What to Think about When Building on a Sloping Block

When building on a sloping block, sometimes it doesn’t even have to be a very steep slope there are issues that come up in how your site will work and function. We have had several projects lately that we have discussed these same issues with our clients so we thought we would talk about them in this week’s blog post. These will hopefully help you if you are building on a slope.

1) Access

You need to consider where a building is positioned on your site this is both vertically at what height the building is set at and also horizontally as to where the building is on the block. Because this can impact the two types of access that you need to think about pedestrian and vehicular.

If you or anyone else finds it very difficult to get into the building this can cause all sorts of problems. Access to the front is one issue. Access to the rear or side of the property also needs to be thought through. We have had several situations where side access which is required is very difficult or not able to occur because of the way the building was positioned on the site. This could have been avoided with a little more thought to this early on. So make sure you are thinking about all types of access around the building during the design phase.

2) Erosion

Erosion is normally caused by water running across the ground where it removes soil. It can occur quickly on slopes, particularly in subtropical and tropical areas where we get a lot of rain and can lead to unstable and unusable areas. This is something you want to avoid and therefore, how water is going to move across your site is important when planning your property.  This also ties into retaining land across a sloped site. It is important to consider as this can impact how the water moves across your property. You have to allow water to move across your property. We recently talked more about overland flow in one of our recent blog posts if you want more information.

The key point here is to make sure you know how water moves across your land so you can deal with it and avoid erosion issues.

3) Creating Usable Functional Spaces

Slopes can create some amazing opportunities to allow for different types of spaces. Sometimes it is more difficult to design on flat land rather than hilly or sloped. However, the key to designing on sloped blocks is to ensure that the spaces that you create are appropriate for the function you want them for. For example, if you need a location to part cars or somewhere for entertaining each requires a certain amount of space. One large area might be more effective than lots of small areas. But the key is to know what you would like out of the outdoor space to create a good environment.

4) Maintenance

Everyone seems to forget about maintenance. Lifting a lawnmower up and down 2 sets of stairs each week to mow the front and back lawn is not a great experience. This goes for lugging mulch around when you need to re-mulch your garden. It is not always going to be easy on a sloped block. However, there are ways to make it much more convenient and less trouble. A little thought upfront can save a lot of pain later.

So if you are at the stage where you are designing your place and your block is not flat. Just think through these points and hopefully, we can save you some of the issues in the future. We are also happy to help our clients avoid these issues on sloped or difficult blocks. We offer our initial consultation service where we can review drawings and talk through some of these issues that may arise on sloped blocks. Feel free to call us today to discuss.

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