Building a home on a sloping lot can be challenging. Site work can become costly, access can be difficult, and more materials are likely to be needed. Depending on the degree of the slope will depend on just how challenging it will be.
However along with the challenges, sloping blocks can offer up some lucrative advantages and, if the house design is right, you have the opportunity to build a beautiful and unique home that you won’t find anywhere else.
When it comes to sloping block house designs, careful planning and consideration of the following five elements will ensure you are maximising the usability and potential of your new custom home.
1. Decide on your Floor Plan and Foundations
Positioning a house on a sloping block requires more consideration than your standard block. It can be very difficult to build a stock standard slab on ground dwelling on a sloping lot without some serious groundwork carried out first.
Even if it was possible, it may not be the best decision. After all, a sloping lot provides the opportunity to be unique. The opportunity to build a home that works with the contours of the land rather than against it.
With a sloping lot, you do have a few options in regards to your floor plan and foundations. Depending on the extent of the slope, you may want to consider a split slab design that cuts the block into sections allowing for two or more flat slabs with stair transitions in between. Or, if your block has a considerable fall to it, a pole or stilt home may be a better way to go.
Whatever you decide, there are going to be varying costs, benefits and disadvantages to each option. Each design will have to factor in excavation work, retaining wall requirements, engineering considerations and careful planning of the foundations.
Having a good builder and house designer on board who has experience with sloping block house designs is imperative to getting the foundations of your home right.
2. Understand the Flow of the Home Both Inside and Out
All good house designs incorporate a thoughtful layout that works well with your lifestyle. This should be no different with sloping block house designs. Regardless of whether you decide on a split slab design, a stilt home design or something in between, you should consider how the flow of the home is going to work with your lifestyle.
Before deciding, take some time to think about how you use your home, what your lifestyle entails and how you can build a new home that works for your family. A home design that flows seamlessly from one area to the next is going to make living in your home a whole lot easier and considerably more enjoyable.
While thinking about the flow of your new home, don’t forget to take into consideration the transitions from your internal spaces to the outdoors.
Successful sloping lot house designs consider both indoor and outdoor spaces. Well designed homes maximise the full use of the block and will take into consideration the outdoor elements, including decks, stairs and landscaping alongside the main house structure.
Being able to sit outside with your morning coffee without navigating twenty steps first or having your clothesline near the laundry for ease of use are things that can make a huge difference to the enjoyment of your home.
3. Maximise the View
One of the greatest advantages to a sloping block is the potential to obtain an amazing view. And if you have the chance to grab a great view, you should maximise it as much as possible. Positioning your home so you can have a great outlook from all your main rooms is something you should be looking to achieve with your house design.
Capturing the morning sea view that you can enjoy from the comfort of your living room or the picturesque city skyline in the afternoon has the potential to add considerable value to your home. Not to mention increasing the enjoyment of the home immensely.
Working with the right builder and/or home designer can help you maximise this potential. Strategically placed windows and the window size and shape can provide a picture-perfect outlook in just the right place.
4. Maximising Energy Efficiency
Not only does a sloping block give you the potential for a great view, split level homes also allow for a greater opportunity to maximise energy-efficient features throughout your home naturally. Increased natural light and cross-ventilation are just two elements that can be easily achieved with sloping lot house designs. These two features alone can reduce your energy bills considerably.
Whatever energy-efficient features you elect to include within your new home build, it’s a good idea to think about them during the design phase and incorporate them during your build. This is also a great time to think about what insulation you will use in the home and where your services will be located for greater efficiency.
5. Consider Your Budget
Engaging a highly skilled and experienced builder who understands sloping lot builds can make all the difference in making sure your budget is both accurate and adequate. Your build budget is always going to be an important consideration with any new home. Careful financial planning to ensure you have enough money to complete your home is a top priority, and this is no different from building a custom home on a sloping lot. What is different though, is making sure you have allowed for extra costs associated with building on a sloping block.
Generally, sloping blocks do potentially come with extra requirements.
More excavation work
Extra foundations and retaining
More required materials
More time involved in both planning and building
Increased landscaping requirements
How much more it is going to cost can vary greatly from home to home. But when you are presented with a stunningly unique home, you may find the extra costs were a wise investment.
Sloping Lot House Designs Can Provide You With the Ultimate Home
On the whole, building on a sloping lot can prove to be a challenge. However, if you take the time to think about the considerations outlined above and work closely with an experienced builder, you have the opportunity to create a beautiful, one-of-a-kind custom home that will provide years of enjoyment far beyond a standard build.
Ready to accept the challenge and consider your options around sloping block house designs? Give Line and Form Custom Homes a call today, and we can meet you onsite and discuss your options.