I build about eight custom and spec homes a year, mostly in new residential developments. It’s mountainous in Utah, where I live, so we have a lot of sloped sites. This winter I tried out a new product that works really well on a slope — precast garage slabs.

We were building a spec home on a steep lot in a subdivision. I had built the same plan four times before, and it always sold well. This time was a little different because of the grade: The earlier houses happened to be on flat lots, but this lot dropped off 12 to 14 feet from the front to the back. The back wall of the basement needed a 4-...

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