New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

How Much Work is a Septic System? How to Care for your NC New Home

Posted by Penny Hull on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 @ 15:09 PM

Septic Systems in NC - How to Make Sure Your Septic System Works Well

Did you know that approximately 25% of all US households use septic tanks?

Or that a septic tank is installed in one of three new homes built today?

If you're buying or building a new custom home with a septic tank, here are some easy maintanence steps and tips.

Top Tips For Maintaining Your Septic System

Tip #1 - Reduce Water Usage

A typical septic system is built to support about 50 gallons of water usage per day, per person. If your lot is rated for a 3 bedroom system, the assumption is that there will be 2 persons in each bedroom - ie, the septic system is planned to support normal usage by 6 people in that household. A 4 bedroom system is planned to support 8 full time residents.

Too much water usage can overflow the system. Any leaks or drips in the kitchen or bathrooms should be fixed as soon as possible. If you live in an older home, consider replacing old fixtures witSeptic Systems - Top Tips For Maintaining a Healthy Septic System - Septics in the Raleigh NC Areah today's standard low flow, or even ultra low flow fixtures.

Tip #2 - Reduce Solids

A garbage disposal is not usually recommended with a septic system. Dispose of sanitary products in the trash, not down the toilet.

As you can see in this diagram, solids generally settle to the bottom of the tank. Too many solids can fail to break down suffciently, or require more frequent pumping of the tank. They can also reduce the capacity of the tank.

Tip #3 - Don't Dump Oil or Grease

Pouring oil or grease down the drain can clog up the pipes leading to and from the septic tank. Septic systems are designed to handle a certain amount of greases, such as natural by products of dishwashing. However, when cooking meat, homeowners should dump the grease into a container and dispose of in the trash instead.

Tip #4 - Periodically Inspect and Pump the Septic Tank

Don't worry - you don't have to do this yourself! Scroll to the bottom of the page for a list of local Raleigh area septic tank service companies.

A septic tank service visit should include a full inspection of the tank itself. Here's a general guideline for how often a septic tank should be pumped.

Currently, most North Carolina septic tanks are at least 1000 gallons for a 3 bedroom system, with increasing sizes as the number of bedrooms the system is approved for increases.

Even if there is only one resident, it is still recommended that the septic system be inspected and pumped every 3-5 years.

Tank Size(gallons)Number of Full Time Residents
Estimated Septic Tank Pumping Frequency (Number of Years)
   1  2
1,000 12 6 3 2 1
1,250 16 8 3 2 1
1,500 19 9 4 3 2
Adapted from "Estimated Septic Tank Pumping Frequency," by Karen Mancl, 1984. Journal of Environmental Engineering. Volume 110.

Tip #5 - Questions to Ask When Calling a Septic Tank Service Company

Here are some of the questions you'll probably want to ask:

  1. What is the cost of a pump out?
  2. If the septic tank is larger than 1000 gallons, will the extra gallons cost extra?
  3. Does the cost include digging to uncover the septic tank lids (if necessary)?
  4. Does the cost include dumping fees?
  5. Will you inspect the inlet and outlet baffles, and does this cost extra?
  6. If the septic tank is very far from road access, what is needed for the truck to get accessbility to the tank?
  7. If I have a pump system instead of a conventional system, is emptying the pump tank part of your regular service? (The pump tank should be pumped, rinsed, and then pumped dry again).

Tip #6 - What Details Should the Septic Tank Service Company Provide for Me?

The septic tank Pumper should provide you with a receipt detailing the service that was provided. This receipt should include:

  1. Name, address, phone number of the Septic Tank Service Company
  2. Name of the certified Pumper
  3. Approximate number of gallons that were pumped
  4. Number of compartments pumped
  5. Condition of the tank baffles
  6. Condition of the septic tank
  7. Details on any work done to baffles or access lids. If scum and sludge layers were measured, they should be recorded on the pump receipt
  8. Details on any work done on the septic tank or pump tank
  9. Any other service work done

Tip #7 - Limit Weight Over the Septic System

When you purchase your home, you should receive a copy of the septic system layout, so that you're aware of the location of the tank and nitrification field. You'll want to avoid planting trees or parking vehicles over the system. However, planting grass or other small foilage over the tank is not a problem, nor is normal foot traffic.

Need a Septic System Pumping Company?

Find local Raleigh companies here:  Raleigh Area Septic Pumping Companies

For further details, we recommend checking the Better Business Bureau or asking for referrals. Watch for follow up articles on types of septic systems and other questions.

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Tags: Raleigh Custom Home Builders, septic systems, septic tank pumped

How to Convert a Three Bedroom Septic to Four Bedroom Septic

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Jul 26, 2011 @ 14:07 PM

What to do when your lot is rated for a 3 Bedroom Septic System

"I have a septic rated for a 3 bedroom home.  How do I build a 4 bedroom home on my lot?"
 
NC build on your lot | expand septic systemThis NC build on your lot builder hears questions like these quite a bit.
 
Some homebuyers are surprised to find how common septic systems are in North Carolina.
Most lots larger than .5 acres will require a septic system. 
 
But knowing the right questions to ask, up front, will keep you comfortable.
 
When buying a lot in the Raleigh area, there are two important septic system questions that need to be answered. 

First - does the lot perk?  If the answer is yes, great! If not, ask your builder to go over the options with you, during our free lot inspection.

Second, how many bedrooms is the lot rated for?  You'll want to make sure the rating supports the number of bedrooms you want to build.

But what if you've already purchased a lot that is rated for a 3 bedroom septic system?

If you're looking to build a four bedroom home but have purchased or are considering a three bedroom septic lot, there are several options.

1.  Septic Options:  Rethink Your Floor Plan

Probably the least expensive option is to rework some of the interior areas of the home.

If you're planning to use that fourth bedroom specifically for an office, a few little changes could allow your custom home plan to be approved by the county.

In general, a room is determined to be a bedroom if it has egress window (a window you could open and leave the room from in case of emergency), a closet, and a door.  Another factor is access to a bath - a bedroom may also have direct access or be close to a bathroom.  

How to Expand 3 Bedroom Perk Septic System | NC Custom HomebuildersBut if your builder converts the bedroom to an office by removing the closet and expanding the doorway to either a wide opening without a door or possibly even a pair of French doors, this could allow you to gain approval to build the floor plan. 

If the fourth bedroom is upstairs, your builder may be able to convert it to an open bonus room or loft.  You'll still have all the same square footage and usable space, but the room will be much more open. 

2.  Septic Options - Panel Block Septic System

If a floor plan change just won't do, you might consider a panel block septic system instead of a standard septic system. 

A panel block system can expand the capabilities of a standard septic system to support at least one extra bedroom. 

But it can also add 25% to 75% to the cost of installing a septic system, depending on how close the original septic system layout came to supporting that fourth bedroom.   

A panel block septic system does need to be approved by the county, and a lot of factors can come into play, such as soil type and requirements that vary by county. 

Every lot is unique.  To best determine your options, have a trusted NC build on your lot builder review your lot and your septic system permit.  They might just have some great ideas for you.

Wake County NC Build On Your Lot Floor Plans


Whether you choose a plan from our gallery of favorite floor plans, or from any architect, Stanton Homes can add special features you won’t find in the house next door.

Browse through some of our favorite available floor plans here. Ask us about thousands of additional options, or even design/build ideas.

One Story Homes

Main Floor Master Homes

Mother in Law Homes


Here’s a look inside our featured custom homes, to give you an idea of how we build.

Ask us how many Signature features come standard. You may be surprised!

 

Tags: three bedroom septic, septic systems, build on your lot, NC build on your lot builders

How Much Do Septic Systems Cost?

Posted by Penny Hull on Thu, May 05, 2011 @ 15:05 PM

How Much Do Septic Systems Cost? Building a Custom Home in the Raleigh area.

Septic System Cost

Whether you already own a lot, or need help finding the perfection location for your new home, you may be considering the cost of installing a septic system.

Septic systems are extremely common in the Raleigh area. In fact, most lots larger than 1/2 acre will require a septic system. 

 

Septic System Cost Can Vary 

Septic systems can also be one of the biggest variables in cost for building on your lot, depending on soil conditions, size of system, type of system, county requirements, and more.  

An experienced home builder like Stanton Homes can look at your septic permit and plot map and give you at least a good idea of what the system is going to cost

 

Typical Septic System Cost in the Raleigh Area

Septic System Cost Raleigh

A typical septic system in the Raleigh area can be anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000, with most conventional or pump systems falling in the middle range. 

Is a septic system more expensive than sewer?  The alternative to a septic system, connection to a city or county sewer system (if available), can be more or less than a typical septic system, depending on the jurisdiction and how close the connection is to the proposed homesite.

Make sure to speak with your builder about the septic system allowance for the unique requirements of your lot and floor plan. The number of bedrooms allowed is determined by a Perk Test.

A special system can run many tens of thousands more - particularly if your lot is rated "No Perk" (i.e. unsuitable for a conventional septic system). 

Make sure your lot is a great choice - talk to your builder about getting a free lot inspection to avoid unexpected costs.

 

Building a Custom Home is Easier Than You Think

Free Lot Inspection

 Building a new custom home on your lot (or ours) does not have to be complicated or expensive.

Contact Stanton Homes to receive a free building cost estimate and free lot inspection.

 

 

Tags: buying a lot, new homes raleigh, building a home, raleigh new home, septic systems, build on your lot

Septic Systems Have Bedroom Limits - What's Yours? | NC Custom Homebuilders

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Nov 24, 2010 @ 06:11 AM

Septic System Bedroom Limits | Building a Custom Home

What to do when your lot is rated for a 3 Bedroom Septic System

One of the questions this NC custom homebuilder hears often is "I have a septic rated for a 3 bedroom home.  How do I build a 4 bedroom home on my lot?"
.
Septic System 3 Bedroom | NC Custom HomebuildersSeptic systems are very, very common in the Raleigh area.
Most lots larger than .5 acres will require a septic system. 
.
But knowing the right questions to ask, up front, will keep you comfortable.
When buying a lot in the Raleigh area, there are two important septic system questions that need to be answered. 

First - does the lot perk?  If the answer is yes, great! If not, ask your builder to go over the options with you, during our free lot inspection.

Second, how many bedrooms is the lot rated for?  You'll want to make sure the rating supports the number of bedrooms you want to build.

But what if you've already purchased a lot that is rated for a 3 bedroom septic system?

If you're looking to build a four bedroom home but have purchased or are considering a three bedroom septic lot, there are several options.

1.  Septic Options:  Rethink Your Floor Plan

What do you plan to use the fourth bedroom for?

Probably the least expensive option is to rethink some of the interior space of the home.

If you're planning to use that fourth bedroom specifically for an office, a few small changes could allow your custom home plan to be approved by the county.

In general, a room is called a bedroom if it has egress window (a window you could open and escape out of in case of emergency), a closet, and a door.  Another factor is access to a bath - a bedroom may also have direct access or be close to a bathroom.  

How to Expand 3 Bedroom Perk Septic System | NC Custom HomebuildersBut if your builder converts the bedroom to an office by removing the closet and expanding the doorway to either a wide opening without a door or possibly even a pair of French doors, this could allow you to gain approval to build the floor plan. 

If the fourth bedroom is upstairs, your builder may be able to convert it to an open bonus room or loft.  You'll still have all the same square footage and usable space, but the room will be much more open. 

2.  Septic Options - Panel Block Septic System

If a floor plan change won't work for you, consider a panel block septic system instead of a standard septic system. 

This system can expand the capabilities of a standard system to support at least one extra bedroom. 

But it can also add 25% to 75% to the cost of installing a septic system, depending on how close the original plan came to supporting that fourth bedroom.   

A panel block septic system does need to be approved by the county, and a lot of factors can come into play, such as soil type and requirements that vary by county. 

Every lot is unique.  To best determine your options, have a trusted NC custom homebuilder review your lot and your septic system permit.  They might just have some great ideas for you.

Tags: nc custom homebuilders, three bedroom septic, septic systems, lot inspection