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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