Block Characteristics FAQs

Block characteristics that may affect the cost of your home construction

A block of land that looks perfect to a buyer’s eye may have factors that will increase the cost of building. Factors such as soil type, presence of slope or rock and compliance requirements may affect construction and drive up costs. These characteristics and costs will vary from location to location in different estates.

Common characteristics

Some common characteristics of a block of land in Queensland that may affect the cost of your home build are listed below. Always check with an experienced builder to determine your block characteristics to get an accurate assessment of related costs:

  • Rock
  • Bushfire requirements
  • Acoustic requirements
  • Slope
  • Soil type – reactive soil class

Rock A geotechnical investigation will determine the ground classification of a block – if underlying rock, the cost for a rock breaker to excavate is on an hourly rate and could result in significant costs to prepare your site before you can commence construction of your home

Bushfire requirements

If a block of land is affected by Bushfire it will have a BAL rating. The Building Code of Australia allows for specific building methods and materials to comply with each BAL rating area. These requirements can and will affect design and costs.

Acoustic requirements

Blocks in a Transport Noise Corridor as determined by the Queensland Development Code (MP4.4), need to achieve certain levels of noise reduction in the residential dwellings. This can be achieved through using appropriate building materials to the building envelope which can add significant costs.


Blocks on a slope can present some challenges. Your home must be either cut into the slope, or built high out of the ground and there will be additional costs involved cutting / filling the block and in construction for drainage, retaining walls, sub floor etc. Blocks on slope often require split level home designs.

Soil type – reactive soil class

The primary purpose of soil classifications is to help the builder’s structural engineers’ determine what type of footing & slab is required for the type of soil and the size of your home. At Waterlea soil classifications are typically H1, H2 or E Class. E Class soils are more reactive than H Class. We have a list of builders familiar with E Class soil that buyers can liaise with for a design that meets your budget.

Characteristic Waterlea
Rock No
Slope No
Acoustic requirements No
Bushfire requirements No
Soil type – reactive soil class On some lots – refer to soil Fact Sheet