Down Slope House Plans—How to Make Them Work

June 20, 2022
Home Rental Downsizing in Adelaide

Hillside residences by their very nature require down slope house plans and are challenging to build. The construction of these dwellings, due to their design, is also costlier compared with houses on flat ground.

The extra cost and special attention associated with elevated home designs are surely worth it though. Houses built on the high ground provide several benefits, especially if their elevated home designs are masterfully rendered.

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Advantages of slope house plans

down slope house plans
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The advantages that steep slope house plans offer include the following:

  • Overlooking views. The elevated location of the residences can provide stunning views of its surroundings. This is especially so if your property is located near a beach, a lake, or a mountain range.    
  • Potential power cost saving. Elevated house designs can easily incorporate the comforts of superb ventilation. This means less use of air-conditioning and fans, resulting in the household’s reduced power consumption.
  • Natural lighting. Even with a small slope house design, the layout can allow abundant natural lighting. This oft-wanted home feature can likewise result in energy efficiency in a household.
  • Flood avoidance. Firstly, a property’s hillside location is on elevated grounds safe from flooding. Elevated home designs, moreover, can readily adopt natural drainage to protect the property against flooding.
  • Creative landscaping options. A hillside property offers the opportunity to create impressive multi-level landscaping. You can include secluded decks in the design to enjoy better privacy.
  • Upkeep and upgrades convenience. Maintenance and modifications of residences with elevated house designs are relatively easier. A home’s raised floor, for example, makes changes in plumbing and wiring less complicated. 

Choose the right builder

Building on a hillside, however, is no joke, especially if it involves down slope house plans. This project departs markedly from a simple house design and requires an innovative and creative mindset.

Hence from the start, you have to pick a builder highly qualified for this task. Your ideal choice, of course, would be a custom home builder expert on house design on hill slopes.

You can opt for a volume home builder, provided it has proven expertise in site analysis. This capability is crucial, as it will identify potential issues on the following elements of a sloping block:

  • Natural contour and views of the neighbourhood
  • Hillside hazards, such as landslides, erosion, or slippage
  • Drainage and stormwater corridors
  • Impact of vegetation and weather patterns, including shifting wind directions 
  • Local building codes on hillside locations
  • Safety and convenience in the access to the hillside home
  • Retaining walls in Australia are a popular option to hold the mass of earth in place

All these considerations have to be factored in as you finalise a pick from among the various options on elevated home designs. Besides being perfectly rendered for a hillside block, your choice, of course, needs to match your lifestyle.

Split-level designs

The architectural features of split-level home designs generally suit sloping blocks. Multi-level renditions of down slope house plans can integrate seamlessly into an elevated location. 

This layered setup allows a creative approach for incorporating all the rooms and spaces that you need. The exterior of a split-level residence also forms a delightful template for gorgeous landscaping which adds character and charm to the home.

You can also consider exterior features like terraced concrete walkways. These structures will create a cascading transition zone flowing into the greeneries of your landscaping.

An elevated patio is another charming addition to go for. With it, you can create alternating strips of concrete and grass, allowing a merger of natural and built-up environments. 

Use of glass in down slope house plans

For a house design on hill slopes to work the way you want to, expect to use a lot of glass. Combined with soaring ceilings, expansive glass windows will bring the outside in which results in a gorgeous view of the hillside environment. 

Besides capturing the vistas of an elevated locale, the generous use of glass in a multi-level design provides the home’s interiors with ample natural light.  This will help keep the living areas cosy, warm, and connected to its natural setting.

The correct orientation of the residence is another important consideration when implementing down slope house plans. The house has to be oriented so that adequate protection from the elements is extended to the structure.  

Many builders prefer using light-coloured exterior materials for elevated house designs.  This colour scheme makes the house stand out against the landscape and can readily adapt to seasonal changes.

Alpine-style house

If you want a house design on hill slopes that has come out as an architectural classic, go for the alpine-style chalet. This home rendition is common in Australian ski mountain resorts.

Typically, this design comes in bold structures featuring angular lines and large windows. The chalet vibes in this home rendition also manifest in its timber materials and soft interior schemes that leave a feeling of sturdiness and warmth.

Treehouse concept 

down slope house plans

Explore the possibility of a treehouse-inspired small slope house design. This approach need not be fixed on an actual living tree at all.

Many pseudo treehouses have been built on elevated sites around Australia. Traditional timber posts or similar materials can also be used to support these houses. 

For the construction of a treehouse, you will need not only the services of a builder and designer. Consultation with an arborist, a structural engineer, and a Geotech engineer are also needed.

Building a treehouse is ideal in a limited hillside space, as this design has a very small ground footprint. Often built propped up on timber or steel stilts, a treehouse can incorporate funky designs like wooden walkways to connect its rooms. 

Raised deck home construction

Another common type of house design on hill slopes comes in a raised deck. The foundation of this home puts its main floor above grade level.

 As the deck needs to be elevated, it requires railings for safety. For backyard access, stairs have to be built as well.

Building a deck as a solution for down slope house plans creates stunning looks for a residence. This construction mode also helps make a residence look larger.

Lot space permitting, decks can be built over multiple levels. The multi-decks of a house design on hill slopes thus offer an impressive array of platforms to enjoy elevated views.

down slope house plans
Image credit: Archdaily

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