Design Advice

What Is A Split Level Home?

You may have heard that sloping blocks are difficult to build on, take more time, and cost more money. While sloping blocks can throw up extra challenges, don’t let that deter you. With a split level home, you can make the most of the gradient of your land to create a unique and stylish property. But first, what is a split level home?

Split level vs multi-storey: what’s the difference?

Split level homes are specifically designed for sloping blocks. They are built into the natural angle of the land to work with the landscape, rather than against it. Typically, they have staggered floor levels, short sets of stairs and up to four separate levels. With tri-level homes, the middle level is traditionally used for open-plan living areas, with bedrooms located upstairs and the downstairs reserved for a spare bedroom or additional living area. In contrast, a multi-storey home comprises two or more levels built directly on top of each other.

Give it to me straight: what do I need to know about split level?

Sloping blocks present their own challenges, which you’ll need to factor in during the building process:

    • Your builder will need to undertake an extensive site survey, paying special attention to drainage and soil stability. Site costs need to be factored into your budget.
    • Structural design is particularly important for sloping blocks.
    • Steep blocks will usually require major excavation to create a level slab, and retaining walls may be required.
    • Multiple stairs aren’t suitable for everyone: those who are unsteady on their feet would do better in a one-story home.

So is it worth it?

Despite these challenges, split level homes bring many advantages:

    • The separation of living and sleeping areas brings an element of privacy. You can create distinct zones for work, rest, play and meal times.
    • They maximise natural light and ventilation and offer abundant views.
    • By working with the natural contours of the land, the home fits harmoniously into its surrounding landscape.
    • Each home is tailored to the slope and size of the block, resulting in a unique yet practical design.
    • They offer plenty of space. By building vertically rather than horizontally, you can make the most of your land size.

In short, the end result is well worth it: you’ll have an elegant home that flows seamlessly into nature and makes the most of its aspect and views.

A Final Word

At G.J. Gardner Homes, we have home designs that are tailored to suit steep or sloping blocks. Be inspired by our Element Home Series or chat to our friendly team to talk through your options.