How to Prepare Land for Construction

Site Clearance

Site Clearance for Construction Works

If you have decided to go down the self-build route, you’ll need to buy a plot of land on which to construct your home. Depending on where it is and what state it is in when you make the purchase, there are a few things you’ll need to do to get it ready for work to start on your new home.

Here are a few steps you’ll need to take if you have raw land that you want to build on.

Clearing the area

Essentially, you need a blank canvas before you can begin the building process. This means you’ll have to remove any trees or bushes that are on your plot. It’s not enough to simply fell the trees and cut back the foliage – you’ll have to remove the stumps and roots from the ground to give you as level a surface as possible.

If your plot is large enough to have room for a garden, look carefully at any trees before you start removing them, as you may decide established plants can provide a useful barrier at one edge of your land. It is vital to measure the area carefully and know exactly where the outer walls of your property will be, so as to ensure the trees won’t impede the construction process, or potentially cause problems with your home further down the line.

Excavation work

Once the land has been cleared, you can turn your attention to excavating it for the foundations. This is the groundwork for your home and will ultimately determine its stability, so it is vital you get this right. Your plans should specify what foundation trenches are required and how deep these will need to be. Once you start digging the ground, you may find your plans have to be amended if the soil is not as stable or solid as initially thought.

Of course, you’ll need heavy machinery to dig the foundations of your home, which is where¬†plant hire¬†firms can be of assistance. You can rent all the digging equipment you need if you are intending to do as much of your self-build project yourself as possible. Should you hire contractors to help with your scheme, they will more than likely have access to all the machinery you require. You’ll need to balance the cost of these two options, as well as honestly assessing your skills, before making a decision about which road to go down.

The depth of the foundation trenches you need to dig will depend on the type of foundations you are planning to use. There are four main options: simple, engineered, piling and rafts. The most suitable choice will depend on the state of the ground you are building on, so consult more than one specialist contractor to determine what the best solution for your construction project is.

Other considerations

You need to ascertain whether you have to arrange for an electrical, water or gas supply to be laid into your plot that can eventually connect to your home. You also need to work out how you will link your property with the sewerage system and allow for all of these things when excavating and laying the foundations of the house. In many cases, plots will already have these services in place, but don’t make the assumption they are there – always check!