Written on 26 July 2016
5 Tips for Building on a Sloping Site
When building a home, a slope on the site can create some interesting challenges you wouldn’t face with a flat site. However, when everything is done correctly with some clever problem-solving skills, the outcome can be well worth the extra effort.
If you’ve found your dream block of land and the only thing holding you back is a slope, put your worries aside and go for it!
The most common factor that scares homebuyers away from a sloping site is the idea that construction costs will increase as the builder struggles to work with the hill(s). While this is sometimes the case, these expenses are usually balanced out by the fact that sloping sites are often sold at a lower price than their flat counterparts. Overall, you may even find that building on a sloping site ends up costing you less than doing so on a flat block!
If you’re about to buy (or have already bought) a sloping site, here are 5 key tips to keep in mind as you head into the building process.
1. Choose the Right Builder
You need a builder who has specific experience with sloping sites. When checking a prospective builder’s portfolio, ask to see some houses that were constructed on trickier terrain – this will give you an idea of whether they are confident and skilled enough to build on your sloped block. With this in mind, you’ll probably want to lean towards a builder who customises their designs, as templated designs rarely work well with uniquely shaped landscapes.
2. Face the Right Way
Orientation is vital to any house build, but this is particularly true when you have a slope or two to consider. For example, you won’t want your driveway to turn into a river leading straight to your front door every time it rains. Alternatively, you might find a hill on your land, shelters your home from prevailing winds, which means your living area could benefit from panoramic windows without the chilly trade-off.
3. Go with the Slope
Certain layouts complement different types of slopes. For instance, a strong slope up away from the road lends itself to a one-storey home with a garage underneath at the front of the property. However, a strong slope down away from the road can sometimes work well with a house that has a lower half-storey at the back. Talk to your builder about what kind of design will suit your property’s natural features.
4. Watch out for Rock
Since hills are generally made from rock, you can expect the ground of a sloping site to be a bit shallower than usual (i.e. it doesn’t take much digging to hit rock). With this in mind, you’ll want to minimise the amount of excavation that’s performed to keep costs within your budget.
5. Make it Yours
A sloped site might have challenges, but it also has opportunities. By creatively working with the property’s layout, a good builder can create a home for you that has a character and charm unlike any other in the neighbourhood. It’s all about expressing your desires, keeping an open mind, and making sure you’ve chosen the right builder for the job!
Building on sloped blocks is a specialty of ours at Shelton Homes. If you’d like to discuss your options or get some personalised advice about this topic, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.