Second in our series on the steps that go into making a new home. You’ve asked yourself some of these questions before. How is a house built? What holds up the ceilings and the walls? What keeps the rain out? What parts go into making a house? How many different people are involved when a house goes up? Here we focus on site preparation so read on.
Grading and site preparation
Time to "break ground! The first step in the actual #construction of your new home is site preparation. Site preparation consists of clearing away the trees from your building site, doing whatever rough grading (smoothing out the holes, mounds and slopes) that is necessary, and staking the house location in preparation for installation of the footings and foundation.
Before staking, you will need to go over the things that will affect or be affected by the placement of your home on the lot with your contractor. These are;
Setbacks and Easements
The Sun's Exposure
Trees you want to keep
Well and Septic Tank Location
Your Relationship to other houses in the area/neighborhood
Distances you'll have to run utility lines to hook up with municipal services
OK, if you already took all these things into consideration before you did your site plan, do yourself a favor, check them all again - before you begin your site preparation. It's much easier to make changes now . . . BEFORE the concrete if poured!
Clearing the Lot
This involves the removal of trees, roots, and other vegetation from the building site.
Rough Staking the Home
Here is where to start laying out the home.
Just be sure to check the new location against setbacks and easements and the required distance to your septic tank drain field. Also be sure to advise your building department and get their OK before going forth with your new location.
If your home will have a basement, it'll need to be dug - excavated. Some builders like to pour the concrete for their driveway at the same time they pour their slab. This makes it a lot easier to build the home, since you can get out of the mud early.
. . . Since there is "Rough" grading, there must also be "Finish" grading! This will be done when the construction on the home is completed and you are ready to tackle the exterior stuff. It's the fine tuning of the drainage patterns around your home and the set up for your landscaping.
"Erosion control" is really a bit of a misnomer. You won't really control erosion, but you may be required to take special precautions to prevent the runoff from your cleared land from carrying mud to adjacent roads and property. Check with your building department to see what may be required. There are a number of materials/systems used to minimize the problem. They allow water to pass through but screen out fine particles. They can be as simple as bales of hay.
We’ll will walk through foundation and framing in our next blog so that you can understand what’s involved and start to see the outline of your house come alive. Stay tuned.