NEWS

What to consider when building a modular home on a sloping site.

Are you looking at purchasing a sloping block? Or maybe you’ve got a sloping site but your struggling to find someone to build on it. Finding the right builder for you isn’t easy, and finding one to construct a modular home on a sloping site doesn’t make it any easier.

So, let's demystify the sloping sites myth and look at the different methods of construction, what works best and what doesn’t work. What are modular homes?

WHY A SLOPING SITE? 

People have been building their homes on high ground since...forever. And it is no secret that quite often the most desirable suburbs in cities are on high ground and the best homes are on top of a hill. This is understandable as high ground will typically boast decent views and lends itself to creating homes with real character.

 

IS IT DIFFICULT TO BUILD A HOME ON A SLOPING SITE?

The main issue with sloping sites is that they aren’t easy to build on. Each block of land is unique, and the foundations, structure and floorplans must be tailored to suit the site individually and also suit the orientation of the site to take advantage of the view.

All this lends itself to specialist builders and extra cost. It’s not unheard of for a project builder to whack on $50,000 to the value of a home to build on a sloping site.

 

WHAT SORT OF SLOPE ON MY SITE IS MANAGEABLE TO BUILD ON?

Ok, so there are sloping sites  and then are sloping sites. Generally, sites with a gentle slope (less than 1m fall over the building footprint) are the easiest to build on.

Moderate hills (1m to 3m fall over the building footprint) are more challenging and need a specialist builder.

Lastly, a steep site with a fall of over 3.0m over the home footprint is very challenging to build on. You will need a very experienced builder and a large budget to build on these sorts of sites. 

 

WHAT SORT OF HOME CAN I BUILD ON A SLOPE? 

Now we get to the pointy end. In Australia, there are two main types of construction;

1. Slab on the ground (traditional construction)

2. Modular homes (AKA suspended floor homes, prefabricated homes, stump homes)

 

SLAB ON GROUND HOMES 

To build a house on a concrete slab, you need a level pad as a starting point. This type of construction can pose some issues on moderately steep to very steep slopes. This is because to achieve a level building pad, there is a need to cut and fill the hill to create level ground.

While on a slight slope this isn’t a significant issue, doing this on higher slopes creates a multitude of factors that need to be addressed from drainage to retaining walls. Not to mention the increased costs to perform this additional works. 

 

MODULAR HOMES

a modular home on a farm on a sloping site

Modular homes, or as they are sometimes called in Queensland, stump homes, are in most cases the most economical way to build a house on a sloping block.

Minimal cutting and filling is required, meaning that natural drainage of the land isn’t disturbed, while the raised floor level allows you to take advantage of and even enhance any views.

 

SO, WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF BUILDER TO USE ON A SLOPING SITE?

Modular homes are particularly suitable for sloping sites. With the unique chassis system allowing for fewer stumps and more cantilever, you can create an inspiring and impressive house that suits your site, gets the views and doesn’t break the bank. Plus, you get the added benefit of quick turnaround time. 

 

AND LASTLY, IS IT EXPENSIVE TO BUILD ON A SLOPE? 

There's no real way to get around it - it’s never going to be cheap to build on a slope. If you're looking to build a home for as cheap as possible, then you need to consider purchasing a level or gently sloping site and engaging a project builder to build a slab on the ground home. 

In saying that, if you are wanting an affordable way of building a custom-designed home for your sloping site, then a  custom modular home builder will be able to provide you with a reasonably priced building option.

What are modular homes?

INTERESTED IN BUILDING A MODULAR HOME?

 

If you think that building a new modular home might be the best option for you, and you’re interested in a more streamlined construction process, talk to the team at Westbuilt Homes.

We have been designing and building stunning modular homes since 1993. The construction process of a modular home is very different to that of a conventional home, giving you greater control over the construction time, the quality and the timeframe. 

To learn more about modular construction, book a no obligation consultation with one of our modular experts. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.