Southeast. I did start digging for a dug in house and it's still oozing water out the side, three years later. Then of course, radon gas is a concern when digging in.

I originally wanted to do an earthship but once I saw that geyser in my garden, I decided against a dug in house made of dirt. Hard to sell an earthship or any alternative building too when/if the time comes.

@Ilektra Kou - if you add your location to your profile, that helps people when giving you ideas and answers. Just click on My Profile and then expand General Information about yourself and you'll see a spot for Location. That will show right below your user name in posts. Mine says Ozarks.
 
Ilektra Kou
Posts: 12
Location: Skiathos, Greece
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John Pollard wrote:
@Ilektra Kou - if you add your location to your profile, that helps people when giving you ideas and answers. Just click on My Profile and then expand General Information about yourself and you'll see a spot for Location. That will show right below your user name in posts. Mine says Ozarks.



Oh, I'm sorry, I was sure I had done that... I guess I never clicked the button, though...

Thank you for sharing your experience !
I know there is water on my land but, right now, the "digging to find water specialist" believes we will have to dig for around 80m to find it. of course, that is just a guess he made when I told him where the land was, we havent been on it together yuet as, well, the land isn't mine yet :D
Just for the pleasure of sharing... Here are some pictures
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