Whether you intend to build a new home or hire some heavy equipment such as an excavator and do some serious renovations to your present home, land excavations may be needed if your block is not dead level – and very few are. Sloping blocks are often cheaper than flat blocks because of the perceived cost of building on them. Those extra excavations needed tend to put the building price up. So if you thought to save money with that cheaper, sloping block it may not quite work out that way. Much depends on just how steep it is and what your house design is going to be.
There are two basic choices when building on a sloping block.
- Level the ground with excavation
- Design home that can go on the block as it is. Mostly, this will be a split level home.
If you choose the first way you can save on the cost of excavation by using the soil to build up some of the ground until there is a level area suitable for a concrete slab. The cost will be less if you keep the soil to use in this and other ways rather than having to pay for its removal. You may be able to use in for a garden, to build up the driveway or to level out other dips in the property.
It may also be possible to build a home with piers rather than a concrete slab as this will save a lot of levelling. Even just a few centimetres less soil removal can create quite a saving in cost.
When a home is designed as a split level home the actual design depends on whether the block slopes down from the road or up from it. When it slopes down, the living areas are usually designed to be level with the front access or road and often, the garage is underneath the home at the back. There may be a separate road leading down the side of the house to the garage, which can also be accessed from inside the home.
If the slope goes up from the road the garage can be underneath the home at the front, with the living areas level with the ground at the back. No matter which way the slope is from the road, try to get a block that faces north so that your living areas can get sun for most of the day in the winter.
The main thing to remember when purchasing a sloping block of land is to do it for the interest rather than with the idea of saving money. A sloping block can be a challenge to build on, but it will give you a unique home with hopefully, a beautiful view or other benefits that just aren’t there with a flat block.