Two friends here in Santa Cruz, CA, have homes built on slopes. One site is rocky, one more earthen. Both have had major water intrusion from heavy rainstorms into their daylight basements. I'll be building on a lot similar to the rocky one. Should I forget a basement and just put the house on columns of some sort?
Collin C. ~ Santa Cruz, California
I would not assume that a basement is out of the question, and in an area with the seismic activity of Santa Cruz, CA I would try to stay away from long columns.
No matter what you decide on as a house design, you will need to have drawings and engineering done, and the engineering should include a soil analysis.
The engineering will lay out exactly what will be necessary for water mitigation around the basement walls. There are many ways to mitigate water that are very reliable, don't let the fear of a wet basement keep you from building the house that you want.
It is good that you are thinking about water issues but I would have the engineer and the designer come up a water mitigation solution and ask them to explain their solution to you.