Here’s everything you need to know about building on a sloping block.
If you’re thinking about building a home, you’ve probably put more thought into vacant allotments than you care to admit. Finding the right land for your home is a big part of the building process. And, shockingly, there are many different types of blocks to consider.
You’re probably thinking that a nice, level lot is the way to go, but before you make your purchase, let’s take a moment to think outside the box.
The sloping block shouldn’t be overlooked too quickly. These unique allotments offer a few pros and cons, and when considered carefully, might just offer more than that level land you’ve been looking at.
Save some money
There are a few different tricks you can try to save yourself a bit of scratch when you’re building a home. One such tactic is to consider irregular allotments such as sloping blocks. These lots of land generally come with a considerably smaller price tag because most buyers set their sights on lots that are easier to build on.
Now, it must be said that sloping land may be cheaper, but you could be looking at higher costs when it comes to building. This is why you need to carefully consider your options here. With the right sloping block and a bit of creativity, you could come out ahead. You just need to do your research and manage your build more effectively.
Those views though
Sloping allotments come with a host of unique features. One such benefit is an array of staggering views. Sloping lots are generally positioned to capture the stunning beauty of the surrounding area in a way that other lots can’t match. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons that many buyers ultimately decide to purchase sloping blocks.
The right position coupled with the right home design will leave you staring down a slice of stunning views that can liven up your lifestyle and add value to your property.
Natural heating and cooling
Sloping blocks may be lacking in swathes of level, grassy grounds, but they can more than makeup for it with an abundance of other natural benefits. This includes natural sunlight and ventilation.
The higher up you are, the more cooling cross breezes your home will catch. Couple that with a smart design with lots of windows and living areas positioned toward the north, and you’re set to make the most of natural light that will heat and cool your home appropriately throughout the day. Your home will be more energy-efficient, which saves the hip pocket in utility expenses.
When it comes to drainage, the advantages are obvious. Slopes tend to channel water away naturally. Flooding almost certainly won’t be an issue, but you will need to thoroughly understand drainage on and around your block. If not managed properly when planning, your home could be at risk due to erosion and other issues.
Take extra care in your site evaluation to understand the effects of water on your allotment and put plans in place to redirect the water appropriately. This could include stormwater tanks or drainage corridors to further channel water away.
If you’re looking at a sloping block, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to the ground. Moisture levels, surrounding vegetation and soil types are all keys in determining:
- if the site is suitable for building
- how expensive it will be to build on the site.
For example, a rocky site will be difficult to excavate, which comes with higher costs. Higher moisture levels mean design considerations will have to be made to offset the pressure wet soil can put on structural elements such as foundations. Local vegetation can either stabilise the soil or make it prone to erosion if disturbed.
Make sure you get a soil test to understand the stability of the site and the best ways to plan and build a home that works with the land rather than against it.
If you’re looking for a unique house design that stands out from the pack, look no further. Because sloping blocks offer certain design challenges, these homes often offer unique and interesting floor plans that are anything but ordinary.
One of the most popular home designs suitable for a sloping block is the split level. These floor plans are designed to work with the land rather than against it. Think cascading levels built to make the most of all the natural benefits that come with your unique lot. Split level home designs also tend to be cheaper, which is a definite plus.
Depending on the severity of the slope on your land, stilts can be a unique design solution. Your home will be built upon study columns, which offers minimal land disturbance that can save you from costly foundations.
We’re not going to lie, building costs are one of the biggest challenges that come with a sloping block. The reason these lots are cheaper upfront is that building on them can be difficult. Sloping land comes with a level of preparation that flat allotments don’t require. Excavating, foundations, retaining walls, drainage and sewer issues are all potential costs.
Overall, building on a sloping block comes with more planning, more labour and more supplies. All of that tends to add up. In order to keep additional costs under control, you must manage your build more effectively. It will come with a greater time commitment from you, from researching and understanding potential sites, to finding and working with the right builder.
Choose the right builder
Working with the right builder is important on any house build to ensure a smooth and enjoyable process, but if you’re building on an allotment that comes with specific considerations, you must find a builder that can rise to the challenge.
You need to find a builder that specialises in sloping blocks. This ensures you’re working with someone that will help you play up the advantages of your site while tackling the challenges more effectively. Builders that specialise in sloping blocks also tend to have the right contacts and knowledge when it comes to labour and supplies. This can save time in planning and constructing, which will benefit your bottom line in a big way.
When looking for the right builder, tell them upfront that you’re building on a sloping allotment. Check up on their experience, look into their previous projects, and thoroughly discuss all of your plans with them to make sure you’re confident that they will be able to help you achieve your goals.