Building a new modular home is exciting. It's a golden opportunity to design your dream house in the perfect locale, and really there is nothing like that new home feeling. Here at Ecoliv, we love helping you plan your new home, and a common question we are often asked is how to find the best site for an Ecoliv modular home and what to look for before you sign a contract.
You have found your dream site...but it's on a slope. Family & friends zealously debate the pitfalls and additional costs associated with building on a sloping site!
Here at Ecoliv we revel in the challenge to design, construct and deliver your dream home on your dream sloping site. On time and on budget.
Our industry experience and design acumen put us in good stead to inform you of the constraints and additional costs to be considered before committing to your purchase (and have you well versed to confidently report back to wary family & friends.)
Understanding that knowledge is power, we've outlined the key elements for you to investigate and analyse before your land purchase, and why good research is so important to streamline your build process.
Whilst these key elements apply to all land purchases we are focusing on the frequently asked question:
Do you build on sloping sites?
Let's get started...
A sloping site is a block of land with uneven levels of elevation, resulting in a slope from one end of the block to the other. Generally, a rise or fall of three metres or less across the building area is manageable for most builders. Anything greater than that and building costs start to increase significantly.
Yes. We can design a footing system to suit all sites, whether it's sloping bushland, a steep suburban block or a cliff top beach property. Custom footing systems for single or multiple level configurations on sloping sites can be designed specifically to suit the gradient in the site. During the Preliminary design stage our building designers assess the property orientation, site contours, and soil type to create a module configuration that is both energy efficient and suited to your location.
A site specific engineered stump/footing system will be designed to suit the site and design requirements of the module configuration. This is ascertained after a soil test and land survey is completed and positioning of the module on site during the preliminary design stage.
Yes. Because of the nature of building on a sloping site, the costs are going to be higher. Although initially, a sloping block of land can be cheaper to buy than a flat block. However, when you add your additional construction and site costs into the mix, the price of building does increase. When working out costs, it is also helpful to remember that you only need to consider the slope of the area of the block that you are intending to build on, not the entire block of land.
In general a slope with an incline less than 2 metres of fall is easier to build on, whilst a slope more than 2 metres requires the skill of an experienced building designer in order to keep costs within reach. Typically, if your site has over a 2m fall, building on a sloping site will add an additional cost of approximately $20,000 – $50,000 compared to a flat block.
There is considerable design work, selection of external materials, engagement of specialist service providers and reports required to establish known parameters to enable an accurate estimation. A confirmed construction cost can be provided when the design, internal and external materials are selected and engineering is complete.
One of the most vital aspects for a building to be delivered on a sloping site is access. For challenging sloping sites with limited access, Ecoliv deliver modules to site via truck and crane lift each module onto pre-prepared stumps/footings. Crane lifting modules require steel to be included in the construction, which enables the crane to attach and lift each module. Our engineers design the steel component to suit your design and delivery needs. As each site is different, a full site assessment is undertaken to ensure smooth coordination and delivery of your modules. In some cases, additional services may be required, such as power line works, traffic management and council permits.
A benefit of building with modular homes for sloping sites is that an engineered footing system is installed prior to module delivery which minimises site impact and neighbourhood disturbance making the installation process quick and easy.
Ecoliv Building modules can be designed to suit any climate in Australia. Each module configuration will be designed to harness the site specific features of each site. So if you are in a tropical climate materials and design will focus on ensuring the home is cyclone compliant and has the ability to facilitate cross flow ventilation and shading. Homes within an alpine region will require maximum insulation to ensure thermal comfort. Careful consideration is given if you are planning to live in an area prone to natural disaster or sever weather, such as wind exposure, heavy rainfall, risk of flooding and erosion, or is the area at risk of bush fires in which case construction methods need to comply with the BAL rating (Bushfire Attack Level).
Designed correctly, the slope also means that drainage can occur naturally. If this is not possible then other drainage options need to be considered also adding to the building cost. For example stormwater pits, tanks, drainage corridors.
An upward slope site, can be more expensive to build on than a downward slope because they tend to require more cut and fill.
The process of leveling out the land by cutting away some of the earth on the high side and moving it to the low side. The house can be designed as though it were on a level surface to avoid the need for elevated stumps.
If you require the cut and fill method, it is likely that you will need to construct retaining walls to retain soil and reduce erosion.
Don't let a sloping site deter you.
Contact us to discuss the viability of constructing and delivering an Ecoliv modular home to your dream location.