If you want your construction project to go as smoothly as possible, it all starts with proper building site preparation.
In the construction industry, site prep refers to the initial work needed to get a construction or development site ready for building. The whole building site preparation process encompasses a wide range of activities and tasks.
These tasks will include demolition, vegetation clearing, excavation, land grading, and shoring. Thus, site prep is a crucial preliminary step of any construction project.
No matter how big or small your land is, and whether you’re building a house, commercial establishment, sports stadium, parking lot, agricultural land, water park, or whatever else, site prep must be done with careful deliberation and execution.
Site Prep 101
Also referred to as site clearance, this is a fundamental stage of any construction project. Essentially, the task entails removing any existing structures, hazards, vegetation, or other obstacles from the site and getting it ready for development.
This makes sure that the construction site is a perfect blank canvas, so you can get the land ready for what you intend to use it for.
Site preparation also includes removing the topsoil’s surface layer. Until you complete this task, you cannot build on your land. Also, the topsoil contains agents and other chemicals that contribute to plant or vegetation growth.
If you have undesirable vegetation growing and interfering with your structure, it could negatively affect your property over time.
To ensure that the site clearance stage is done correctly, you need to employ professional services. Site clearing tasks will typically require knowledge, a particular skillet, and specialized machinery. It would be ideal to outsource one building site preparation company, so you don’t have to deal with different contractors.
Construction projects will always have a significant impact on the environment. Thus, it’s essential to hire a contractor with careful and considerate waste segregation and disposal strategies.
Many companies are eco-friendly. They take the necessary steps to recycle the soil, concrete, brick, and other materials they remove from site clearance projects.
Once the construction site is cleared correctly from obstructions, you can move on to the next stage of the preparation process before proceeding to the actual construction stage.
Site Preparation Is Crucial
As you embark on any type of construction project, you must employ skilled contractors. From operating heavy machinery to obtaining the proper licenses and permits to continue your project, a professional building site prep company can make the process easier, safer, and more efficient.
Aside from safety reasons, proper site clearance is a task that rewards effectiveness. This allows you to save time, money, and resources as you move on to the next stages of the construction project.
On the other hand, if you hire inexperienced site prep contractors, it could then lead to accidents and injuries on site and lengthy delays to the construction, which is a massive waste of time, money, and other resources.
Thus, it’s essential that you hire a professional and experienced site clearance contractor with the proper licenses and insurance to do the work. When you do, you can have peace of mind knowing that any disruption to the project is minimized.
You can also rest easy knowing that proper waste disposal rules are followed, which helps keep the costs of the project controlled.
Are There Benefits to Building Site Preparation?
Of course, there are. It’s not even a question.
The answer is a resounding yes. Here are some of the essential benefits of proper site preparation.
Removal of Any Obstructions
If you are starting development on a new construction site, the presence of dirt, rock, vegetation, and other materials is inevitable. The process of removing these obstacles is also called land clearing.
It is not ideal to do this step hastily and without proper planning and deliberation. If you do a poor job, you end up putting your entire construction project at risk, and you will definitely pay the price over time.
Preparing the Site Makes the Excavation Process Easier
One of the main benefits of site clearance is the removal of obstructions.
This step allows for the site to be clear and open, similar to a blank canvas where you are free to do whatever you wish.
Clearing the site will ultimately make the excavation process ten times easier.
The Site Will Be Easily Accessible
A construction project is a collaboration between different specialists, contractors, engineers, architects, and other workers. They need complete access to the site for them to do their job accordingly.
If the workers can’t have proper access to the site, expect to increase the duration of the project because their responsibilities will be delayed. This scenario will cost you more time and money.
Minimizing Potential Damages
When you do proper site clearance, you can identify the specific areas on the construction with underground wiring or drainage system. Once you distinguish these areas, you can do adequate planning to prevent impacting them during the construction. Damaging these utility lines will be a significant trouble for you and your construction project.
We can write a whole different article about land grading. However, we’ll give you the overview for now. The land grading process is a crucial step in building site preparation.
Also called land leveling, this step is done after the excavation process. Dirt is removed from the higher parts of the construction site and moved to the lower areas to make everything even and leveled.
Achieving a smooth and level base is a requirement before you can lay the foundation of your structure, plant crops (if the land is for agricultural application), build and roadway, and for other uses.
Another fundamental goal of land grading is to direct the land away from the site to make away for a sufficient drainage system. This ensures that water will not penetrate and damage your project.
Tools and Machinery Used in Site Preparation
Without high-quality machinery, you can’t do proper building site preparation.
Because the actual process entails removing massive rocks, moving large amounts of dirt and gravel, clearing a colossal mass of vegetation, the human hands will need a little more help.
This part of a construction project heavily requires the use of machines, tools, and other equipment to execute the job.
Also, when you have the right site preparation equipment, you can do safe, quick, and efficient work.
Compactors are a piece of popular machinery in any road construction project. This equipment is used to compact and level the ground. This ground will be the base or foundation of your structure. Thus, finding someone who knows how to operate a compactor properly is essential.
You use a bulldozer to move dirt, sand, gravel, and other materials from the ground. You can also move heavier pieces such as trees with a bulldozer. This equipment pushes unwanted materials up the ground.
Typically, you use a backhoe side-by-side with a bulldozer. Unlike a bulldozer, backhoes dig out or pull up sand, gravel, and other materials.
You use this equipment to test the evenness of the ground. Before you lay out the foundation for your structure, you have to make sure that the land is not sloping in any direction.
Wheelbarrows are used to move loads around the construction site.
Stages of Building Site Preparation
Conducting a Site Assessment
A site survey is one of the most crucial initial steps in construction. An extensive surveying of the site will determine the safe and unsafe areas to build.
Also, having a professional site survey is a legal requirement anyway, so skipping this step was never an option.
A professional survey will help you ensure proper actions will be taken.
This also helps your construction team have all the necessary information they need to know about the land they are working with.
Essentially, a site survey or assessment will determine whether your construction project is a go. If it’s not, you need to make significant changes to make your building plans feasible.
Before you can have your site cleared, you first need it to be professionally assessed. A proper assessment will help determine the following:
- What are the regulatory constraints?
- What are the permits and licenses required to continue the development?
- What are the risks of the project?
- What mitigating steps must be taken to minimize these risks
- What are the most efficient methods you can use to carry out the work?
- What waste segregation and disposal strategies must be implemented
- How will your project impact the environment?
- How will you handle your project’s impact on the environment?
This is the actual step of preparing the site. From demolishing buildings to removing contaminated soils and other materials to providing drainage – there’s a lot of steps involved in this step of the project.
Clearing the site results in massive amounts of waste. Thus, it’s essential to plan waste segregation and disposal properly.
If you can find one, work with a building site preparation company that cares about the environment and has an environmental foot forward. You’ll feel better about your project as a whole.