A while ago we had a problem adding to an existing house where the grade sloped slightly uphill from the house. We had to match the first floor level, but the end of the addition would wind up with siding buried in the dirt. Though most codes only require 4 to 6 inches, we like to keep any wood framing at least 8 inches above the soil to keep the siding from being buried by mulch and prevent termites and wood decay. Here are a couple of solutions we considered.
—Architect Dick Kawalek, is founder of Kawalek Architects, in Cleveland; firstname.lastname@example.org.