Building a Log Home on a Slope: Pros and Cons

Here in British Columbia and around the world, most of the land is far from flat, and you don’t have to travel at length to see countless homes seemingly floating on mountainsides. Even so, you may be feeling wary when considering whether to build your home on a slope or not. To help you with your decision, we’ve laid out the pros and cons of building on a slope, what to look for, what to avoid and the alternatives available to you.

Build in Log Home on a Slope Pros

  • Stunning Views – Whether building in a forested area or on more open land, a log home built on a slope can provide a sense of being immersed in the forest or provide breathtaking views of mountains or lakes.
  • Maximized Natural Light – Building on a slope allows you to economically increase your home’s square footage with a walkout level, thus allowing for more daylight throughout, as opposed to the typical darkness of a basement. Additionally, log homes built on a slope can be done so in such a way that they are better able to capture sunlight in general.
  • Less Excavation – Typically, a log home built on a slope will require less excavation as it is built into the land; especially on slopes with a gentle grade of less than 10%. Working with a professional designer can help ensure that your home utilizes the natural landscape while at the same time maximizing the view and key design details of your home.
  • Co-Existence – Building into a slope offers numerous opportunities to co-exist with the environment. Building close enough into a hill can provide easy roof access to build a roof-top garden, effectively replacing the footprint taken up by the house. Terraced strips of vegetation can be placed throughout the site to pay homage to the original lay of the land.

log home on slope with roof top garden


Build in Log Home on a Slope Cons

  • Added Costs – Creating the foundation for a log home on a slope can become much more costly than one built on flat land. Retaining walls may be needed to keep soil in place, transportation of materials may be more complicated if trucks cannot access your home’s site and driveway construction can be more complex, especially if local building codes require your driveway to have emergency vehicle access.
  • Added Time – Any additional excavation (i.e. to deal with water flow issues and general foundation development) will add time to your home’s construction as opposed to that of one built on flat land.
  • Excavation Complexities – Although building on a slope requires less excavation for the most part, if the site is on a particularly steep slope, additional grading around the side may be required to gain access while also requiring the use of more specialized equipment for operating in rougher terrain. It may be worth seeking out a local builder to gain expertise on excavation, soil matters and rocky ledges in the area.
  • Equipment – Overall, building on a slope will likely require much more complex equipment and machinery, such as backhoes, loaders and rammers that are key to excavation.

No matter the grade of the slope, the design of your home can play an exceptional role in emphasizing the beauty of its natural surroundings. Contact us today to learn more about building you a home that co-exists with the natural environment to help you feel more connected to the earth too.