Split Level Homes on Sloping Blocks

Custom-built downward sloping block house designs for Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast

Sloping Blocks
“We spent several years searching for a builder for our block of land. We did despair and gave up, then in one last effort we briefed Civic Steel Homes. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with the whole team and I am pleased to say that our design exceeded our expectations.”

Christian & Michelle, Reedy Creek

Sloping Block Home Designs

After 20 years of working on challenging sloping blocks, we’ve learnt one thing – it’s NOT EASY!

Each site is different potentially needs retaining walls, piering, suspended flooring, sub-floor bracing, and multi-storey scaffolding. All these issues need to be managed well to give you value for money and the best home design possible. What can you do to make this process easier? So, work with an architect and builder who lives and breathes this kind of complex project.

All of this begins with meeting you on site – you will gain valuable insights into our thinking, the constraints and the possibilities on your land. Your sloping block home designs shouldn’t have to be a headache.

Innovative house designs for sloping blocks

Our experienced Architect-Builder can think laterally and develop innovative ways to achieve the most from your land – capturing prevailing breezes, making the most of the fantastic views and siting the house in the most comfortable and cost-effective way.

Our Top 5 Tips for Building on a Sloping Site

1. Work with the Slope

A design that runs with, or alongside, the contours will keep the fall across the house to a minimum, this means less retaining walls, less scaffolding and less site costs.

If that means you’re facing west or south, you might need some creativity to bring the winter sun in but designing with the contours of your land can save you BIG dollars in engineering costs.

2. Know Your Height Limits

Did you know – the height limit on your land is NOT set above the current slope of your site, but above the Natural Ground Level when the site was subdivided. You’ll need what’s called a ‘Natural Ground Level Survey’ if you’re pushing close to the height limit. Dreams of the third level balcony can be dashed by this overriding rule, so we’ll check these levels with you early on.

3. What’s Below the Surface.

Every site needs a soil test, but a steep block of land means you’re likely to hit rock as you cut into the site. We want to know how deep it is and how hard it’s going to be to cut through.

A soil test will also give us an idea of excavation & piering costs – not exciting home-design stuff – but factoring these issues in from day one will mean that more of your money is left for the fun design of your home!

4. Check the Wind Rating

If you’re at the top of an escarpment, on an exposed ridge, or high on the edge of the Brisbane River, you’ll be subject to a high wind rating and we’ll need to engineer against uplift and provide more bracing to your framework. It’s just one more thing that our team will help you to factor in early.

5. Get Advice Before You Buy

We’ve seen lots of people buy an exciting sloping site and be taken in by ‘fantastic’ views, only to find that BIG dollars are going to pour into the site costs. We are happy to meet on site to discuss your project BEFORE you make an offer to buy your land.


We’re online 8:00am – 4:00pm, Monday-Friday

Get our in-house Architect’s advice


Our years of experience in building on sloping sites will save you time and money. While being aware of the obstacles, we see the design opportunities. We can quickly assess and advise you on site costs, suggest effective solutions, and keep control of your project budget.

If you’re looking for land in Brisbane, the Sunshine or Gold Coast and need advice OR if you already have a sloping site, ready to build on – why not take advantage of our FREE site meeting.
Simply call our Project Manager to arrange a time to meet on site with our in-house Architect, who is ALSO our Licensed Builder, and we’ll give you our best advice on where to begin.

Before we even begin to put pencil to paper, our in-house Architect and
your Project Manager will conduct a free onsite consultation
to discuss crucial aspects with you such as:


Slope Direction

Whether your land rises up from the road, falls away from the road, or slopes across the block – it is critical to explore the best levels for cars and living areas early on. This must be done with an accurate site survey so that your home sits comfortably on the site and the site costs are controlled.


No matter where your best views are, we also want to focus your design around the northern aspect and give you the most liveable home for our climate. This will be critical to the initial design ideas for your home.


Soil Type

Many steep blocks have minimal soil and a solid rock base; naturally we’d like to avoid expensive and unnecessary excavation. Knowing what is happening below the surface will effect the levels we build to and the cost of retaining walls and engineering.



The life-long costs of your home can be kept to a minimum by paying attention to cooling and heating requirements, water savings, site sensitive planning, ventilation, drainage, insulation and much more. Get our Free Whitepaper on our 10 Tips for Energy Efficient Design HERE


Number of Levels

Your slope will determine if we look at split level options or two or three storey solutions. These will all have different costs depending on the amount of bracing, scaffolding and retaining required. We assess these options and their costs to develop a design that gives you the best value and the best solution for your needs.


The Big Picture

We look at more than just the floor plan. We’ll masterplan the whole site – access around the site, drainage, pool layout, driveway, terracing for landscaping – We look at the finished project as a whole and how it will work for you into the future.



Additional costs involved in sloping block designs

Building on a steep block has its advantages, in that you’ll end up with a unique home with often brilliant views, however it can come at an increased build cost due to things such as:

Having assessed these costs early in the process, taking on a sloping block design is simply a matter of thinking smarter and using our 20+ years of experience to know how to turn perceived negatives into inspired positives.

If you have a sloping block or difficult site call Civic Steel Homes today on 3714 5900 We love a good challenge!

Sloping Blocks Home Gallery