If you’re building a new residential home or undertaking commercial construction, you will need to have the site cut for excavation.
Bulk earthworks, including the excavation process, are crucial before you lay foundations to ensure structures are built to their highest potential. Skimping on the process can leave you with a new construction that’s subject to costly risks, project delays and unstable buildings.
What is excavation?
Bulk earthworks use specialised machinery and subsurface mapping to achieve the right base for specific construction purposes. This is done via excavation, which is the process of shifting earth, rock and other materials or obstacles that need removal before construction can begin.
Underground clearing, utility identification, trenching and wall shafts are all included in the excavation stages. It also incorporates installation of plumbing and electrical systems.
New commercial construction vs. new residential construction
Commercial projects need much larger scale equipment to perform the excavation process. Naturally, they have greater infrastructure and excavation needs.
Because residential projects are smaller, the earthworks, materials, labour and consolation costs are cheaper. But they still require the expertise and professional experience of commercial builds.
Pre-existing homes that are demolished and excavated for land have the same challenges as new builds. More people are also choosing to rebuild over renovate, due to the costs of makeovers spiraling out of control.
If you’re planning a new commercial or residential construction, or a knock down rebuild project, consider the following excavation tips for a safer, cost-effective and more efficient excavation:
1. Get the right permits
To perform construction and excavation work properly, you must obtain the right permits. Check with your local council and building company to see which ones apply to you.
If you want someone to manage the permit for you, a licensed excavation company can take the hard work out. They’ll obtain all permits and approvals required for the job and mandatory rules.
Some approvals may take longer too. If your new build is on a sloping block for example, council consents must be granted. These processes are renowned for taking longer than regular house plans.
2. Check licenses
Before you hire any contractor for your new residential or commercial build, check they have the relevant licenses for the job. It’s your responsibility to check their current license status, which can prevent future problems and extra costs.
Reputable company websites will have relevant licenses and accreditations. Or, you can check your local building and contractor registration sites. If all fails – ask them!
3. Survey the site
Every new construction starts with a detailed analysis of the job’s physical environment.
Before the excavation process can begin, the site must be carefully examined. This is done through underground camera inspections, concrete scanning and subsurface mapping. Once this stage has been completed, soil testing and excavation can begin safely with minimised risks.
Underground and subsurface mapping is a core part of new construction to encourage a safer and more efficient work progress. This also leads to faster completion with fewer delays.
A comprehensive survey of the site is beneficial because:
- Blueprints don’t guarantee safe digging: Underground blueprints are not enough. New underground cables could’ve been installed or existing utility lines may have shifted due to natural or manmade means.
- Prevents potential problems: Surveying checks whether the construction ground is too loose or unstable. It also determines its proximity to water to see whether moisture or flooring are potential risks. Any problems that may affect the build are generally found in the beginning stages of a new commercial or residential build.
- Offers a better site perspective: Better detail is obtained through surveying which offers a better snapshot of the overall project site.
- Reduces community downtime: Hazards and interruptions to the community from damaged power lines or other issues from lack of site surveys are disruptive.
4. Test the soil before you dig
Before you put shovel to dirt, have the soil professionally tested.
Soil and contour tests generally cost $1,400+, but are paramount to highlight any issues that may affect the build.
Whilst these costs can be easy to put on the backburner for new constructions, smart budgets will allow room for such services.
5. Engage with specialised excavation services
The modern tools, methods and machinery needed to survey your site and clear it for construction require the expertise of specialised excavation services.
Excavation isn’t a DIY project. The risks associated are significant.
And although today’s technology in construction methods is good, it’s how it’s used that matters to the overall project. With specialised excavation services, your project is driven to achieve better results.
Site surveying and excavation are vital for a successful construction project. Make sure you include it with your next build to manage risks and encourage a smoother, more efficient process.