Building on challenging blocks

Building on challenging blocks

As more and more people realise just how great it is to call the Gold Coast home, developers are revisiting locations previously considered too expensive to develop. Some of these locations could be termed ‘challenging’ but with the challenge there also comes opportunity!


What is a challenging lot?

There are many factors that can make a block potentially challenging to build on. The main challenging lot types that we’ll consider here are:

“Some larger project builders won’t even look at sloping sites – they simply don’t want to think that hard, and that’s fine too, These sites definitely do require more careful thought – from both builders and buyers”

Stroud Homes Gold Coast South Salesperson Chris Chan.

But here’s the payoff: for the right buyer, challenging sites will result in stunning homes that truly reflect your personality and adds to how you and your family live.

Building On A Sloping Block

Challenge 1 – Sloping Blocks

Your perfect location on the Gold Coast and surrounding hinterland may involve building on a sloping block. Building a suitable home on a sloping block requires a higher level of design to ensure your home is suitable for the land contour.

To reduce the amount of excavation and retaining walls required to build your dream home, our experts can work with the unique slope of the block and design a home that works well that that slope.

Ask us about working on challenging lots

Stroud Homes Gold Coast South are expert in designing new homes to suit challenging lots

Three Types of Design Suited to Sloping Blocks

There are 3 main home designs that suit a sloping site.

Basic Stepped Design

A basic stepped design generally consists of two levels and is suitable for sloping sites with a maximum of up to 2 metres fall over the building envelope. The Stroud Homes Miami design is an example of this basic stepped design. Whether it be a step up from the front or a step down towards the back, the split-level adds architectural interest to your home.

Multi-Stepped Design

The multi-stepped design is similar to the basic stepped design but can contain two or more steps within the plan. This design is suitable for a site with a 2–2.5 meter of fall over the building envelope. Usually suited to a larger home design, the end product is a truly unique home.

Split Level Design

A split level design consists of 2 separate levels. With a single storey at the front of the home and a double story at the rear – or vice versa. For sites with over 3 meters of fall in the building envelope, this is the perfect design option. See our Split-level designs page for more information about this type of home.

Challenge 2 – Narrow Lots

Narrow lots are are an increasingly common proposition as more and more Gold Coast residents compete for the most desirable areas to build. You need a builder who is expert in building in these tight spaces and can draw on a portfolio of designs that are well suited to narrow and zero boundary applications. Based on these plans, customers can request modifications to best suit their lifestyle.

Smaller blocks mean less garden and lower maintenance for outdoor areas and can offer a great lifestyle choice for some. Builders and designers can create solutions for most lot types but consideration should be given to the impact on home design for narrow or shallow blocks.

This can lead to potential challenges with setbacks, site access and site coverage which can be compounded if the site slopes in any way.

Zero boundary lots

As the name suggests zero boundary lots allow one or both of the building walls to be built up to the boundary line but often with a small clearance allowed for gutters and eaves.

Stroud Homes Gold Coast has a range of great family homes that are specifically designed to work with narrow lots.


Challenge 3 – Irregular shaped blocks

While the majority of lots in new estates are a standard rectangular shape, irregulalry shaped blocks do come up, especially in more established neighbourhoods. Often they may require a knock down rebuild project where a new modern dwelling can be designed and built to make the most of the land available.

Irregular blocks with narrow frontages usually present the greatest challenges. Council requirements for setbacks may present additional constraints in terms of the type of house you can comfortably build on an irregular lot.

Irregular lots presernt great opportunities for innovative outdoor areas and detached buildings such as granny flats, outdoor entertaining areas, pools or sheds.

Does your builder have experience building on challenging lots?

All of these challenges can be overcome with clever designs and a team of experienced builders and sales consultants who can offer advice and solutions for the most difficult sites.

The more challenging a block the more sense it makes to use a trusted and experienced builder.

Be sure to come in and make use of the experience and insights the team at Stroud Homes Gold Coast can offer before you make the final purchasing decision.

Your Local Builders
Martin Smith
Martin Smith

Talk to the experts in building on challenging blocks

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