Building any home can be a curse and a blessing, but when you factor in a sloped block, you add a whole host of other questions and challenges. On one side of the coin, the timeline and costs can add up and be confusing to navigate. On the other side of the coin, upon completion, your home had a unique feel and dynamic to it, even opening up landscaping opportunities that didn’t exist before. It’s important to understand both ends up of the spectrum, so today we’re partnering with the team at Australian Heritage Homes to talk through five things to keep in mind if building on a sloped block is in your future.
Ah, the almighty dollar. The Australian Heritage Homes team firmly believes that customers should have maximum visibility into the materials and process used to get the work done. When it comes to building on a sloped block that means that you’re going to properly reinforce the suspended floors. Add in landscaping, drainage and labour and you are looking at higher initial costs.
In the long run though, the value of your home could exponentially increase if building on a sloped block appeals to the market at the time. Many sites have build cost calculators that you can use to help you do your homework.
Drainage and Your Sewer
This ties back to costs, but the pendulum can swing both ways. If you live in a particularly hilly area, you could be below homes where the sewer is quite shallow. If this is the case, invest in a pumped sewage system. This is a cost (about $3,000), but not doing this can have catastrophic results down the line. Conversely, if nearby homes have deeper sewers, then building on a slope can be a big win for your wallet.
You Have Options
The result will be a home on a sloped block no matter what, but how you go about it is up to you and your contractor. The first possibility is using retaining walls. If you have a basement, you don’t need to deal with this option. Its walls can hold back ground, so they basically become retaining walls. If – in technical speak – you’re working with level plinths, natural or carved out banks, then talk to an expert about retaining walls. Another option is using stilts or columns. Then you don’t need to embark on an extensive foundation reinforcement journey or worry about tanking.
Make Sure You Vet Your Expert
We continue to reference avenues when you should consult a contractor or an expert. It’s imperative that you have a transparent and communicative relationship with anyone that works on your house. It’s a huge investment and their ultimate goal should be turning the house into a home.
We hope this sets you up for success as you navigate building a home on a sloped block. Questions? Let us know.