My company, Access Builders, often works with banks on foreclosed properties. These bank-owned properties typically just need to be cleaned up and put back on the market, but sometimes we have to deal with an unfinished home that a builder forfeited before receiving a certificate of occupancy.

On one such project in an outer suburb of Minneapolis, we had to address a serious grading problem. The bank owned two duplexes built next to one another on a considerable slope, and the original site plan called for a swale to be dug between the two buildings to divert runoff from the higher unit out to the street.

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