building & design tips

Take inspiration, tips and advice from our specialist design and building team

What is a drop edge beam and why do I need one?

drop edge beams in construction

When building a brand new home, it’s possible to get lost in all the building jargon. While we do our best to make the process simple to follow and understand, it can be helpful to learn certain phrases and building techniques so you have a better understanding of what’s happening with your new home build.

For example, during the planning process, one of our team members might mention the need for a drop edge beam. This is quite a common term for us - but it might be a little bewildering for our customers!

You might be wondering what a drop edge beam is and why we’re recommending one for your home. In this blog, we aim to clear the air and provide a helpful explanation of drop edge beams and their advantages. Read on.

What is a drop edge beam?

Play Video

When builders cut into a hillside or slope, the soil from the area is removed and is then used to create a flat area for the slab or “foundation” of your new home. Most blocks - even level ones - need some adjustment to create a flat surface for the concrete beam slab.

A drop edge beam is where the edge of a concrete slab runs vertically down to the ground to retain fill underneath the home. This alleviates the need of building a retaining wall on the boundary which can cause issues down the track with neighbours and your local council.

For a more visual idea of what dropped edge beam can achieve, see the diagram below.


The below diagram illustrates the result of no dropped edge beam and the need for more cut and fill and a large retaining wall.


Why do I need a drop edge beam?

Dropped edge beams are essential for homeowners looking to build on a sloping block. Even blocks with a slight slope of 1 metre may require a dropped edge beam.

The dropped edge beam elevates the level of the slab which can reduce drainage issues.

Here is a photo of a Montgomery Homes drop edge beam prior to brickwork:


How much does a drop edge beam cost?

It’s the question all of our clients want to know - how much does it cost to have a drop edge beam installed? What are the extra costs on top of my new home build?

To give you an idea, some of the additional costs involved with a dropped edge beam come from the machine hire to prepare the site for a dropped edge beam and the additional concrete and steel required to reinforce the foundation.

If a builder only accounts for site excavation and not dropped edge beams, you could be left with additional surprise costs at the end of the build, such as expensive, large retaining walls which would end up costing you much more than a dropped edge beam. With our 30+ years of experience constructing engineered split level slabs, we have the expert skills to work with any type of block.

We work with the natural slope of the land and don’t dig in as far as the average builder, meaning we’re also reducing long term costs such as the need for large retaining walls, reduce potential drainage issues and mitigate the risk of neighbour disputes.

So what makes us so special?

Along with our extensive split-slab experience, we include excavation and dropped edge beam costs (if required) upfront in your new home build tender. If you’ve chosen one of our home designs for a sloping site, we’ll include the site costs in the total tender price, so there are no unpleasant surprises at the end of your build.

Build your dream home with the sloping site specialists and reduce your site costs

We’re known for being the sloping site specialists - and our ground-breaking building techniques prove it! Our goal is to minimise building and site costs for you, so you can achieve the home of your dreams without blowing your budget.

We’ll include all site costs upfront in your tender. We’re committed to offering the best building experience in NewcastleSydney, and the Central Coast. Get in touch today!

Similar Blogs

All Articles
  • All Articles
  • Blog
  • Building Process
  • Featured
  • Finance Tips
  • Home Designs
  • Inspiration Gallery Blog
  • News & Events
  • Selections Gallery
  • Selections Gallery Blog
  • Styling & Inspiration
  • Sustainable Living
builders laying cement

What is BASIX? Your complete guide to BASIX & their requirements

When it comes to building your dream home, it’s essential to make sure your build adheres to the NSW government’s BASIX requirements. So, what is BASIX? In this blog, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get your build BASIX-certified. Read on!
Read in full

Our Guide To Knockdown Rebuild Costs in Sydney

If your home is feeling a little outdated, but you don’t want to move, you might be curious about the knockdown rebuild costs in Sydney. Here, we break it down for you, from demolition to interior design!
Read in full

The 10 Best Places To Live in Sydney in 2023

Dreaming of living in one of the most beautiful cities in Australia? Find the perfect place to call home — here, we share 10 of the best places to live in Sydney in 2023, along with their unique characteristics and benefits.
Read in full

Your Guide to Luxurious Reverse Living Beach House Plans

Looking to create that perfect coastal vibe in your home? A reverse living beach house plan is a great way to take in the view and turn your home into a beachside oasis! Read on to find out more!
Read in full
sydney harbour

Life in Sydney: How Does it Compare to Other Capital Cities?

As Australia’s biggest city, Sydney continues to grow by leaps and bounds each year, with the population expected to increase by 44% between now and 2041. So, what’s so special about life in Sydney? From beautiful beaches to a vibrant nightlife, easy CBD access and convenient outer suburbs, we’ll walk you through the pros and cons of Sydney living compared to Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane. Read on!
Read in full
Sydney Suburb Overhead

Our Sydney Suburb Review: Where Should You Build?

Looking to build a house in Sydney? We’ve got you covered! Check out our Sydney suburb review and find your dream location today. Read on!
Read in full
frame of house being built

Your Ultimate Guide To Building A House In Sydney

Building a house in Sydney? With property prices soaring, there are plenty of reasons to invest in a new build. Learn more.
Read in full
couple getting the keys to their new home

Questions To Ask When Buying A House & Land Package

Looking for a house and land package in NSW? We’ll make the process quick and simple. Here are 9 questions to ask when buying a house and land package!
Read in full

5 Things To Look For In A Display Home

Thinking of building with Montgomery Homes, but don’t know where to start? The very first step is visiting one of our beautiful display homes! This article shares five things to look out for in a display home to determine if the design is right for you and your family.
Read in full

Join our newsletter to receive our latest promotions,
news and helpful building and design tips