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From years of building residential hillside foundations in the San Francisco area, I've learned that poor construction usually isn't caused by a lack of knowledge, but by failing to pay attention to details before construction begins. Hillside foundations typically require extensive grading, lots of retaining walls, and deep piers, not to mention e n g i n e e r e d drainage, waterproofing, elevation changes, and difficult driveways. You'll need to juggle all these elements, while making sure, for example, that none of the concrete embedments for plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and framing get overlooked. You can help maintain job quality, your budget, and your sanity by creating a well-thought-out schedule and spending a lot of time studying the plans before the job begins. It's All Uphill From Here Compared