Asheville Homes and LAND!- The Keep In Touch Blog


Building on a SLOPE? Caveats- WHY Slopes Fail

Asheville Real Estate Journal:
Asheville Area Mountain Home BuildersWHY Slopes Fail and Maps That Show Where ThAsheville Area Mountain Rangeey Might 

BUILDING IN THE MOUNTAINS? Consider this first:  Land Suitability.  Site and Building Design.  Site Resource Assessment  and,  in the mountains, engaging a team of local experts prior to investing in the land and/or building site: a geo technical engineer, a structural engineer, a landscape architect, an architect, a hydrologist, a soil scientist who understand the idiosyncrasies of mountain construction.   ( Photo shows Asheville Area Mountain Range- Would YOU Build Here?)

To make sure the home is solid on the site,one LEED ®Certified General Contractor here in the Asheville area expects buyers to invest $30,000 to $40,000 just on the foundation of the home.

Reminder: It takes less rainfall to trigger a debris flow on a modified slope (with evidence of prior instability) than on an unmodified slope. 

Here in the Ashevillearea mountains, Rick Wooten and the North Carolina Geological Survey Staff of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources  have just introduced the Landslide Hazard Map for Asheville and the surrounding towns in Buncombe County, NC.  In addition, they informed an attentive audience in this presentation:  

WHY Slopes Fail and Maps That Show Where 

NOTE: Landslide Hazard Maps help to identify potential hazard areas, but do NOT substitute for site-specific investigation.  

LANDSLIDE Topics Covered in This Presentaion (see PDF with photos at Link)

Causes- long term anTeam of Mountain Land Building Experts Asheville Area NCd short term factors 

Slope Movement (s)
Debris Flows, Deposits and Fans
Cumulative Effects of Interrelated Factors -Causes and Triggers
(photos and graphics you must see)
Precautionary Zones
Big Slow Movers
Downslope Hazards
Landslide Frequency vs Slope Percent
Embankment Failure
Failures vs Rainfall
Geologic Hazards
Stability Index Map


Development EXPERT- David Tuch, VP, Equinox Environmental   and his  Team of professionals: 1) Geotech Engineers who can do the soil testing and research to determine what is necessary should you choose to build on one of the challenging sites and Structural Engineers for making sure the building is held in place and won't slide down the mountainside- retaining walls, footing depth... 

Geologist EXPERT- Rick Wooten who with his team has completed the landslide maps mentioned in this post.   Current as of 11/16/2010- Wooten- Why Slopes Fail 

 LAND-OF-SKY Regional Council  (good photo examples)

Asheville Area Hillside Development Ordinance


Work with a REALTOR® with special training. Look for these designations. NAR GREEN, Eco Certified Real Estate Consultant, RLI. (graphics below) Ask about the Land transactions that Broker has been involved with and what s/he recommends in terms of  process during due diligence.


*            *                    *


A Few of My Other Posts on or Related to Building on Mountain Slopes 

A Few Checkpoints About Steep Slopes 

 LAND Planning & Design   Land Suitability Analysis •  Site and Eco-Friendly Building Design  •  Site Resource Assessment •  Site Development and Our Steep Slopes  •  Green  Buildings & Communities •     Mountain  Ecosystems You Must Consider • Tree Protection and  landslide Protection... • Conservation Easements & Private Land Trusts   Purchase of Development Rights  Farmland Preservation and more  

Integrated Design in the Mountains  


(*)/'(*)   ________AshevilleNC Real Estate Journal. " On the Road HOME with Greenolina, CONTACT ME! "  
Residential Market Reports::: "Check Asheville "Monthly Special Gems" and Asheville home stats in the top retirement and green-friendly neighborhoods we cover in Asheville.-
Asheville NC Residential Market Reports   

LAND:: If stewardship of large acreage is important to you, let's talk about mutually beneficial solutions. IF you are a Cash Buyer, some awesome properties are available at excellent price points. . I have the following real estate green designations: NAR GREEN®, EcoBroker®, Eco Certified ®Real Estate Consultant.

Unauthorized reproduction of any information including photos  on this site is a violation of existing copyright laws. All rights reserved. Eco-Friendly Mountain Homes and Land Legacies-  - Asheville NC Real Estate  © 2010. _____________________________________________________________________________________




True Guide to AGING IN PALACE eBooklet Becomes Amazon Best Seller

Your Home for Today and Tomorrow- Smart UP-Fitting
GO HERE - for Tips & Talking Points.
 Home Decorating, New Space Design


Aging in PaLACE eBooklet


"Helpful starting points for talking about and designing
a functional and BEAUTIFUL lifelong home."


Asheville NC Real Estate Journal for RESOPURCES & REFERRALS -Mountain Homes and Land Legacies- Asheville 1031 Realty© 2014.  Designations: NAR GREEN®, EcoBroker®, Eco Certified ®Real Estate Consultant, ePRO®. Unauthorized reproduction of any information including photos and graphics on this site is a violation of existing copyright laws.  All rights reserved.

he Necessary Disclaimer! We disclaim liability for damages or losses, direct or indirect that may result from use of or reliance on, information contained in the blog or for accuracy of comments or opinions of visitors to our blogs.



-Tell us what is most important to you-
 Email me  or give a call at: 828-776-0779

LIC #:209970


Hi janeAnne, This was a great post and I know that I if I were buying land to build a home or having one built, I would want to know that the lot is not going to fail. Here in CA, it is a requirement to provide what called a zone disclosure ( natural hazard disclosure) and it covers this in more detail along with seismic,soils and a multitude of other disclosures.

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) over 8 years ago


Thank you. It feels to me that more real estate professionals who are involved in transactions for land where slopes and mountains are concerned, and our clients, will benefit from this information.

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 8 years ago

I love your articles on this hot topic.  I am wondering if this is the reason why they don't build in some of the hills here.

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) over 8 years ago

I live in an area occupied by "flat landers". . .At least that's what people in the mountains call us valley folks.  However, I have watched the zone disclosures and other disclosures increase on a regular basis, and with very good reason.  California has had its share of mudslides and landslides.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 8 years ago

Janeanne - So many buyers only think about what the view from their front porch is going to be.  This post points out that it isn't that simple.  It is so important that they have a knowledgeable Realtor such as yourself on their side.

Posted by Pam Dent, REALTOR® - Charlottesville Virginia Homes / Horse (Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc.) over 8 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments