The ‘quick concept approach’ for creating sloping block house designs

The quick concept approach is the building industry’s equivalent totry-before-you-buy’, and is often preferred by architects, custom builders and building designers. The designer will quickly draw you a concept for little to no cost to see how you like it. 

This approach to creating sloping block house designs may seem like a bargain… however, keep in mind heavy discounts on price do come at a cost.

Building on a sloping block – the pros and cons of using the ‘quick concept approach’

Sloping block homes which follow a quick concept approach can deliver plans with plenty of design flair, maximise natural site features and offer a customisable approach to design. However, the reality is that often the designs aren’t feasible and plans usually need redesigning, as there wasn’t adequate time to understand and work with the complexities of the site. Cheap home design, lack of design personalisation, and lack of collaboration between designers and builders could eventuate to a budget blowout.

Read below to find out if the quick concept approach is right for you when creating sloping block house designs.

The advantages of using the ‘quick concept approach’ when designing and building on a sloping block

1. Design flair

One of the most attractive advantages to taking the quick concept approach of designing your sloping block home is that your custom builder/architect is likely going to demonstrate more exceptional design flair than homes using the pre-set plan approach. This is done to woo you and your business. It’s an aggressive (and powerful strategy) which can ultimately come at a cost.

2. Maximising the natural site features

Quick concept designs are more likely to make good use of beautiful sloping site features, like elevation, views, and natural light. Unlike a pre-set plan, your architect or custom builder has the flexibility to consider the features of the site and design to suit. Views are considered and assigned to the most suitable living spaces, natural light sources are used to enhance the mood of the home, and the floor plan is designed to best suit the layout of the site.

3. Customisable approach to design

Homes are a huge investment. Whether you’re building your dream home or an investment property, it’s crucial that the design of the house meets your needs. Having the ability to customise a plan is so important when designing a home, as it ensures that the flow and features of the house enhance the liveability of the home. Being able to customise the plan to suit a sloping block will also enhance the saleability of the home.

The disadvantages of using the ‘quick concept approach’ to designing and building on a sloping block

1. Cheap home design

Deep discounts on design come at a cost. Quick concept designers often don’t take the time to complete a full site feasibility assessment before drawing up the plan, meaning that critical components of the design may be impacted by the features of your sloping site. Often your quick concept design will result in drainage difficulties, landscape challenges, soil retention issues, or require additional structural materials to complete the build ultimately rendering your original sketch useless.

2. Lack of design personalisation

Quick concept home designs are turned around quickly, but this comes with significant drawbacks. It’s unlikely your architect or custom home builder has taken enough time to get to know you and your requirements in detail. Without this critical briefing step, the designer is not going to understand what you really want in a home – so you probably won’t like the plan.

3. Lack of collaboration

It’s essential when designing a home that you feel like you’re in the driver’s seat – after all, building a new home is a significant investment. The internal processes for custom builders are silo driven rather than collaborative. Instead of communicating directly with the designer, a client manager will take you through the design process and direct any of your requests onto the designer. It can often result in a time-consuming game of ping pong to refine the designs. Think Chinese whispers with real-world implications.

4. Budget blowouts

It’s not just the designer-client relationship that lacks collaboration. In the quick concept approach, the architect and builder processes are also silo driven. Once the architect has completed the detailed design, it is then sent to the builder for pricing. The lack of collaboration between the architect and builder often results in heartache when the design comes in significantly over budget, requiring redesign. 

The quick concept approach usually seems to be the affordable option when building on a sloping block, but costs can creep up if redesigns are needed, due to the lack of collaboration between the designer and the builder. Make sure you consider these risks when deciding on the approach you’re going to take when building on your sloping site.

Destination Living’s approach to building on a sloping block

At Destination Living, we create bespoke home designs for you. Our designs work with the land, your brief and budget, and champion the elements of your sloping block. We have continuously perfected our processes of creating house plans for sloping blocks over the last 20 years to ensure we can design and deliver the very best home for each sloping block site. Find out more about Destination Living’s approach to building on a sloping block.

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