Sloping block homes – a popular mid-century trend – have been making a steady comeback as of late. While their resurgence can be attributed to a quite a few things, their customisable nature is perhaps at the root of it. After all, due to the far trickier nature of the terrain when compared to a flat block of land, custom building is almost a prerequisite. But before you go running off to the drawing room to come up with the perfect sloping block home for yourself, we’ve listed down a few basic facts that you should be aware of when building a house on a sloping block.
There are two primary ways you can go about building a house on a sloping block. The cut and fill approach, as the name suggests, deals with leveling the ground by either the addition or removal of soil. There is a considerable cost to this, especially when compared to doing the same process on a flat site. Just how much depends on a variety of factors such as the grade and soil conditions.
Building on stilts is the alternative approach you can take. Here the house is lifted up and placed on a supporting set of columns. This method of building a house on a sloping block can be comparatively more cost effective and opens up an interesting number of possibilities regarding placement – fancy building your house over a tranquil stretch of lake or a lush forest canopy?
Now yes, the cost of building on a sloping block can be off-putting at first, but it does come with quite a few neat benefits that might just outweigh it.
Customisability is of course at the heart of building on sloping blocks; you have to get creative with your designs and layouts. Think of it as an outlet to make your own design statements.
The views are probably the main draw of building a house on a sloping block. It can be quite hard to top the breathtaking vistas of sandy beaches drenched in summer sunlight or rolling hills blanketed in morning mist, and with the right knowhow you might even be able to do a bit of landscaping yourself.
A house on a slope is also the perfect getaway for those of us who prefer a bit of seclusion. What could be better than relaxing on a lazy Sunday afternoon in your house, tucked away safely from the bustle of the city streets.
Just as with cost, building a house on a sloping block also demands a far greater time investment than building on a flat site. The gradient of the slope you’re building on, as well as whether it’s an upslope or downslope are the major factors that impact the cost and time required (do note however, that this only concerns the build area, not the entire block itself).
Building proper drainage systems is also paramount; you need to ensure that rainfall is directed away properly without putting your house or neighbouring properties at risk. Likewise, sewage treatment can be a challenge as most likely the main line will either be above or below your house, and as such will require additional construction work.
With all the costs, time and specifics involved with building a house on a sloping block, it’s absolutely essential that you select the right builder to work with. Builder experience is vital to not only overcome the challenges inherent with building on slopes, but also in order to properly deliver on the vision you have for your custom house up on the hills.
Picking a builder with the right know-how and expertise can also prove to be quite cost-efficient, even being able to provide you with a much higher ROI than you would with building on a flat surface. Make sure to take a look at their past work by going through their portfolio, and if possible, try and see if you can get in touch with some of their past clients, because ultimately, the right builder is everything.