If you have discovered your dream block of land but are concerned about the challenges of building on a sloping block, rest assured that the reward will often outweigh the challenges. Most experienced sloping block builders should comfortably manage a rise or fall of up to three metres, with no hassle. In fact, we have built on sloping blocks with a rise or fall of up to twelve metres. With the correct research, preparation and sloping block builder you have the opportunity to create a completely unique and magnificent custom built home on the block of your choice with ease. Below we have outlined some essential tips for building your home on a sloping block.
1) CHOOSE THE RIGHT SLOPING BLOCK BUILDER
Volume builders generally only build on flat sites due to their less expensive building and construction methods, as opposed to a custom home builder who has experience in both. Many builders will avoid construction on a sloping block as they simply don’t have the expertise to design and construct with the potential challenges which can arise from inexperience in this field.
A home builder’s experience should be a high priority in your criteria when choosing your home builder, as their knowledge, flexibility and experience is not only invaluable but will also greatly impact the design and construction of your home. Selecting a sloping block builder who specialises in more difficult terrain means you will have complete guidance and understanding of the building requirements specific to a sloping block build from the beginning, minimising the chance of any slope related issues down the track. Sloping block specialists can also provide you with the latest innovative architectural design options available to you and your block.
A lot of professional sloping block builders have the leading edge in terms of functionality and aesthetics, with the ability to accommodate the requirements of the site with a lot more ease than less experienced builders. Experienced sloping block specialists should guide you through the entire process and provide you with an array of design ideas to take advantage of the block, layout, natural light and stunning views. Generally, sloping block builders are even more excited about your block than you are.
If you can engage a custom home builder who provides both design and construction services, you will be hiring a professional in-house design team who work collaboratively with construction experts to maximise the architectural and landscaping impact on your existing sloping block. At Rycon, our whole team invests in your style, lifestyle and block considerations from beginning to end. From your front fence to rear fence we ensure we are all working towards the same achievable goals, taking into consideration all aspects of the project while still delivering your dream home.
To find a trusted sloping block builder browse through the builder’s portfolios, research testimonials, reviews and case studies from previous sloping block constructions. If you are looking for a sloping block builder in Melbourne you should also make sure they are a MBAV member.
2) USE YOUR SLOPE TO MAXIMISE YOUR DESIGN POSSIBILITIES
In Australia, an integral aspect of modern architecture is working with the natural gradient of the land. By creatively utilising the properties of the existing land, your home builder can design a charming, one-of-a-kind home for you and your family.
Your sloping block home design should take advantage of the following factors:
- Natural light
If your home is positioned on a hill or is elevated, you have the distinct ability to absorb plenty of natural light. Your builder should be capable of assessing your siting information and should carefully consider the slope of the hill. They should focus on where your morning light source will come from before commencing your designs to make the most of this defining feature. You want to ensure there is protection from the west while utilising the natural light from the north.
A cleverly constructed sloping block design allows for masterful positioning of windows and external living spaces to become a strategic vantage point. Take complete advantage of beautiful views by considering the positioning of your entertaining areas, study and outdoor areas in conjunction with natural light aspects to seamlessly bring the outside in.
- Home style
Sloping blocks provide the ultimate conditions for split level home designs, perfect for a Hampton style home design or other Melbourne weatherboard home designs. Often Hamptons style homes are draped in natural light, using a range of picture windows and voids to bring the outside in. By using a split-level design, especially with a continuous ceiling level, you can easily maximise the necessary light and views to create the lavish Hamptons feel.
A modern design can also take advantage of the use of split levels within their designs. Adapting the design to fit the slope of its natural block by separating the floor lines is now a common feature in modern architecture. Staggering the floor levels allows for a more interesting aesthetic and a seamless flow throughout the property. When paired with architectural and styling influences any contemporary design can take advantage of a sloping block to create a truly brilliant, distinctive masterpiece.
- Innovative Features
Not only can a sloping block provide unique design opportunities in terms of split-level construction, but it also presents the opportunity to create sought after custom-designed voids and open plan living spaces. Outside, by using the existing gradient of the land you can also create impressive sunken pools and spas, secluded decking and creative retaining walls.
3) THE IMPACT OF THE ELEMENTS ON A SLOPING BLOCK
Melbourne homes built on sloping blocks can be more vulnerable to the weather conditions than a flat block. Be sure to consider the following before commencing the design and construction of your custom home build on a sloping block.
While the slope of the land provides an array of advantages, your builder needs to consider storm-water drainage. These considerations allow you to avoid excessive moisture after construction is complete, such as water runoff and pooling at the bottom of your block and even under your home. Subsurface drainage, perched water tables and excessive rainfall from storms all need to be considered and factored into your design to avoid its impact on your home once constructed.
4) LANDSCAPING ON A SLOPING BLOCK
Landscaping is a vital consideration when designing your new home on a sloping block.
- Plant selection
Certain plants may be problematic due to root placement and weather conditions. Ensure you use plants strategically to help reduce erosion risk and moisture retention. Opt for deep-rooted plants and groundcovers to prevent excess evaporation and stabilise the soil. Use established native trees to frame your sweeping views and provide shade and protection from harsh Melbourne weather conditions.
- Retaining walls
Landscaping can add more interest and depth to a sloping block by cutting into the land and adding multi-level retaining walls or decorative concrete blocks. Not only can you add structure to your block, but you can create a striking design by using different materials and shapes amongst carefully selected plants.
Should you choose to maintain the slope in your block instead of cutting into the land you can make a feature of intricate stepping stones or grand designed steps geometrically built into the slope. Sloping land also provides an array of options to enhance your luxurious outdoor living experience. Create majestic sunken lounges and firepits by using the existing land formation to relax on a sunny afternoon and into the early evening. Include a multilevel infinity pool and spa combination or other water features to compliment the flow of the land.
Custom home design for sloping blocks provides an abundance of opportunities for the homeowner that you simply can’t achieve when building on flat land. With the correct guidance and preparation, the challenges associated with the sloping block doesn’t have to be a concern. If you would like to learn more about building on a sloping block or other custom home builds in Melbourne or surrounding suburbs from our team of sloping block builders, please contact us here.