Construction Site Preparation – A Complete Guide

A Step By Step Process For Preparing A Site For Construction

So, you're considering a project on your rural property and desire more information, especially about upcoming ideas that you want to pursue? Are you looking to get underway with a new structure? This guide to construction site preparation will teach you everything you need to plan and prepare for as part of your construction project.

Maybe you need dirt or gravel road construction, a bridge, or ground preparation for fence row maintenance? Ready to proceed with a water excavation plan such as a stock pond or lake?

I'm sure you have a BIG dream for your location -- whether it's residential, farm, or ranch -- so is it an overall outlook of your property that you are considering or a more specialized job that leads you to give Shilling Excavation a call?

Preparation for an Array of Ground Projects

Shilling’s work ranges from water sites, grading and drainage designs, and roadways -- all the way to demolition of buildings and land clearing for new construction. Shilling

Site preparation entails a number of important aspects that need professional contractors.

Excavation brings a wide range of equipment to the worksite, from front-end loaders and earthmovers, to suit construction jobs of all types -- from gravel driveways to barn foundations.

Whatever your property dreams and needs, Shilling Excavation will be "shovel ready" for you!

A Reputation for Land Preparation Excellence in Central Texas

Serving Central Texas for over 25 years, Shilling Excavation has built a strong reputation through honesty and a sincere commitment to every task we embrace.

You - our client - are always number one in importance to us, and this relationship with our clients has given Shilling Excavation the foundation for renewed business.

Getting Started with Your Land Preparation Project

Your call to Shilling Excavation connects you with one of our experienced planners, who is ready to hear about your plans.

We're sure you will have questions, and we will give you every opportunity to share your thoughts.

Professional site preparation contractors only use top-quality equipment.

Our planning representative will offer professional expertise and concise answers to your questions as we explore your ideas.

We will confirm that the type of project you are considering fits the broad scope of tasks that Shilling Excavation performs. Then, get ready to "dig" deeper with us into the plans you have!

You're wondering, "Site preparation – how important is it? What does it entail?" Great questions! -- and important ones! -- since this is the critical first step once we have a clear picture of your future expectations. It is an absolute "must" for any project to "get off the ground," whether it involves a structure or is a land-only endeavor.

You see, once the location of your property is determined, the ground must be brought to an acceptable "working-condition level" with all conditions of the location fully identified and carefully reviewed before construction work can get underway.

5 Critical Areas to Consider When Preparing Land for A Building Project

When taking into consideration the most important aspects of construction site preparation involved in the development of a building or ground endeavor, several, if not all, of the following categories will apply to your situation.

1) Land Clearing

What is the condition of the selected area of your property for new development? Is it free of obstacles so that the ground is suitable for our Shilling team to get underway?

Involved in such work is wooded land clearing of brush and heavy vegetation, tree/stump removal (including mulching and grinding), "brush grubbing" -- pulling roots, eliminating large rocks, boulders, and any large protruding objects, and hauling debris piles (wood, rock, brush, garbage).

Satisfactory clearing is needed to make the site attractive and feasible for work to begin. An example of a proposed project needing preliminary land clearing techniques would be fence installation and fence row maintenance.

2) Structure Demolition

Do you have existing structures on your property needing to be demolished? If so, preliminary consideration must be given both by you and Shilling Excavation in order to identify any materials and/or structure accessories to be salvaged before the start of demolition.

This includes doors and windows, lumber, brick, stone masonry, and miscellaneous items such as lighting fixtures, signs, and door/gate hardware.

As demolition proceeds, jobs that will need to be performed will include hauling of all unnecessary materials from the demolition operation, and possible land leveling or filling.

Heavy equipment (bulldozers, excavators, dump trucks), as well as manual labor, will be involved in transporting debris for proper disposal.

Safety is paramount during the entire operation to prevent injury and protect adjoining property (including trees, shrubs, and other vegetation).

3) Alteration of Terrain

How can we keep the "lay of the land" you like while at the same time establish the proper topography needed? Our Shilling specialists/engineers understand your desire for attractive property "landscape."

Altering terrain is a complex job that professional contractors do.

They will consider your preferences while giving careful, professional attention to slope control to meet requirements for construction site suitability.

What are the benefits of proper elevating, leveling, and filling of the soil? These steps assure adequate water drainage, prevent flooding, and minimize erosion.

We accomplish this through careful land grading, which could include needed culvert grading as well as drainage pipe installation.

Ultimately, you and the Shilling team will collaborate on achieving the very best grading level(s) of your property that match construction requirements with your satisfaction for appealing terrain appearance. We're confident you will be pleased!

4) Soil Quality

Do you agree that the quality of your soil is essential to assure the integrity of your proposed plan?

Shilling Excavation gives careful consideration to the soil on your site by making a visual inspection in order to determine the best type of soil for ventures such as preparation of a building site, dirt road construction, or gravel driveways.

Excavation and hauling of unsuitable soil from the site will proceed, followed by replacement (dumping) of "new" dirt, sand, and stone needed for proper structure preparation and pad installation. Also involved in the filling process will be grading and leveling using the bulldozer, boxblade, and compactor.

5) Utility Infrastructure Safeguarding

Essential to any building plans is awareness of utility installations already on-site -- both above ground and underground. Such utility infrastructure includes overhead power poles, transformers, junction boxes, and especially underground pipes, conduits and cable, gas, and water lines.

At Shilling we adhere to the highest safety standards on all our efforts. We take utility involvement, particularly underground locations, very seriously in maintaining the highest safety standards for our workers, the environment, and your property.

Experienced site preparation contractors will know what issues to expect and how to solve them when doing the work.

Upholding them is critically important when using land clearing techniques and excavation, earthmoving, and other land clearing equipment for this work.

Before getting started, it will be the client’s responsibility to contact utility companies identified with their property to obtain a full profile of the location and utility types present on the property.

A final utility assessment then will be shared with all project workers to make them fully aware of needed precautions with utility locations during work on a proposed land site – from start to finish.

We're sure you will agree the thorough approach to safety is worth it!

Getting An Overview of Your Plans

Now you have a complete picture of the many considerations involved in pursuing your future expectations. Ready to take the next step of "sizing up" your project?

Early in our discussion, our representative will want to gain a complete picture of your objectives by arranging a site visit with you. We want to have the overall design from the outset, don't we?

Let us determine the basic support requirements and feasibility factors, answering your questions, and suggesting options, including practical, cost-effective changes and additions.

Assessing Your Project Costs

Our responsibility begins with an honest assessment of your ideas with cost-efficient, money-saving steps and a desire to satisfy you. You will be satisfied to know that Shilling will provide an estimate on the cost of your project.

Undoubtedly, you have additional questions, especially financial ones. "What do building site preparation costs entail for this part of my project?" you may ask.

As we look at the involved costs of bringing improvements to your property, we can identify
three (3) main categories that apply to both ground-only and structural work.

Here they are with examples for each area:
1) wages for workers
2) materials being moved on-site and off-site(sand, gravel, dirt, cement, lumber, pipe)
3) equipment operation (fuel, rental fees)

You will want to be aware that Shilling has the experience and expertise to allow your investment to yield cost-effective results.

We always are prepared to offer money-saving steps to make your proposed vision a reality.

Your Shilling representative continues to keep an eye out for possible combinations to save you money on the work, as well as increasing your property value at the same time. Shilling strives to achieve the best overall results for you.

Final Steps to Start Your Construction Site Preparation

We're now moving forward to complete our plans and reach "ground-breaking”!

Once we have finalized plans for the project, you will be provided with a cost estimate along with the projected starting date.

Shilling Excavation is committed to completion of your
project in a timely and efficient manner.

Before any construction can begin, site preparation is a crucial first step.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us for the exciting opportunity to build a solid working relationship.

Clear communication and plans are the foundation for any strategy -- a mutual conversation, not one-sided.

Listening always is at the core of any endeavor. Satisfying our client is a winning situation for both sides.

Our hope is that the information we have provided for you will motivate you to move ahead! All that's needed now is your call to Shilling Excavation in Central Texas to become fully informed and ready to launch into getting your building site prepared for your dream project. We look forward to talking with you.

Building Site Preparation: What You Need to Know

The first step to any construction development project is building site preparation. This is the preliminary process of getting your worksite ready for building. It ensures that the project will start off in a safe and efficient manner. 

Building site preparation can make or break your project. It entails several different processes along with the use of specialized equipment and tools to complete the work.

Thus, precision, reliability, and expertise are essential traits for any building site preparation contractors.

What Does Building Site Preparation Include?

Typically, this construction process entails the following steps:

Every construction project is unique. As such, the type of building site preparation processes needed will be different as well.

Some construction projects may require more preparation than others, while others may not.

Site prep is needed in all types of construction projects.

Either way, you need the expertise of an experienced building site preparation company to help you in this endeavor.

Working with professional contractors will ensure that you have a safe and stable, and adequately constructed foundation for your construction project.

Whatever your construction project may be, whether it’s a residential property, an office building, parking lot, water park, or stadium, site prep is an essential preliminary step you must pay special attention to.

On top of that, the specific land clearing and site preparation steps and excavation machinery will vary.

However, many construction projects utilize several vital pieces of excavation and site preparation equipment – no matter what type of construction project it is.

Elements of Building Site Preparation

Getting the Site Ready

Building site preparation work is an essential undertaking.

While this step in a construction project may seem simple and straightforward, it entails a lot of moving parts.

A substantial amount of cooperation and coordination is required among different types of construction specialists.

Employing the services of an experienced and professional building site preparation company will help your project immensely.

Safety First

In construction, safety should be at the top of every builder and developer’s list.

Valuing safety entails strictly following local guidelines and protocols throughout the duration of the construction.

Ground Strength Testing

Testing the stability of the ground is a vital element in site preparation.

In bigger construction projects, testing the soil is specifically needed to ensure that the site is strong enough to sustain construction.

Land Clearing

This process involves an official declaration and plans on how to manage stormwater pollution and erosion throughout the course of the construction project.

Safety is essential in building site prep.

Land clearing doesn’t just mean removing all obstructions on the worksite.

This step also means outlining erosion control measures and water drainage solutions.

Common Building Site Preparation Equipment

Whether it’s a residential or commercial development, there are primary pieces of excavation machinery used.

Let’s take a closer look at them below.

Backhoe Loader

Simply referred to as either a backhoe or digger, this workhorse is a fixed member of the heavy excavation equipment line.

A backhoe loader’s size is small. This feature makes way for the equipment’s precision and versatility on the worksite.

Furthermore, the small-sized loader offers enhanced visibility on the construction site.

The loader, with its small stature, is ideal for city engineering projects and construction work where the space is smaller or is limited.

A backhoe loader has many different functions, including:

There are also many different attachments available to enhance the productivity of a backhoe loader. Depending on your needs, there are several backhoe attachment options that can extend the machine’s capabilities.

Crawler Excavator

Also referred to as crawlers, this type of excavation equipment runs on two continuous tracks. It has a chain track system with tank-like chassis used for landscape grading, mining application, and trench digging.

There are different types of excavators used in site preparation.

The endless chain wheel is ideal for scaling downhills and terrains with minimal risk.

If your construction site is hilly or uneven, crawler excavators are perfect for grading the worksite.

Dragline Excavator

Due to its dragline system and hoist rope with an attached bucket, this equipment is used in road excavations, underwater digging, and pile driving.

This is a heavy and massive excavator. Because of this, they need the individual parts to be transported separately and assembled on site.

If you have a large-scale project, the dragline excavator can meet your excavation needs.

Suction Excavator

Also referred to as a vacuum excavator, this is a piece of wheeled machinery equipped with water jets and a high-pressure vacuum. These features make it ideal for debris cleanup, complex digging work, and other underground applications.

The suction can carry away debris and soil up to 200 miles per hour. It can also reduce the chance of damage on underground digging applications by more than 60 percent.

Skid Steer Excavator

The skid steer excavator is a wheeled vehicle with buckets and booms attached to the front and away from the operator. It is a piece of medium-sized excavation equipment used in residential construction projects to remove or spread dirt and debris out.

Long Reach Excavator

As the name implies, this excavation equipment has an extendable arm that can reach up to 100 feet upwards. It’s ideal for heavy-duty digging and industrial demolition projects.

There are also different attachments you can use for a long-reach excavator, depending on the requirements of the project.

The Value of Proper Building Site Preparation Work

Whether the worksite is small backyard at home or a big area the size of a football field, the key to an efficient and successful construction is a strategic and comprehensive site prep process.

The main benefit that site preparation brings is a safe and stable foundation for your structure. And as you know, any construction project must be built on a robust foundation.

Site prep is essential work.

Site prep entails a dynamic series of tasks.

These include demolition, land clearing, excavation, and laying the foundation.

Each of these processes ensures a safe, robust, and stable base for your structure – no matter what type it is: sports complex, residential property, retail store, office building, etc.

Thus, it's essential to employ the services of professional and reliable building site preparation contractors.