Before you place your house on a lot, you have to know it.  When I say know it, I mean every contour and every tree.  The contours are important because every line of movement you can avoid can save tens of thousands of dollars.  Every tree is important because of feasibility of placement and drainage.  I took this photo yesterday of Mike Munoz with Keystone Concrete.  In the case of that tree in the corner, it was a fairly decent amount out of the footprint of the house.  However, upon closer review it was in direct conflict with the drainage on the side of the home.  The drainage isn’t there now, but needs to be created in the future with a cut so that water doesn’t flow against the foundation.  Little things like this prevent a potential headache and is often eye-opening for both clients and honestly myself included.  Guys like Mike are professionals and bring a dimension that can’t be discovered in an architects office sometimes.  I like to spend some time in advance of finishing plans with clients so that they completely understand their slab height, and if adjustments are necessary then we can make them easily so that they will have a better family experience.  By experience I mean everyday things like taking out the trash, enjoying the backyard patio, watching the kids play, etc.  I’ll bet we make some sort of adjustment in this area 3 times out of 10 builds after visiting the site.