The major advantage of building on a sloping site is, of course, the views. This means plenty of floor to ceiling glass. The entire design must revolve around taking advantage of these views with as many habitable rooms as possible. Living, family, dining and kitchens are the priority rooms, but if we can position a few bedrooms onto the views, that’s even better.
We take open plan living, to the extreme. Large covered decks or entertain areas are essential and ideal for barbeques as they are usually the entertainment centre of the house, especially if they are close to the kitchen and dining areas.
Privacy is another important factor. You tend to be much higher up off the ground than your neighbors to start with, plus the house is usually elevated up another 2.5M above that. You’re not looking into a neighbors paling fence. Building above ground level also allows natural breezes to flow under the house and makes for a cooler more pleasant environment.
Many builders, draftsmen and architects have little or no experience whatsoever in dealing with the problems of sloping sites. In contrast, show us a flat site and we wouldn’t know, where to start.
Generally speaking, homes built on sloping sites are extremely expensive, however over the last 41 year period we have managed to fine tune our designs, engineering and building techniques and eliminate many of the huge costs generally associated with sloping site construction.
When making your final decision on, which site (if you haven’t already done so) you should choose, also consider the capital growth history and resale value and the location of the land.
Historically, land values in elevated areas have averaged higher resale prices than those in lower lying areas. This can mainly be attributed to desirable views or outlooks, seasonal benefits of breezes through the warmer months and the zero risk of flooding in severe weather conditions.
We know, after 41 years experience in sloping sites that it’s not much use buying a slopingg site with spectacular views, if it’s going to cost a future, to build on.
Most builders want to build on billiard table, flat sites, because they’re easier and have less things to go wrong. Many are dead scared, to even price something that is not brick veneer or slab on ground. Most want to excavate the site and plonk a concrete slab down. Then they build a Bessa or timber retaining wall behind the house. They look atrocious, and have constant ongoing maintenance problems The house looks like it s been built in a hole.
Even if the builders experience in sloping sites will look at a sloping site and tell you to go and find a draftsman or architect to draw something up to suit the site. This is where things start to go wrong as 99% of these design guys haven’t the faintest idea how much things cost, for sloping site construction.
They don t ask you the most important question – How much do you have to spend? They just draw and draw, anything you want. It’s not until you finally get a price from the builder that you find out the price is 50% up, on what you have to spend. So you not only blow thousands on drafting or architectural fees, you also blow, 4 or 5 months in time.