Building on a sloping block: Here’s what you need to know

The house on the hill. The beautiful homes on the mountain slopes. It’s the ultimate goal. Two thoughts always cross the mind when you see a structure on a slope. The first is wow, that’s magnificent. The second is, how in the world did they make that? Thankfully, sloping block building experts like our team at Hepner Homes are highly knowledgeable and skilled in that department and can alleviate the stress of designing your new home. But for peace of mind, we’ve created a cheat sheet of the most important things to be aware of when contemplating the slope.

Design Considerations:

It’s easy to be intimidated by sloping blocks. It can present a range of issues that flat ground sites don’t have. But if your vision is to be high on the hill, with a sweeping view of the valley below, or to be nestled amongst the treetops, or wherever your patch of heaven on earth is located, don’t allow the whispers of potential problems to frighten you away. Here, we will explore the design, site preparation and foundation considerations you should take into account. Firstly, there are three design options.

Stepped Design

A stepped design can turn a tricky situation into a modern and clever house design. Allowing a shift of 2 metres across the site, this design works well on the smaller slopes, while offering a great layout of functionality and sophistication.

Multi-Level Design

A multi-level design is great for the slopes that have a little more height drop across the site. While it may present itself as a problem, we like to think of it as an opportunity. Now you get to flex with your creativity and flair by creating a unique space. Co-designed with some slope pros, you can’t go wrong.

Split-Level Design

Get out your jamacian bobsledding gear because this is for the slopes that you might call elite. They offer over a 3 metre drop across the site and so, a split-level design would be ideal for your dream home. You’ve got the slopes, we’ve got the sloping experience, it’s a dream team.

How to get the right person for the job.

Trust the building experts

Everyone knows that webMD can only diagnose your symptoms to some extent, and to be honest, they typically just make you more anxious anyways. Talk about a serious case of the stressed out. If you’re finding that your google search ‘How to build on a slope 101’, is offering more problems than solutions, why not call the design doctors instead? They can save you from your fears and frustrations and get you one day closer to sitting in your dream kitchen. Only they can really dig into your design ideas and create your dream home on the slope.

Previous projects = Evidence

Another quick way to work out who’s best for the job – check out their previous work. There you can see for yourself first hand, the finale of a job well done. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for references, to speak with past clients or people within the industry. You don’t hire Joe-blow without checking his credentials, so why wouldn’t you treat your dream home with the same precision? We have proudly been working far and wide across south east Queensland for over 20 years, building houses that last a lifetime, and we’ve got the happy customers to prove it.

We understand your building needs

Designing and building your dream home is a massive financial commitment and that’s why we strive to make it as enjoyable as possible. We’re small enough to listen and ‘big enough to deliver’ and that’s why we lead with “Build each home as if it was your own”.

We are a local builder, specialising in custom home builds, narrow block home designs, sloping block builds, and two storey houses. You can find us on the Sunshine Coast, making dreams come true across the Somerset region, Moreton Bay region, Brisbane and Gold Coast.

Where to from here?

Once you’ve sat with the experts, a site evaluation will be conducted so we can really get a lay of the land.

Site Evaluation

First things first, evaluate the block. A site evaluation is the most critical step that needs to be taken before any plans are drawn up. Ideally, you’d have contracted a slope expert before purchasing the land, as we can offer insight into any construction and excavation needs, as well as any additional costs to build, design and materials.  

Site Preparation and Foundations

From a site evaluation, we can understand the land and what needs to occur in order to get the job started. Most slopes, regardless of the builders expertise, will require some work. The basics, cut and fill, are found on most ordinary sites but some sites will require more. From a site eval, you’ll now know whether some of the following are required.

  • Extensive drainage works
  • Retaining walls
  • Blast or drill through rock (although most builders will find a way to work around or prevent major excavations like these.)
  • Drainage and erosion control measures

Like anything in life, the foundation is key. Depending on the site, your home may need stumps or piers to support the structure. If you’re striving for a home on level ground, you may need your foundations driven deeper into the ground for that additional support. While this may all seem overwhelming, if you place your dreams in the capable hands of a trusted builder, they can excavate that stress away.

Surrounding Environment

While a good chunk of Australia is flat, some of the most breath-taking locations are hillside, mountain tops or nestled amongst the beautiful hinterland treetops. Regardless of where you’d like to plant your roots, it’s important to consider the surrounding environment as a factor in the design of your abode, as it will play a part in the

  • Design and layout
  • Access to site
  • Type of soil
  • Amount of rainfall
  • Drainage and erosion issues

Contact Us

Regardless of whether you’re just researching, on the hunt for some help, or ready to build, please feel free to contact us on (07) 5496 1477 to chat about any of your concerns or queries.

We pride ourselves on honesty, transparency and working with our clients to give them the best experience while creating their unique dream home. For more on our past projects head over to the website at