That presents a number of design challenges.
The first upward sloping block challenge is to ensure that the home itself has a nice flow with minimal steps throughout. Building on a sloping block often results in internal steps and level changes on steep blocks. They’re simply unavoidable but can be cleverly positioned as living zones transition from one space to another. That’s exactly what happened with this magnificent design and the clever use of retaining walls helped achieve it.
The block slopes upwards from the street and is quite a steep slope resulting in earthworks and retaining walls along both side boundaries as well as the rear of the property. Retaining walls and extensive siteworks always means additional cost however the costs can be minimised with efficient design.
For the owners, the floor plan shows the Garage entry opens up into the stairwell on the ground level to take them directly to the main floor. Or they can chill out in the Man Cave that features a personal bar complete with fridge and sink.
The Man Cave itself is large enough for a home theatre room and includes a large sliding door opening to the side path. The featured man cave is something most men would love to include in their dream home. A convenient powder room is also downstairs.
On the main floor level is the front entry found at the top of the outdoor staircase that also features a mid-way landing which breaks up the flight of stairs nicely. This also allows for easy access to the side planter beds at each raised level.
The contrasting feature bricks adds an inviting highlight to the entrance and is carried through inside to the foyer.
The master suite is located at the front of the home with a personal balcony, large walk in robe and ensuite with oversized shower and double vanity plus enclosed toilet.
Two minor bedrooms with a shared bathroom are spacious and share a curved feature wall adding additional design interest as guests make their way through to the main living areas at the rear of the home.
The main living area includes a large chefs kitchen complete with island bench and plenty of cupboards and drawers for maximum storage space. The dining and living areas open up the living with direct access to the large covered alfresco that includes a BBQ recess for the perfect nights outdoor entertaining.
Four steps can be found internally at the end of the hallway, right before the main living area. This results in a split level home creating three unique levels. The lower level for the Man Cave and Garage, the mid level for the bedrooms and the upper level for the living areas, home office and outdoor alfresco.
Create Your Dream Home with a View
Design Considerations When Building Your Home on a Slope
You finally found it! The perfect block of land, away from the noise of downtown but still with a magnificent view of the city you love.
It’s a dream come true.
There’s only one catch, though. It’s on an upward slope…
Now you’ve seen many homes around Australia built on a hill, so you know it’s possible to do. But before you put money down to purchase the property, there are some critical design considerations to remember when building your dream home on the side of a hill.
Every slope can present design challenges. At Innova Builders, we’ve worked on a wide variety of residential projects, including a good number of homes situated on a sloping block. As a result, we’ve developed methods to overcome and work within the challenges of building a house on a hill.
A home design involving a slope is also a chance to develop unique solutions that will shape the house’s final blueprint.
The advantages of building on a slope
With a skillful design team, building on a plot of land with uneven elevation levels can be an opportunity to create a dream house that reflects the beauty of its surroundings. Specific home designs actually lend themselves best when built on a slope.
● Split level designs
● Sloping blocks with views
● Raised and pole homes
Building on a slope is also a chance to build a home that uniquely connects and interacts with the land it is on.
To accomplish this, we approach the unique requirements of the land and our client’s dreams and create a design that meets both.
In the process, we make sure that each home:
● Highlights any views around the home
● Maximises the natural light available
● Takes advantage of the ventilation and drainage available
So, what design considerations should you keep in mind if you’ve got your eye on a block on a slope?
Here are a few to start with:
What to consider when building on a slope
1. Building on a slope may cost more due to serious foundational work.
Building on a slope may require additional “prep” work on the foundation to help reshape or contour the land for a home to be built. This includes topography assessments to protect the soil against erosion and soil tests to ensure soil stability. Your initial estimates should also include information about the surrounding drainage and how it can affect the ground.
If your dream home includes building on a slope, it’s essential to start the process with a site analysis to identify any potentially costly issues related to the land.
2. A slope may increase or reduce your exposure to the sun
Not all gradients are created equal. Depending on the location and angle of the hill, as well as its steepness, you might find yourself in the shadow of a neighbour’s home, thereby reducing the amount of sun that actually hits your home.
So, if you want your home to harness solar power, you’ll want to factor that into the location of the property you purchase. There is also additional analysis to determine solar orientation and wind exposure at different points of the year. This may also play a vital role in the decision to buy and build on the property.
You’ll also want to incorporate that conversation with the design team so they can work on creative and innovative solutions to meet that objective.
3. The direction of the slope under the house will impact structural elements like the positioning of stairs and the garage.
Will the house be on an upward sloping hill or one that is downward sloping?
Both options require different creative solutions for designers. For example, a downward sloping home is ideal for building a multi-level home with a garage on the top floor. At the same time, an upward sloping home may require positioning the garage underneath the home to maximise your view from the main house.
It is also important to note that homes on an upward slope tend to cost more to construct because of the amount of levelling a land requires to get it ready for a build.
4. Properties on a slope may be more prone to bush-fire
Bush-fires are unfortunately a reality in many parts of Australia, especially in residential areas located on a hill. You may not be able to use certain building materials to construct your dream home.
Additionally, building on a slope may alter designs due to restrictions imposed on bush-fire prone land.
Before building, it’s essential to factor in an environmental impact study and bushfire assessment for the construction site.
Considerations but not dream-breakers
While the items we’ve listed add to the time before you can actually be in your dream home, they are not deal-breakers. However, they are essential information that can influence your decision about the property you’re looking at and the home you eventually build.
With a skilled and creative design team, careful and thorough assessment of the property and your willingness to make adjustments for the betterment of the final product, you’ll be able to see your dream home come to life.
If you have an upward sloping block or a sloping site and would like a custom house plans to suit your lifestyle, then contact us today for a free design consultation.