The evolution of split level homes
Believed to have been originally derived from the ranch (and by extension horizontal Prairie homes) split level homes were created to divide public and private spaces through the use of short, half levels.
Split level homes first gained popularity in the 1950s and hit a popularity peak in the 1970s as a result of the classic sitcom The Brady Bunch. Of late Australia has seen a resurgence in this style, mostly due to the type of land readily available for purchase.
Versatility at its finest
Split level homes allow you to create multiple private areas in one home, and keep different areas separate. Providing you choose the right design, they also ensure that you utilise your property’s natural features, such as the view and landscape. Working with the features of your land means you can minimise costs, and take advantage of why you bought the land in the first place.
Choosing the right design
Before building on a split level block, buyers must understand what goes into designing and building on a slope. Many people buy sloping sites without understanding the complexity of building on a slope compared to a standard flat piece of land, leading to more challenges during construction. While many buyers have some previous ideas of how they would like the house to look or function, any alterations to a design must always work with the site. This ensures that the build is cost-effective and makes the most of the existing landscape.
Choosing a design that marries the land and the home will ensure a better building experience and result. Ultimately, designing a house around a site’s slope often means that the buyers end up with a much nicer place that is more sustainable, more functional to live in, and more cost-effective to build. Buyers will have to collaborate with builders to ensure that the split level home design that they have chosen works well with the slope of the land.
Partial Split Homes are designed with one or more small splits, that step with the slope of the site, reducing the need for extra site works including retaining walls that would otherwise be required to flatten the site to build a level home. With a small set of stairs between levels, a split can in some cases provide a more open feel, with higher ceilings ideally for living areas, depending on the slope direction on the site.
Half Split Homes are designed to suit moderate sloping sites requiring half a flight of stairs between floor levels. Configurations include at least three-floor levels, on sites that slope down, up or across the site, producing a two-storey portion to the front, rear or side of the home. These types of split level homes provide good separation of private and living areas with the ability to provide specific zones for each floor level.
Full Split Homes are designed for steep sites requiring a full set of stairs between floor levels producing at least two-floor levels. This results in a two-storey front, rear or side building structure. Ideally, these homes place the main living spaces on the upper floor levels to take advantage of views achieved by elevated living, with lower levels designated for entry, garage or additional bedroom, kids and guest spaces.
Split Level Home Designs
Here at G.J. Gardner Homes, we have created a range of split level home designs to suit different types of slopes. We understand that choosing a home design that works with sloping blocks is critical to ensuring a cost-effective and smooth building experience. Our split level home designs have been created to utilise the positive natural features of the site, like any views, solar aspects and landscape. By working with the site’s natural features, we minimise the site costs and take maximum advantage of the site and its features. We have carefully crafted our split level home designs around a site’s slope to ensure that our home builders end up with a much nicer place that is more sustainable, more functional to live in, and more cost-effective to build
If you are looking into building a split level home or have recently purchased a sloping block of land, the team at GJ Gardner would be happy to help you understand your home building options. Take a look through some of our home designs, or find your local office today to start your journey.