Building A New House
Dec 07, 2011 4:21 pm
This is a thread begging everyone to be brutally honest in order to help me and my partner formulate the perfect floor plan for our sloped block! We began our search with a bulk builder, Big M, who did a sitting on the house we had fallen in love with. Unfortunately, as you can imagine, their solution included a lot of cut and even more so of fill...
So the journey continued. We have spoken with a few smaller builders who state they specialise in sloped blocks, in order to get their thoughts... To be honest, I'm not happy with any of their suggestions. I have attached them below, along with some of my own opinions on them, but i'm hoping as a large group we can together pick them apart, throw around suggestions, and hopefully we can come up with something we may actually build!!!
So lets get started...
Firstly, below is the sitting which shows our awkward shaped block, with levels at certain points. At the front, from East (D) to West (C) we have a small slope of 0.99m. At the next points, (A) to (B) we have a slope of 3.28m. On this particular sitting, there was 2.61m slope across the building envelope.
The plan we originally wanted to build, was as below:
Two story design, with some modifications as you can see by the grey sections. Addition of dining & alfresco, porch in lieu of study, garage extension, rearrange the ensuite, etc. This is the first (and last) plan we have both looked at and said, Yep, we'll build that. Since then, we have agreed to disagree... lol
We then went to one builder who we particularly like, and asked if they could help us formulate the above plans, into a split level that would work on our block. See below.
The main thing we disliked about this plan was that as soon as you walk in the front door, there is a huge set of stairs, and two doors. Nothing else. A little daunting IMO. We like to stand at the front door and see to the rear of the house, clearly not possible with this house plan... This was the biggest deal breaker.
This version is take two, to include things we really wanted (such as a cat porch which I want to enclose as an outdoor area for my cats - we back on to bushland and i dont want them wandering off, or being eaten by wildlife).. but im not sure on the location, as it means you cant get out of the laundry via that door to hang washing out, without opening the porch area and letting them out - which is the whole point of building it, so they DONT get out.
& last but not least, these are the plans that were drawn for the block for the previous owners... they moved interstate, so sold the block with all existing plans. Main thing with this was it was set back at 26m, when the neighbours (in comparison) sit at 9m & 13m.
A few things we'd change on this are;
- make the "games" room a closed off theatre room
- make the old theatre room, a "kids retreat/study" area
- rearrange the kitchen - not sure I like the angled look, although it does make use of the strange block shape to look out on.
- some how incorporate an area we can use as a small porch (for the enclosed cat area, as discussed above).
Overall I like the design, however I dont think it would work if we brought it forward on the block where the main slope is, and my partner is not too keen on it either - still trying to find out why, which is a task in itself.
Ideally, we would have loved to build the two story design. On the sloped block, this doesnt look like it will work. I threw the suggestion of making the bottom floor split level (3 layers, using high ceilings so the top floor remained level) but the price came back in way over budget - just as we expected I guess.
If anyone has any recommendations, suggestions, anything really, i'd love to hear it. We're at the point where we simply do not know where to go next with this journey, and its starting to get somewhat tiresome. I'm also trying to avoid harrassing the builders too much with my trivial questions...
Looking forward to seeing what others think.
Re: Sloped block build - Opinions required on some floor pla2
Dec 07, 2011 6:02 pm
We have built on a slopping block which slopped about 6m down from the street, the best thing to do is forget all the traditional designs they dont work, work with the slope not against it, look at using light weight materials, also look at building some of the house on stumps, instead of cutting into the land the more you cut in the more you have to retain and that where the dollars start adding up. Our home we have the garage, main living & master bed at road level and the kids bedrooms and rumpus on a lower level, the house looks single story from the front and double with the back.
We have just finished landscaping and even with our slope we have not had to put in any extra retaining walls in the yard.
It will take a little effort but it is worth it as you will end up with an individual home.
I will see if I can dig up some old links for ideas.
Re: Sloped block build - Opinions required on some floor pla3
Dec 07, 2011 6:22 pm
http://atkinsonconstructions.net- has some good construction photos
http://www.indigohomes.com.au - have some floor plans
Re: Sloped block build - Opinions required on some floor pla4
Dec 09, 2011 7:18 pm
Thanks Lou for your feedback! It is greatly appreciated...
We are trying desperately to work with the block, but the builders have not been very helpful to date. I have been exploring split level options, just for ideas, and found the following two designs... waiting for the builder to send me his list of measurements so i have a better idea of the slope at different aspects of the block, so that I can see if either of them would work.
There is one that steps up from side to side -
& another which steps up the block to the rear - http://i1179.photobucket.com/albums/x391/j0anne04/up.jpg
Our block has a side to side slope as well as a slope upwards from the front, so finding it hard to visualise if either of these would work, or what we could do to make it work. Perhaps incorporating both designs into one so that it has some steps up to the rear of the home, as well as a side step to help battle both slopes at once. Again, feedback appreciated...
Lou, the one downside I have is that our lowest point is at the front - wishing we had purchased a block with a rear slope now as your design looks fantastic!
Re: Sloped block build - Opinions required on some floor pla5
Dec 09, 2011 9:51 pm
Have you checked out Cavelier Homes? http://www.cavalierhomes.com.au/
I don't know if they build in your area, but I know they have some designs for sloping blocks as they have built a number of homes on sloping sites around our local area ( Warrnambool).
Re: Sloped block build - Opinions required on some floor pla6
Dec 09, 2011 10:06 pm
Deemaree, Pretty sure they do build in my area actually !! Thanks, ill have a look.
Re: Sloped block build - Opinions required on some floor pla7
Dec 09, 2011 10:09 pm
I don't know what their prices are like, but give them a call and tell them what you're after-they may have some ideas! Good luck!
Re: Sloped block build - Opinions required on some floor pla8
Dec 09, 2011 10:12 pm
Thanks - I've just sent an email off for a sales rep to contact me as they don't have any split level or sloped block designs online, but it wont hurt to ask the question!
Re: Sloped block build - Opinions required on some floor pla9
Dec 09, 2011 10:15 pm
There is a particular estate here with sloping blocks which they specialised building a number of the houses for-so hopefully they can help!
Re: Sloped block build - Opinions required on some floor pla10
Dec 12, 2011 9:55 pm
So we got a copy of our contour map for the block to give us a better understanding of the slope...
Re: Sloped block build - Opinions required on some floor pla11
Dec 17, 2011 1:37 am
So an update to anyone reading, we have sat down with the builder, and are exploring the options for this floor plan with some modifications... just waiting for him to put together a sketch and get back to me over the weekend.
We are hopeful it all works out and we can get started on the next steps soon... but fingers crossed. We met one of our neighbours at the block the other day, and he was lovely. It has me rather eager to get started (more so, finished) so we can move in to our very own house.. and then the real fun begins!
Re: Sloped block build - Opinions required on some floor pla13
Dec 22, 2011 12:52 pm
So the latest plan (the side to side version) is the one we are going with.... we have til January when the builder returns, to think of any changes we would make! I am going to look at the "things you forget" thread, but does anyone have any suggestions???
Re: Sloped block build - Opinions required on some floor pla14
Jan 03, 2012 5:50 pm
Great design, all i would do is change the location of the door in the upstair bathroom so it does not face the sitting area.
Re: Sloped block build - Opinions required on some floor pla15
Jan 03, 2012 10:06 pm
great plans! Is this latest plan still Big M??? It doesn't look like one of theirs?
anyways, The only thing that worries me is the size of the living area upstairs. It looks a bit small, almost unusable for anything but a desk. Might want to be careful with that.
Otherwise looks great!
A thankful person is a happy person.
[/color]My hobby design blog: http://aviewondesign.blogspot.com/
Re: Sloped block build - Opinions required on some floor pla16
Jan 03, 2012 10:08 pm
No longer a Big M design, no.
Upstairs is mostly as an open space... A bookshelf, kids play area - dolls house, train set, bean bag etc. mostly just to open up that top floor. We've made some changes actually - ill post the revised plans shortly! I am Pretty happy with it so far..
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