Many Australian cities have mountainous areas, and where there are hills, there are sloping blocks. The methods used by Volume Builders are not good solutions for these potentially beautiful blocks. Either they refuse to build on them or they charge the land for site costs, dig a hole in the block and bury a house in it. However, there are quality custom builders who have specialized knowledge of the challenges and potential solutions for building in mountainous blocks, and can provide cost-effective solutions. Here are some design options to consider when building on a sloped block.
Blocks rising from the road: If a block is raised from the road, the most efficient design may incorporate a garage below and the house built above. And if you are putting a garage underneath, why not another room as well? This is an ideal place for a theater, a game room or a study; areas to be quiet or noisy without interfering with the rest of the house. Living areas are built upstairs, and your open-plan kitchen or family room can open to the rear of the house on ground level. With proper landscaping, you maximize the enjoyment of your garden.
It is common to consider a balcony in front of the house over the garage, so that people can have breakfast and admire the view. However, these areas tend to be rarely used in real life because they lack privacy. In suburban locations, a balcony is primarily for appearance. A good solution is to put in a much smaller balcony that creates an appeal facing the street, and the option to go outside to watch a sunset. Or you can opt for a decorative balustrade as a facade feature without the expense of waterproof balconies. This could save you $ 10,000 in costs.
Blocks falling from the road: When a block comes off the road, it is often a good solution to use a split slab base. The front of the house will be at street level, with the garage to one side, and a living room, master bedroom, and entry hall on the same level. He would go down several steps to the next level, following the outline of the block.
If a client wants to use a wood subfloor, they should consider two stories at the back of the house. The front of the house facing the street will be one story, but the unavoidable space under the house at the rear will be incorporated as a game room, laundry room or study.
Split slab or wood subfloor? Many people think that the only way to build on a sloping or hilly block is a wooden subfloor. However, there are different solutions, with different advantages.
Historically, when built on top of a wooden subfloor, the entire floor area is raised to one level, creating a house that sticks out of the ground. The base of the house is built with bricks, creating a large amount of unused space. In a modern home, this area should be incorporated into the entire design as a functional lower story.
Building on a concrete slab reverses the process. The block is excavated to create a suitable surface for a concrete slab. Eliminates base masonry and only provides framing and masonry above grade level. This reduces the cost. Wood subfloors are generally more expensive, however there is a point where one overrides the other, depending on the amount of space required and the degree of slope. In a block where it has a slope of up to 1 ½ to 2 meters, a divided concrete slab will be cheaper.
A slab also has advantages with regard to thermal qualities, as well as energy rating and BAL rating (Bushfire Attack Level).
Blocks leaning to one side: Side Slope Blocks are a different fish pot. Each block must be examined individually. It may still be feasible to use a split slab and obtain an inexpensive and practical solution. If you have the budget, a wood subfloor is likely the best solution.
While you’re digging … Remember that your home does not stop at the walls, it encompasses your garden and its surroundings. Landscaping will be an important part of making your home a great place to be. Incorporate this into your overall design, and while you have a large machine on site to dig the foundation, have them do the overall external landscaping as well. You’ll save time and money, and when you get your home key, you’re well on your way to enjoying a real home in your beautiful mountainous land.