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Resources: About Architectural Styles | Types of Houses | Interior Design Styles | Interior Design Ideas

How much do houses with a sloped lot cost per square foot (approximately)?

It always costs more to build a house on a sloping lot. Foundations have to be laid on flat ground. This may mean that the footprint of the house will have to be excavated out of the slope on which the house is built, and the fill will have to be hauled away. Or it may mean that the ground on which the house is built has to be built up with rock, gravel, and soil hauled in from somewhere else to level up the lot.

These costs are a tradeoff against the possibilities for ingenious design of the house. Depending on the grade of the slope (how steep it is), it may be possible for different parts of the house to share the same roof line with different heights in the rooms. It is even possible, sometimes, for a house built on a sloping lot to cost less than a house built on flat ground. But this is only the case when the house is designed by an architect, adding about 14 to 15 percent to the cost of building the house.

When all is said and done, most contractors are likely to quote a cost of $300 per square foot and up for new homes in this style. Keep in mind that the cost of a sloping lot with a unique vista will also be expensive.

Are there sloped lot style floor plans with a detached garage?  Is it possible?

Any house built on a sloping lot can be built with a detached garage in the same style. There are plans ready to go with detached garages, attached garages, drive under garages, drive over garages, carports, and even RV garages. Relatively few plans you can buy, however, include plans for a detached garage. Most plans include an attached garage.

Does a house on a sloped lot usually come with a garage?  

Nearly all floor plans for houses on sloping lots come with drawings for a garage. Nearly all plans, however, call for an attached garage.

Are houses on a sloped lot considered grand or luxury?  Is the style used for mansions or normally regular-sized homes?

Houses on a sloped lot can capture ocean and mountain views. Multi-million dollars homes can be built on sloping lots. Luxury and sloping lots are highly compatible. There are plans for houses to be built on sloping lots that include six bedrooms and seven bathrooms. There are plans for houses on sloping lots that have three and even for four floors.

And given the cost of planning the house, many homeowners are inclined to splurge on luxury features because of the high entry point just to build a home.

Is a house on a sloped lot ever built as a “small” home?  Can it be built economically?

Small houses can be built on sloping lots. Because they have a small footprint, the lot will need less excavation or fill work.

That doesn’t mean that an inexpensive small home can necessarily be built on a sloping lot. The cost per square foot still goes up for excavation or fill work with a small home, just not as much as with a full-sized house.

Can houses built on a sloped lot be open concept?

It’s always possible for one floor of a multiple-floor home built on a sloping lot to be designed for an open floor plan. Or there can be a great room with ceilings two stories above the floor taking advantage of the slope of the lot, if the house can face a great view.

What are popular exterior colors for houses built on a sloped lot?

The greatest number of floor plans for houses to be built on sloping lots follow a Pacific Northwest theme. These houses are a natural fit for wood siding. But the second largest group of plans for building on a sloping lot are drawn in a Craftsman style. These houses look great in muted pastels or white. But you can find an architectural style for building a house on a sloping lot that fits any color in your palette.

Can you build a house on a narrow sloping lot? 

There are logistical issues in building a sloping lot style house on a narrow lot. Dirt and rock may have to be blasted out, without causing damage to nearby houses and their foundations. Or dirt and rock may have to be hauled in to level up the foundation for building. There are absolute limits to the narrowness of a lot that can be made to work for building a house without spending a small fortune on manual labor that may be hard to find.

Can this style be built on a wide lot?

Wide lots with access to the street are a natural fit for building a house on a sloping lot. There will be lots of room for earth moving equipment, which has to be hauled in on flatbed trailers, and dump trucks to carry off or truck in fill. The natural landscape between the house and the street will suffer.

Can sloping lot style homes be built on a sloping lot?

Uh, yes. All sloping lot style houses can be built on sloping lots. But they can’t necessarily be built on level lots.

How many floors/stories does a sloping lot style house usually have?

You will find the most building plans for houses on sloping lots designed for two floors. It’s almost as common to use a sloping lot to build a house with just one floor, maybe with drive under parking or a basement that opens to the outdoors.

Do houses on sloped lots have a basement?

More plans for houses on sloping lots include a basement than don’t. Usually these plans take advantage of the slope of the lot to provide ample windows and even multiple outside doors to the outside.

Does this style of house ever come with a bonus room?

You can easily find hundreds of floor plans for houses to be built on sloping lots that include bonus rooms. Many architects find bonus rooms are an ingenious way to take use of extra space made possible by the slope of the lot.

Do sloping lot style floor plans come with energy efficient options?

In the 2020s, every floor plan includes energy efficient options! Sloping lots often hide roofs from the view of neighbors, making it easier to include solar panels and solar water heaters. The amount of earth next to the house makes a heat pump a logical choice for home heating — and cooling. Any house built on a sloping lot can have double-pane or triple-pane windows and modern insulation.

Is a porch a common design feature with houses built on a sloped lot?

Porches aren’t a common design feature with sloping lot style houses. But you can find plans for front porches and wrap around porches.

What types of roof do houses built on a sloped lot have?

Most houses built on sloping lots have shingle roofs. Both wood and asphalt shingles are popular choices, slate, not so much. Almost any roofing material can be made to work with the plans available for houses to be built on sloping lots except tar and gravel.

Do houses built on sloping lots work well with a rustic interior style?

The answer to this question is “It depends.” It’s easy to find hundreds of plans for houses to be built on sloping lots in a style that would look great in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. These houses look great with an uncluttered rustic interior.

And it’s possible to find hundreds of plans for houses to be built on sloping lots in a Craftsman style. The Craftsman style asks for a little more refinement than rustic style offers.

But there is a way to build a home of almost any architectural style you like, from beach house to Colonial to Tuscan villa to Victorian, when you have a sloping lot. You can always let your style of exterior design drive your choices in interior decoration.