Building on a sloping block can result in a striking home with beautiful views that perfectly encapsulate your surrounds. However, this type of site comes with many challenges and a sloping block build is not for the faint of heart. Before committing to this type of project, it's important to know what's involved, how it's different to a level build and what this means for your lifestyle and budget.
At Construction4U, we've built our fair share of homes on difficult building sites, so we've put together our top tips for what you need to know about building on a sloping block...
While sloping land may be cheaper to purchase than a level block of the same size, it's important to note that it can cost significantly more to build on a sloped site. There are many additional expenses involved that may not apply to 'flat' blocks, including a suspended carport/garage; excavation of rock and dirt; advanced foundations; drainage connections; retaining walls and landscaping. If your site has poor access, this too can increase costs as it will be more difficult for your builder to store and deliver materials and will likely introduce the need for cranes and other access vehicles.
Some projects require the help of a specialist builder and a sloping site is generally one of these. A good rule of thumb is the 3 metre rule -- for a site with a fall greater than this, you will need to enlist the help of a specialised and experienced sloping site builder. They will be able to advise you early on about any potential dangers and budget blowouts when it comes to your design and will have pre-existing relationships with experienced consultants, contractors and trades in the industry who can help bring your project to life.
The last thing you want is to spend a fortune on a new home, only to discover it hasn't been designed to suit your block or worse, you can't actually afford to bring your plans to life.
One of the best parts about a sloping block home is the potential. For many clients, the main reason to build on a sloped lot is to capitalise on stunning views of the local area. If you live near the beach, a beautiful forest or bushland, an elevated home will give you breathtaking views of the natural surroundings. A sloping lot may also allow you to achieve a more striking home design, or perhaps a staggered back garden. With the right builder and designer, the opportunities are endless...
Consider the Cons
So, while there are some great positives with building on a steep block. There are also some potential negatives to consider before purchasing your dream block. Here are just a few -- the cost of building is about 10-20% more depending on the design. The cost of scaffolding is increased. Where do the kids play? Landscaping can be a challenge. Is there anywhere to park your car? Would you need a suspended concrete carport and crash barrier?
Consider Your Options
There are so many ways you can approach the design of your sloping block home. You could opt for a split-level home design that follows the slope of your site, or you could choose a home that's flat and raised on stumps or posts, opening up the potential for storage space underneath the home or even a kids play area. Both of these designs, as with all sloping block homes, will likely require deeper foundations and retaining walls, which will add cost to your build.
At Construction4U, we recommend engaging an experienced sloping block builder early on in the process to ensure you can afford to bring your dream home to life.
If you're ready to get started on a sloping block home, get in touch with Hobart's best custom home renovator and builder -- Construction4U -- today!