Definition of "Elevation"

Elena Kemper  real estate agent
Elena Kemper , Real Estate Agent Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell, Inc.

An actual location’s elevation defines the height or space below or above an established reference point. We call this point geoid, a math model of our planet’s sea level. Generally, we use the term elevation to define particular points on the planet’s surface. Above all, Mount Everest has the tallest elevation on our planet and the most significant geocentric distance. Besides, we use depth to define a point’s distance below the surface. 

What's the difference between elevation and altitude?

Note, however, that you shouldn’t confound elevation with the distance from the Earth’s core! Nor should you confuse elevation with altitude. Altitude refers to an object or person’s distance from the sea level that is not in direct contact with the ground. 

Let’s suppose someone is on Mount Everest (29,029 feet or 8848 meters) and is touching the ground. Then, we say they are 29,029 feet elevation. The same applies to elevators when our feet also touch the ground. As opposed to elevation, we use the term altitude to determine the height of airplanes in flight or shuttles in orbit from the Earth.

What is the meaning of elevation in real estate?

In real estate, elevation could mean several things. Primarily, it defines how tall a structure is from a specific reference or fixed point. Let’s suppose that you consider purchasing a home next to a highway. By all means, you have to examine the elevation between your property and the freeway to avoid noisy traffic. The higher theelevation, the better you can dispense noise and particulate matter (lead, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, etc.) pollution.


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Secondly, they use elevation in topographic surveys. Thirdly, builders employ elevation to present a property’s design.

Elevation in topographic surveys

Topography is one of the essential land surveys you should know. Among its numerous benefits, a topographic survey can locate and analyze ground elevations if you wish to improve your parcel of land. Seldom do architects recommend building next to steep slopes for fear avalanches, mudslides, and erosions endanger the lives of locals. 

A well-prepared topographic survey is substantial to establish the ground elevation, especially if you decide to build a home on a bulge. In such cases, the foundation’s building could prove to be pretty pricier than on a flat surface. 

Elevation as property design

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, don’t be startled when the terms “Elevation A” and “Elevation B” come into the discussion. Usually, the concept describes a construction’s rear, front, and side designs. In other words, architects and builders imply the various ways they build real estate’s external parts by elevation. You can choose from at least three configurations depending on the specific residential subdivision.

Typically, the windows’ size and shape, the front door’s and garage’s location, rooflines, the sidewalk’s arrangement, and other characteristics will settle the differences in elevation. 

Let’s see concrete examples for elevations in real estate! “Elevation A” could refer to a property with a front door on the home’s left side, having a restricted area for a front porch on the right side. Then a living room can face your patio. In addition, the house could have a Hardie Board Siding two great windows illuminating the living room. 

Enter the house and take a left at the front door. Then you’ll find a living room equipped with a stained-glass window. “Elevation B” puts the front door in the middle, while a tall staircase leads you up to a sizeable front piazza instead of a porch. Park your vehicle in the garage on the right! 

Often, builders approve of buyers applying changes to the property’s elevation for a more distinct architectural look. However, the changes in design shouldn’t clash with zoning codes. 

Comments for Elevation

Cherie Blue Cherie Blue said:

What is elevation cost in new construction?

Jul 13, 2020  13:16:18

Real Estate Agent

Hey, Cherie! It's hard to say especially if we are talking about residential real estate. A home that has the same square feet and number of bedrooms and bathrooms can be priced differently from one builder to another. The prices are majorly impacted by the layout of your foundation and the front elevation. For example, a simple square foundation is going to be the cheapest while a more complicated layout is going to increase the price. Also, changes in elevation from bump-out windows and added stones for a more stylish look is going to be more expensive compared to the standard square house. Prices also vary based on what city you are building in so keep that in mind as well. If you are at a point where you can't decide between building or buying a home, we have an article that talks about it, so you might want to check it out.

Jul 17, 2020  05:00:50
Sara Sara said:

Hi! What is ground elevation?

Mar 29, 2020  22:18:52

Real Estate Agent

Hey, Sara! Ground elevation also known as height above ground level (AGL) is a general term that refers to a specific height measurement. Different from altitude/elevation (AMSL) which is a height measurement starting from the sea level, ground elevation is measured starting from the underlying ground surface. This measurement is usually useful in aviation, broadcasting and atmospheric science. However, in real estate, the term ground elevation is usually used to find out the height of a structure starting from the ground. For example, the architectural drawing of a house features exterior elevation, which suggests dimensions for exterior walls, the way they are faced and materials used. 

Apr 08, 2020  08:42:46

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