Last Updated Aug 29, 2017 · Written by Craig Gibson
So you’ve decided to build a house on a sloping block but you’re not quite sure how to go about it?
You’re not the only one. Building on a sloping block can present some unique challenges but it is possible to work around any potential issues.This article will help you with:
When selecting your home design, you will need to take into account the slope of your block. The slope can vary, with some sloping down from the street towards the rear boundary, and others sloping up from the street. The former can be easier to work with, while the latter may require the use of retaining walls and need more excavation, which can significantly add to the total cost of the building project. However, building on any sloping block will cost more than building on a flat block.
By working with the unique slope of your block, and designing a home that works with the slope, you can reduce the need for excavation and retaining walls. Too much excavation can cause additional problems in itself. It can interfere with the drainage of the block, exacerbate erosion, and cause instability. To reduce the risk of soil erosion and the problems that it can cause, have the builder use sediment control measures to protect the block’s integrity. Be aware that masonry homes are generally better for level sites while lightweight or pole homes are better for sloping sites, especially those that slope steeply.
Builders will generally be happy to work with a drop or rose of three metres, but costs will escalate if it is any more than this.
There are some definite pros to building on a sloping block, including:
A variety of factors affect the cost and practicality of building on a sloping block compared to a conventional flat site:
Learn more: How much does a retaining wall cost?
Pole homes are the ideal method of construction for sloping blocks because they have the least impact on the site, offer the best views, and have a tremendous amount of flexibility. In fact, pole homes are one of the easiest homes to add extensions to in the future! Because excavating a sloping site can quickly become astronomically expensive, so it pays to do your homework beforehand.
A pole home is an enormously affordable alternative. There are two types of pole homes. A pole platform is where poles are used to support a level frame on which a conventional house frame is built. A pole frame is where the poles are extended throughout the house right through to roof level and are used to support the entire building.
#hiptip: Excavating a sloping site can quickly become astronomically expensive, so it pays to do your homework
When it comes time to hiring a builder make sure they are right for your job. Some questions to ask them include:
A building contract is a legal agreement between you and your builder. It is required by law and is intended to protect the interests of both parties. It should have clear guidelines on a range of potentially contentious issues, including:
It is essential that you get legal advice before signing a contract with your builder as it must comply with the relevant legislation.
Take time to think through your relationship with your builder very seriously - there are integral to the success of your project, no matter the cost. Consider:
The best way of finding out the cost of your project is to get quotes from local builders. This will give you a sense of what market rates currently are.