Just like our homes, sloped sites come in many shapes and sizes. The slope of a block may be shallow or steep and might fall front to back or from the side of the block, all of which make the perfect (if sometimes challenging!) canvas for a stunning, unique home.
So, how do I choose the right design for my sloping block?
Firstly, wherever possible choose and consult your builder before you purchase. At Adam Mason Homes, we’ll recommend a pre-purchase site analysis and contour survey so we can be sure of the slope angle; ground conditions; soil types and water run off before we start the design process.
Here are five tried and tested options you’ll want to think about – and of course we can help with all of them!
1. Split-Level Home
A split-level home is one with multiple or staggered levels. Whether the angle of your block slopes up, down or sideways, a split-level home offers many different design options that result in a spectacular and unique home.
We’ll help you consider locating storage areas or rooms that don’t require natural light at the back of or into the slope, leaving abundant natural light and first storey views for kitchens and living areas. Mezzanine floors also work well, and don’t forget about parking with options on different levels or underground.
2. Multi-Storey Home
Multi storey homes suit gently sloping blocks as the footprint of the house is smaller. This means the slab can be constructed on a smaller area where the angle of slope is at its shallowest, minimising the amount of cut and fill required – and that’s good for your budget!
You could even design an ‘upside down’ multi storey home with living areas upstairs, especially where you have breathtaking views to capitalise on.
3. Sustainable Home
Of course, every home we build has energy efficiency at its heart, but sloping sites often lend themselves to more sustainable and solar passive designs. That’s because blocks tend to be elevated, which is important for capturing prevailing breezes and cross flow ventilation. They are also generally more isolated with little overshadowing from surrounding buildings, which maximises the efficiency of solar panels.
With the block having multiple levels this offers opportunities for innovative thinking around capture and re-use, and large windows take advantage of panoramic views while allowing in natural light and helping with cross ventilation.
Less mains power and water use mean lower bills and a lower carbon footprint, so an investment in energy efficient design up front will deliver year on year savings over the life of the property. Who wouldn’t want that?!
4. A Flat Home
If your heart is set on a single slab ‘flat’ home, then traditional ‘cut and fill’, where soil is excavated from one section and deposited in another, can be used to level out the block.
The ability to do this will depend on the angle of the slope, ground conditions, and the soil type, which must all be carefully considered before committing to this option – for example a rocky site will not be suitable for cut and fill whereas a very gently sloping sandy site could be. This is where getting advice up front from a builder experienced in sloping sites really pays off and helps avoid any nasty unexpected cost overruns!
5. Building on Posts
A stilted, post and beam construction or pole framed home can offer the perfect solution for slopes more than 20 degrees, and especially those where the angle of slope varies across the block, falls from side to side or if soil conditions are difficult or rocky as ground disturbance is kept to a minimum.
This sort of construction lends itself to innovative and unique designs that work with the natural environment rather than against it and could have your home featuring on Grand Designs!
To find out more about building a stunning home design on a sloping block, get in touch with the custom home building specialists at Adam Mason Homes today!