There are many challenges that come with being a custom home builder, one of which includes building on sloping sites. At RJ Hill Homes, we relish the opportunity to build a functional and spacious custom home on a tricky site. In fact, our stunning Bluewaters project was constructed on a steep sloping site and was recently awarded Best Custom Home!

While sloping lot homes can be exciting to construct, they are also challenging and require many different building techniques and design considerations, compared a regular build. If you’re considering building on a sloping block, there are many things you should know before getting started. Here are 5 of the most integral:

1. Cost

It’s important to note that sloping sites are generally much cheaper to purchase than flat sites, however most builders can manage a slope of up to 3m, without costs increasing exponentially. This means building on a sloping site can be a cost-effective alternative to a regular build.

Obviously, the design and construction costs of a sloping lot home can be higher than a ‘regular’ custom home, however the lower price of your site may even things out. They key here is to engage your builder and architect early on in the process to ensure design and construction costs don’t grow any more than necessary.

2. Consider A Split-Level Design

A sloping site can be perfectly suited to a split-level home, whereby the front half of the house may include a living area and bedroom at street level, with stairs leading up to a kitchen, bathroom, secondary living room and extra bedrooms. The best part of opting for a split-level design is that all entrances to the home (front and back door) can be at ground level, without the need to build new retaining walls.

Of course, you don’t need to stop at two-storeys; our award-winning Bluewaters home is a three-storey home constructed on a steep sloping block, which allowed us to provide room for this growing family, while getting the most out of the site.

3. Choose Carefully

Before you do anything else, you need to consider who will design and build your new home. When you’re building on a sloping site, you’ll want to choose someone with experience in this type of project.

Make sure you select a builder and an architect you can trust and always check out their portfolio of finished homes to ensure their values align with your own. Client testimonials and reviews can be very helpful too, as well as talking to past clients to find out about their experiences.

When it comes to building on a sloping site, your builder and architect will need to work together closely to ensure the best results for your home. It’s best to establish whether these two can work together and collaborate on design ideas and budget considerations from the start. There’s nothing worse than finding out mid-project that your architect and builder don’t get along.

Selecting a builder early in the project will also ensure your design costs don’t go through the roof as your plans will be costed in the early stages of development.

4. Know Your Budget

Knowing your budget is so important when building on a sloping site. Establish your project’s financial restraints early on by speaking to an accountant, financial planner or bank manager as soon as possible. After all, there’s no point spending thousands on an architectural home design if you can’t then afford the construction costs.

This is another important reason to have your builder involved from the very beginning. This will ensure they can assess your budget and the feasibility of your project and then construct your home to this budget. It’s the best way to prevent your project from blowing out and becoming something beautiful that you can’t afford to build.

5. Know Your Block

Are there any extra challenges associated with your block? For example, underground rock that requires deep excavation will add costly extras to your overall project.

It’s important that you understand all the challenges associated with your block before you begin building to ensure you are prepared for the build. This is another reason you need to have your builder involved from the early stages so they can assess the site and ensure all potential challenges are considered before construction begins.


At RJ Hill Homes, we’re highly experienced in building custom homes on sloping sites. Our award-winning Bluewaters home is just one example of this. If you want to see more, you can explore more of the Master Builders Victoria Best Custom Home here.

To find out more about building your very own custom home on a sloping block, get in touch with the team at RJ Hill Homes today.

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