9 April 2020

Is Building a Split-Level Home Worth It?

With the help of a designer, you can build a bespoke split-level home that accommodates all the design features you require and makes the most of the natural features of the land.
3 Tips for Building Split Level Homes on a Sloping Block in Perth

Building a split-level home in Australia became popular in the 1970s. Today, it is still one of the top design choices of homeowners who want to build homes in established suburbs with hilly terrains. 

So, is building a split-level home worth it? Our answer is YES, given that you are working with skilled design and construction professionals throughout the process. 

With the help of an designer, you can build a bespoke split-level home that accommodates all the design features you require and makes the most of the natural features of the land. Our designers are specialists; they won’t provide you with cookie cutter designs. They will offer you design solutions that are well-thought of. Above all, they will try to streamline the building process for you, so you won’t feel stressed from the amount of work involved. 

Working with an designer made easy

One of the challenges of working with an designer is understanding the jargon or terms they use. To help you out, here are some of the terminologies you might hear when you during the planning process:

  • stepped design has a single step down somewhere in the house, to accommodate for a fall of around two meters across the length of the house
  • A multi-stepped design has a number of steps down in the house, to accommodate larger falls. This is ideal when the fall does not exceed three meters across the length of the house. This is generally the best option if you are after a larger home design.
  • Split level design has multiple stories at a certain part of the home. There may be a single story at the front of the home, going to a double story at the back. The reverse can also be true when building a home with the access at the lower side of the slope.
  • Meanwhile, in a conventional design, the earthworks are conducted to make a cutting and create a large flat area for your new home by cutting into the bank and filling in the slope. This is quite often not the ideal solution, as it can lead to steep driveways, loss of views and high excavation costs, with retaining walls required at the rear of the house.

Building a split-level home vs multi-storey home

A lot of homeowners also ask us about the difference between building a split-level home and a multi-storey home. 

These two are very different from each other. 

Split-level homes are designed for sloping blocks, built into the natural landscape (not against it). It features staggered floor levels, short sets of stairs that give access to every floor of the house.

On the contrary, multi-storey homes comprise of two or more levels built on top of each other. This type of structure is challenging and expensive to build in a sloping lot.

Challenges of building a split-level home and the best solution

Building on a sloping block presents a different set of challenges which you need to factor in during the design and construction process. Hiring a designer gives you an advantage because you have a professional guiding you in every step of the way.

When you work with a Superdraft designer, you will experience a more streamlined design and construction process. We will explain the next steps you will take and help you organise all the consultants (e.g. land surveyors, engineers, thermal performance assessors) and builders you will need for your project. 

3 Tips for Building Split Level Homes on a Sloping Block in Perth

Is it worth it?

Despite the challenges, building a split-level home brings many advantages. 

With the help of a skilled designer, you can create well-zoned areas inside your house. Private spaces are separated from entertainment areas. You can enjoy distinct areas for work, rest, play, entertainment, sleep, cooking and eating. 

With the help of a skilled designer, you can maximise natural light and ventilation and offer abundant views. Your home is integrated with your surroundings. 

More than anything, we can help you design to your budget. We can tailor your home design to the natural slope and contours of the land. We aim to produce designs that won’t require major excavations and many retaining walls, to cut construction costs. 

And, by building vertically rather than horizontally, we can help you make the most of your land’s size.

As designers, our goal is to give you a home with unique and practical designs; with plenty of space for you and your family to enjoy. In the end, it will be well worth it. 

Start by chatting with our friendly team via email, so we can talk through your options.


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