Building a Dream Home in Lake Tahoe – Step 3

lake tahoe homes for saleThis is the third part in our series on building a dream home in Lake Tahoe. We’re following builder Peter Stromberg and going through the same steps he is taking, from inception to completion. I’ll be sharing pictures, tips and pointers so you can see what is involved and the beautiful outcome you can have!

Step 1 was covered in a previous article and I talked of locating the perfect lot.  Now that Peter had bought the lot in Montgomery Estates he needed to start the permitting process.

In Step 2 I covered the permitting process.  It took Peter a bit longer in this stage than planned, but all moved forward.

Step 3:  The Pre-Grade , TRPA Site Inspections and Excavation

This step is actually three steps combined into one since reading just about pre-grade or just about a site inspection might seem a bit boring.  The TRPA (Tahoe Regional Planning Agency) has a pre-grade check list that a builder has to follow before breaking ground on a home in Lake Tahoe. Once their twelve steps are completed they’ll come by and inspect the job site and sign off.

The steps:  Post address. owner’s name and APN (parcel number) on  a sign that is visible from the road; toilet facilities are on site; animals, if any, are restrained; construction site is safe for inspection with nails out of boards, debris is removed and ladders and scaffold are properly secured;  building permits and plans are on site and available to the inspector;  property lines are identified; the outline of the buildings, decks and driveways are outlined; trees are removed or marked for removal; temporary erosion control features are installed and remaining trees and natural vegetation are fenced for protection.

Dream home in Lake Tahoe

Once the TRPA signed off on the pre-grade it was time to bring in the equipment, get everything chalked out and start moving dirt. This is preparation for the excavation and installation of utilities.  Since there had never been electrical, gas or sewer/water to this lot, all of those had to be installed after excavation.

home in Lake Tahoe

The inspector approved everything and now we’re ready for step #4, the foundation, which will be coming up in the next article.

Building a Dream Home in Lake Tahoe

The lot in Montgomery Estates has been excavated and is now ready to start the building process of the custom home!  All of the previous steps are about building and what we had to complete before the first nail is used, but now we’ll start to see the actual house come to life.

Step #4:  The Foundation


I now have a licensed contractor/Realtor as part of my team at Paradise Real Estate. Tony Cappel can visit lots with you as you make your decision to build a home in Lake Tahoe. He’ll offer expertise as to what can and cannot be built as he knows all of the regulations and permit requirements after building homes in Lake Tahoe for 30 years.

If you’re interested in any information not being covered in this series of articles, please contact me by email, by calling 530-541-2465 or by stopping by my office in the Heavenly Village.  You can also start your search of lots for sale in Lake Tahoe on my website.


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