5 considerations for building on a sloping block


Are you dreaming of building a home on a sloping site? Building a house or any property on a sloping block is indeed fraught with expenses, risks and unique challenges.

However, once the house is standing in front of you, the reward is priceless. A block on a slope presents obstacles for owners, builders and designers alike, but also represents an opportunity to construct a truly unique and visually exciting dwelling.

Some home builders tend to avoid projects that require building on a sloping block, because of the additional expertise and time commitment required. But, sloping blocks also present many excellent problem solving and architectural opportunities for homeowners and builders.

To successfully construct your dream house on a sloping piece of land, check out these design ideas and tips below.

Choose the right builder

Before anything else, this is the first thing you should consider when you plan on building your house. Always opt for a building team of experts who specialise in sloping sites.

Make sure that you also pick builders you trust and check their portfolio to see their finished projects. Check out client testimonials and reviews too.

As they inspect your property, the builder should provide advice and ideas that will make the most of the block and location, and layout considerations to improve functionality. Select a builder who can provide custom designs and house plans that suit sloping sites.

Weather & direction

One of the benefits of building a house on flat land rather than on a sloping block is the shelter it offers against the weather and other elements.

These houses can be protected by the natural topography while houses on sloped blocks are usually more exposed. Even when surrounded by trees and plants, damage can happen to your property during inclement weather.

So, give extra attention to the surrounding landscape. Never expose your house to the possibility of having a river in your driveway or the potential of being damaged by high winds. Your builder will be able to advise you on the best weather proofing measures for your case.

Make use of slopes

Split-level houses that are typically one-storey are common on sloping blocks. This excellent architectural design provides an advantage of entering from the front or back door at ground level, without building retaining walls.

If you have an expert builder, they will come up with a customisable design if a split-level appeals to you.

Other advantages of sloped land include:

  • Enhanced views and natural light exposure because of the elevated position.
  • Option to build an underground garage.
  • Architecturally more interesting layouts and levels.
  • Retaining walls add interest to landscaping and outdoor areas.

Watch out for rolling rocks

Take note whether the hills and cliff faces surrounding your site include rock formations, and if so, expect the ground of your sloping site to be quite shallow.

Deep excavation is not necessary to hit rock, so do so moderately, avoid overdoing it, and keep your expenses to budget.

Weighing up the potential return on your investment

Building a house on a sloping block might seem costly compared to building a house on flat land, but costs can be kept reasonable if you have the right builder.

On top of that, what you spend in money and effort could double in return when it comes time to sell.

Your dream house will offer you many opportunities to express your individuality, and it will have much charm and charisma from it's elevated vantage point.

Express your ideas, be open-minded, and bring it all together with your expert building team.

For more home building advice check out our 6 steps to find the right builder, little things in your new home that make a big difference and how to keep costs down when building.

Author bio:

David Anthony is the owner of Real Life Homes. Real Life Homes is a real estate, renovations and lifestyle site offering tips, reviews, property investment and real estate trends along with plenty of information on how to build, rebuild and renovate your home.

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