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Difficult, sloping blocks can be time-consuming, impractical and costly to excavate.

Slab homes dug into a slope can often result in steep driveways, large retaining walls and an unattractive façade. In some cases it may even be impossible to reduce the slope of the land to the point you can build a standard home on it.

Split level, tri-level or bi-level homes are a great way to avoid these problems and fully utilise your land. Split level homes generally have two or three short flights of stairs, up to four separate levels and can be built to suit your specific block.

There are a huge range of benefits when building a split level home.

IT MAXIMISES SPACE

A split level home takes full advantage of all the space available on your land. Just like a double storey, the ability to build up means you can have a larger backyard without having to compromise on the size of your home. For those with pets or a beautiful pool or backyard aspirations, a split level home is a great option!

IT CAN BE MORE COST-EFFECTIVE

If your block of land has a significant slope, it can become quite costly to cut it to the requirements needed for a regular home. Unforeseen issues like poor soil or large rocks can increase your site costs too, meaning it can turn into a very expensive exercise.

IT OFFERS A UNIQUE DESIGN

Split level designs are quite unique and beautiful homes, which can be great for a family who are after something a little bit different. A split level home can be designed with the bedrooms located on one floor and the living space on another level to help create distinct zones. This can be good for families with children.

IT CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LOCAL VIEWS

Homes that offer picturesque surroundings can also benefit from a split level home.  They can be designed to take full advantage of the land to help maximise the views, and can be specifically tailored to suit your land.

 

Split level home

 

Hotondo Homes’ Hillgrove range offers four brand new tri-level floor plans perfect for land with a difficult slope in any direction.

There is plenty of versatility in these kinds of designs to cater for many different lifestyles. Some of the floor plans feature living space zoned on the top level, while others have the bedrooms upstairs.

The largest design in the range, the Hillgrove 250, offers four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a double garage. Cleverly zoned, the master bedroom is located on the entry level for privacy, while the kitchen, living and dining are on the lower floor and remaining bedrooms and the rumpus are on the upper floor.

Split level home

The design also comes in an alternate version, where the bedrooms are on the lower floor and the living area is on the upper.

View the Hotondo Homes full range of designs including split level homes at hotondo.com.au.

Keeping indoor plants in your home offers a wide range of benefits.

Not only are they great for decorating, but there are also several health benefits to be gained from keeping plant life around the house. With more and more people opting to include some greenery in their lives, here are some of the specific benefits indoor plants can add to your home:

So which plants are good indoors?

Aloe Vera

As with most succulents, aloe vera plants are easy to raise, require minimal maintenance and can be grown in small pots on your windowsill.

Aloe vera has the added benefit of working as a gel for cuts, burns and other skin conditions. Keep your aloe vera succulent in a sunny place and enjoy!

Indoor plants

 

Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

If you don’t possess a green thumb, a spider plant may be the one for you. Resilient, with rich foliage and tiny white flowers, spider plants enjoy a cool-to-average home temperature, moderate watering and indirect sunlight.

Spider plants look particularly nice in hanging baskets, and are a great starting point for those wanting to have indoor plants. Generally only complete and utter neglect will kill a spider plant.

Indoor plants

 

Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)

For a lush, tropical look in your home, consider a bamboo palm. Unlike other types of bamboo, bamboo palm does not require much sunlight, and can be watered when the soil feels dry. This plant will grow between 5-7 feet tall.

Indoor plants

 

Peace Lily

If you are after something that will flower, a peace lily is a great option. Relatively small, the peace lily will flower during most of the summer.

Keep this plant in a shady spot and make sure the soil remains moist. Beautiful, white and delicate, this flower looks great as a table centerpiece or as a feature in your hallway.

Indoor plants

 

What plants do you think work well indoors? Let us know in the comments!

Save money on your bills with these easy steps.

The keys are in your hand. You are ready to step into your brand new home. All those costs associated with it are finally paid, and now all you have left is the hefty mortgage you don’t want to think about – or so you think.

Unfortunately, new home owners can forget the cost of maintaining and living in a home. Water, electricity and gas bills, council rates and even home repairs for older homes can all have a significant and possibly unforeseen impact on your carefully devised budget.

Never fear though, we have put together a quick guide on ways to save money on your bills and help with the overall cost of your new home.

Save moneyCONVERT TO LED

Install LED light bulbs and in the long-run you will save money on your electricity bill. A standard halogen light turns up to 90% of electricity used into heat, and only 10% into light. An LED light however only uses 15% of the energy a halogen uses, and provides up to 85% of the light output. LED lighting also has a longer lifespan, making them well worth the investment.

YOUR BIGGEST FAN

Ceiling fans are a low-cost, low-energy way to keep the air circulating in your home. If used in conjunction with an air conditioner, you can actually lower the temperature by a degree or two of the air con. This can lead to some surprising savings! While using a ceiling fan in summer is common practice, many people are unaware you can actually utilise them during winter too. Switch your fan into reverse, and hot air trapped near your ceiling will be redistributed to the floor. Remember to keep it on a low setting!

ALL NATURAL

Plant deciduous trees – ones that lose their leaves in autumn/winter – on the west and east sides of your home. These trees will naturally cool your home is summer and allow sunshine through during winter. Be careful to plant them a safe distance from your home and power lines.

DITCH THE CLOTHES DRYER

Everyone knows that a clothes dryer will eat up your power bill. If you are willing to give up the convenience, hang a line in your laundry and use it for at least some items. Even better would be hanging it outside where a natural breeze will do all the work. A load here or there will still save money!

ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES

We have mentioned the benefits of energy efficient appliances several times on this blog, however it doesn’t make it any less true. While they may be a more expensive upfront cost, energy efficient appliances will save you money in the long run and will help keep your hip-pocket happy.

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