Building on Sloping Blocks

17th March 2023

Posted in: Buyer Tips News

Home Builders Coomera delivering a sloping block home design proposal


As new home builders in Coomera, Pimpama and the greater Gold Coast & Brisbane region we often are presented with clients that have purchased sloping blocks of land.

Most notably some land developers cut and bench sloping blocks and then sell off these as flat blocks of land to the public when preparing the land estate. When this task is undertaken the land developer will then undertake and retain any cut and fill by way of retaining walls.  The benefits are that you avoid having to engage home builders in Coomera, Pimpama including surrounding areas to undertake any additional cut/fill requirements including any additional retaining walls, however these blocks of land do come with a higher price tag as it costs the land developer more to improve.

On the other hand we find some land developers opt to keep the natural topography of the land while preparing the land estate thus avoiding the additional costs in cut/fill including the supply and install of retaining walls. The benefit for you is the land price on a sloping block of land will be far cheaper than that of a flat block of land but beware there are some things to consider when purchasing a sloping block of land that may well cost you more to build your dream home when engaging a new home builder in Coomera, Pimpama and surrounding areas.

When engaging home builders in Coomera, Pimpama, Greater Brisbane and Gold Coast the first cost implication to consider will be the site works. Depending on the slope or gradient of the land the steeper the slope the more cut and fill required will then increase the cost to excavate the land. This cost could exceed $10,000.00 or more depending on complexity and extent of the excavation. In the event the land is too steep to excavate then an alternative construction method may need to be considered by your new home builders in Coomera and surrounds. An alternative construction method may be a pole home or a home on stumps where the home is suspended horizontally off the sloping land. This type of home also has its cost pitfalls.

The next step to consider when dealing with home builders in Coomera etc now that you have excavated the sloping land is to retain all the cut and fill locations of your building pad. There are different types of retaining walls to consider and all of these have their own advantages and disadvantages, for example timber retaining walls are cheaper and easier to supply and install but don’t last as long as rock retaining or concrete sleeper walls but on the other hand rock retaining and concrete sleeper walls or more difficult to install and cost a lot more to supply and install. This cost could exceed $20,000.00 or more depending on complexity, type and extent of the retaining required.

So now your land is ready to build on and your new home builders in Coomera, Pimpama and the greater Brisbane and Gold Coast will need to undertake a soil test. As with sloping blocks when levelling these you tend to have additional underpinning requirements due to excessive fill. As home builders in Coomera, Pimpama and the greater Brisbane and Gold Coast region we always highly recommend that the owners also consider engaging the engineer to undertake a slope stability report to ensure your foundations are designed to suit any other geological conditions the home builders in Coomera and surrounds aren’t aware of. Any additional requirements stipulated in the engineers slope stability report may also add additional cost to your new home build. The average cost for a slope stability report ranges from $500 -$1500 depending on location, extent of slope and the home to be constructed.

No all the above works are completed your new home builders in Coomera, Pimpama and surrounds can focus on commencing actual construction on your new home. Site access is also a big cost consideration. The home builders will also need to roadmap the process for site works and construction to ensure the required machinery and vehicles have access to the site and understand where additional equipment (such as a crane) will be located.

The key to minimising construction costs on a sloping block is to reduce the amount of earthworks required and reduce the amount and extent of engineered retaining walls. This can be achieved by adopting a house design that suits your block.

So what type of home can you build on a sloping block?

There are many factors that will determine house design on sloping blocks

  • Sloping up – the low point being at the road.
  • Sloping down – the high point being at the road.
  • Cross fall – the slope is from right to left or vice versa.
  • Cross fall + sloping– a combination of all of the above.
Home Builders Coomera delivering a sloping block home design cross-section

Your new home builders in Coomera, Pimpama including greater Gold Coast and Brisbane will first arrange for our home design consultant to meet you onsite to determine the land topography and any other land constraints. Experience is the key here, as is taking an imaginative and flexible approach and finding design solutions that others may overlook. As your new home builders in Coomera and the greater Gold Coast, we will discuss a brief with you and your new home build budget and provide the best possible home design solution limiting any extra over costs that may be associated with building a new home on sloping blocks of land.

If you have purchased, or are considering purchasing, your dream block of land which has a rise or fall from the road – or a cross fall – you need to talk to a builder who is experienced with building on this type of land. Engaging a builder with their own design team can also lead to big savings.  They can advise on the most economical way to handle structural issues and design efficiency, while still achieving the home that you desire.

Bluewood Homes have designed and built many homes on sloping blocks, remember experience is necessary and communication is vital in ensuring your new home build achieves your expectations.