Only the most adventurous house builder would make use of sloping blocks in the past. However, as construction techniques advanced, many companies began to introduce modern designs that are tailor-made for steeper sites. Today, building a home on a hill is more achievable, and is getting more popular by the day.
Nevertheless, building your dream home on a slope is not easy. It has its own share of challenges. With today’s advancements, these challenges can be overcome. The use of sloping blocks of land can be advantageous, especially since they’re usually cheaper than flat blocks.
Building a hillside property can present many hurdles. The sloping block directly affects a huge chunk of the build, so construction can be expensive. Oftentimes, builders would need to excavate or build retaining walls in order to manage the steep slope. They would also have to negotiate stormwater run-off and site-access. In addition to this, builders would have to comply with all bushfire building codes and council restrictions.
Considering these factors, you might have to prepare yourself and set aside a bigger budget.
However, if you have an excellent site and a great vision of what you want to build in it, a sloping block house can be worth the effort.
If you’ve decided on building a sloping block house in your site, here are some tips that might help:
Have your house builder inspect the site prior to construction
A thorough understanding of the sloping home site is essential to creating a good sloping block house design. Prior to the construction of your home, make sure that your builder gets involved and inspects your site. This is the very first step in creating a good design for your home. You may also want to have a property survey done so you can get an idea of what your sloping home would look like.
Balance the design you’ve chosen with the site’s features and your budget
Balance is needed to get the most out of your site. Like everyone who’s planning to build a home, you need to consider your financial boundaries, alongside a list of your preferred design features and layouts.
Some home builders would recommend a split level design for your home. Split level designs are best used for sloping blocks since they reduce the need for expensive excavation. They also eliminate the need for a retaining wall. Your house builder would be able to design the most appropriate layout for your site, taking into consideration the size and the steepness. It is important to make sure that the design you choose for your home is able to maximize natural light and harness the gorgeous view you will boast of for years to come, while still considering the rooms and the space that you will need. However, living in a home with multiple levels will mean lots of stairs, so consider this carefully.
Consider the orientation
Orientation is one of the key factors to consider when choosing to build a sloping block house, with some designs focused purely on capturing the view. Designs like this are usually more costly since builders will be using more glass, especially if there’s a 360-degree view that can be utilized for a gorgeous view. The trick to this is to choose a design that keeps your living areas cozy and cool while showcasing that breathtaking view.
You should also remember that blocks slope differently. Your site may slope away from the road, while another may rise up from it. Your block may slope from left to right, while others slope the other way around. It is essential to design your home to properly suit the orientation and characteristics of your sloping block. For example, placing a garage underneath the front of your home would make sense if your block slopes up from the road. You might be better off with a split level design with a rumpus room at the back of the home if your block slopes down from the street.
Make your block flatter
Excavation can be expensive, but it allows homeowners more flexibility on their house design. Making your block flatter will create natural insulation for the rooms that will be built into the slope, thus, creating more space. It also allows builders to use a standard house design. However, using this technique requires a bigger budget, especially if your hillside retreat is located on a rock cliff, or if you would need to remove a lot of dirt.
Choose a design that fits your lifestyle to a tee
When it comes to sloping block houses, there are many designs you can choose from. You just need to select one that suits your tastes and your lifestyle well. For example, if living amongst treetops is something you’re interested in, you can opt for a luxury vertical house in the forest. Treehouse designs usually have a strong base, but a small footprint on the ground. This would mean that your home would be propped up on steel on timber stilts. Fun designs would be used to create timber walkways for you to get around.
For a nice vacation in the mountains, a ski-field inspired chalet design would be perfect. This architectural classic is popular due to warmth and sturdiness. Today, owners can select materials and handpick from a wide range of contemporary reinterpretations.
If you want to focus on functionality rather than fun, adventurous ideas, a standard two or three-bedroom home would be a great fit for you. This design is usually seen in a popular, expensive area, where a homeowner’s decision to purchase a sloping block is caused more by scarcity rather than choice. These homes typically follow the standard townhouse design, with a nice garage on the top or bottom floor, depending on which side of the slope the building is located. Compared to other fancy ideas that need a bigger budget for complex techniques and special materials, this design can be cheaper.
If you’re considering a sloping block house, your house builder can assist you in building the home of your dreams. With today’s advancements, building a house on a slope can be achieved easily, so don’t be scared of having one built for yourself.