Looking for
space, aspect and

Image: Rhodia by Langdon Homes

Split Level Houses – a Design Solution for Sloping Lots

Sloping Lots at Pinnacle

We have a number of sloping lots available at Pinnacle which offer views across the future 22ha reserve and beyond. These lots are great value, with land pricing positioned to offset potential building construction costs of a split level home. With titled and untitled lots available, you can start designing your split level home to build immediately or in the future, knowing that the split level design will meet the objectives of the Pinnacle Design Guidelines by working with the land and limiting cut and fill.

Builders with Split
Level Product

Volume builders servicing the Ballarat region provide a range of split level products, with many providing house and land packages at Pinnacle.

What is a sloping lot?

A sloping lot is block of land with fall of greater than 1 metre, resulting in a slope (incline or decline). This slope can be side-to-side, front-to-rear, or both.

The sloping lots at Pinnacle have been designed to minimise the changes to the natural surface levels of the land.

What is a split level home?

View Langdon Building’s innovative split level home.

The amount of slope across the building envelope of your home will assist in determining whether a split level home would be more suitable.

Split level homes work with the land rather than against it and a good design will seek to minimise build costs associated with benching and retaining walls. In a split level home the finished floor levels of the living spaces will be set a different heights to make the most of your lot and take advantage of the surrounding views. These are a great solution when the slope across your building envelope is 1 metre or greater.

Split level homes are often built with the use of piers and posts, greatly reducing the need for cut and fill and the consequent expenditure on retaining walls.

Building on Sloping Lots

Split level homes don’t need to be built across full levels (i.e. such as traditional double storey dwellings where different levels are accessed from a full set of stairs). They can for example be a single storey split level home with only a few stairs from the front of the house leading up or down to rooms towards the back of the house or be built in modules with internalised steps providing links between them. When there is greater slope, a home can present as a single storey from one view (typically the high side of the site) and double storey from the opposite view (typically at the lower side of the site).

Image: Killalea by Hotondo Homes

Would a split level
home work for me?


Building a split level home on a sloping lot at Pinnacle will enable you to maximise your opportunities to take advantage of views over the future reserve and beyond. There is a greater chance that your home will be unique and will be located in an area with character created by diversity in the streetscapes (i.e. not just flat streets and lots).

Lessening land cut/fill

A good split level design should reduce/remove the need for extensive retaining walls, lessening the need for large areas of cut and/or fill across your site. Money is therefore ‘not wasted’ on changing the lot to be like a typical flat lot.

Improve onsite sunlight

Split level homes improve on-site amenity such as daylight/sunlight by working with the contours of land. A traditional single storey dwelling on a sloping  lot is likely to require a site cut which will mean that the dwelling is likely  to sit lower on the site. The need to incorporate retaining walls.

Large Outdoor space

Split level designs can provide better interaction with the outdoor space, with the ability to reduce the footprint of the house and provide a larger backyard.

Better ventilation

There is also the ability for more natural cross-flow ventilation, which will assist in reducing energy bills.

More opportunities for storage

A split level dwelling often provides areas under the home to allow opportunities for storage, negating the need for a shed that takes up backyard space.

Contains stairs

Split level homes, depending on their design, may not be suitable for people with limited mobility as they typically contain stairs.

The number of stairs between different levels however can be minimal (i.e. two or three) depending on the slope of the land. Depending on where steps are provided, there may be an ability to install a ramp of suitable gradient instead. Good design can also allow for the main living-room and a bedroom to be provided across a single level, with other bedrooms/second living-room for example on another level.


A split level home could be more costly than building a home on a traditional lot, although if you have purchased a sloping lot at Pinnacle the combined cost of the lot and building a split level home is likely to be comparable to the package price of a traditional single level home on a traditional lot – that’s because, at Pinnacle, our sloping lots are priced less than our traditional lots so more dollars can be spent on your home.

Also, if you have purchased a sloping lot, whilst building a single level house may initially appear cheaper, costs associated with site works and retaining walls will add up, so it may be worth exploring that split level house and get more value for money. The final costs may surprise you!

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