Blog

Building a Home: Site Preparation

Backhoe clearing trees with a stump in the foreground.

After the home is staked out in the proper location, it’s time to clear anything that may be in or near its footprint and prepare the lot to be built on. Our builder Daron hired some guys with heavy equipment and experience accomplish this task.

First item: bring down the trees. I’m a tree fan, but I’ve also spent some time living beneath a huge oak tree. Every time the wind would pick up, I thought that oak was coming in through the roof. Trees can do significant damage to a home and won’t wait until you or your family are out before doing so. For each tree that comes down, we’ll plant a new one, preferably trees that won’t destroy our new home. We identified what needed to go and the crew got to work. See a tree coming down here.

UPDATE: An area within the footprint of the foundation was retaining water after days of rain. Rather than wait for it to dry, the excavators dug out the wet dirt and back filled it with several truckloads of sand.

Foundation spot being dug out to fix a wet spot. The excavated site will be back-filled with sand and compressed with a roller.

After the trees were down and small brush cleared, they started bringing in dirt. The foundation needs to be high off the ground so there’s no chance for water to enter the home. Since dirt is cheaper than concrete, the crew brought in several truck loads of dirt to mound up where the home and garage foundations would be. Each time a new load was brought in, it would be leveled then rolled to compress it. This ensures the foundation is built on high, stable ground.