Preparing Your Construction Site for Excavation

Any kind of construction work is a big deal. Preparing properly will help ensure minimal complications throughout the process. Before you can prepare your construction site for excavation, it’s important to have a good set of plans. Proper planning includes being in communication with your municipality to ensure everything is up to specifications and follows local regulations and guidelines. It’s also important to understand what your site needs are and to communicate with your utility providers in order to know who will be installing what, and what you will need to hire out yourself. 

Let’s look at some things you should think about before the work begins as well as some planning, testing, and more that should take place to do the job right.

What to Consider Before Work Begins

Quite a few tasks must be done before your construction project can begin. Each step is crucial and must be done to ensure you are choosing the best site and plan for construction. Read more to learn about details that are vital to planning for a construction project. 

Soil Testing

Testing the soil is critical to determine what your site land is made up of. Most importantly, soil testing allows you to test the land’s ability to absorb water as well as hold the structure you want to build on it. You may find your dirt contains mostly rocks and is relatively stable. You could find that your site is made up of clay material which can experience moderate ground movement. On the extreme end, you may find the soil is extremely soft and cannot be built on at all.  Soil testing is a must!

Survey the Site

Ensuring that your chosen site is right for your project is important. If your building doesn’t fit on your building site, you want to know sooner than later so that you can change plan designs or make other needed alterations. 

During the site survey, you decide where everything will be placed, including any structures, utilities, and other important features. Marking these things on your site is an important part of being sure that you’re building in the correct area as well as ensuring that you don’t damage any underground utilities that are already in place. You’ll learn more about the slope you’re working with, as well, and how it will affect how excavation is done, how your foundation will be poured, landscaping, and more. 

Site Investigation

A geotechnical site investigation is essential in determining what kinds of rocks, soil, and groundwater are underneath the site. During a site investigation, your site will be evaluated to plan your structure’s foundation. As site conditions are studied, findings can be used to ensure no surprises occur during construction. Groundwater will also be evaluated during this investigation. If the ground isn’t suitable for the type of construction project you’re planning, changes will have to be made in either the project plans or site location. 

Analyze Any Underground Infrastructure

Reducing or ideally eliminating damage to underground infrastructures is important as you prepare your site for excavation in New Jersey and the construction work that will follow. These underground infrastructures may include utilities like:

  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Phone lines
  • Internet cables

Other types of underground infrastructures may be things like:

  • Loose-fill
  • Tree roots
  • Other existing structures that are buried

Site Design Planning

Creating a site plan design can be exciting. You’ll collect data that you’ve received from your survey, geotechnical investigation, soil testing, and more to make your plan. This plan will include details such as septic tank placement, drainage systems, your planned structures, etc. 

You will want to get your site design plan reviewed by the county and/or city to ensure everything meets the zoning requirements and the area’s building codes. Once all your plans are approved, you can obtain the permits necessary for any needed demolition or other work that needs to be completed. Things are moving right along!

Mark the Boundaries of the Project

It’s important to know the proper boundaries of the land and the project you’re working on. Your neighbor may tell you what the boundary is, but that may be completely different from the actual boundary. Getting a precise boundary determination will help you avoid any unpleasant or bothersome conflicts down the road with neighbors. A boundary determination will establish your boundary through surveys, measurements, and marking. 

Clear the Site and Compact the Soil

When it’s finally time to clear the site and start grading the area, you are about ready to start the building process. It’s getting real now! 

If any trees or tree stumps need to be removed or structures need demolition, that will take place at this point using very heavy equipment. Any kind of added dirt fill and leveling out the ground is all part of the construction site preparation. Adding important site access roads or site prep areas for construction workers can also be prepared with the equipment on site while grading the land.

The final part of the land preparation is compacting the soil so that it can handle the weight of any structures or other things that will be placed on it. During soil compaction, the dirt is pressed together (usually mechanically) to get rid of any free space between each soil particle. This is all to reduce the amount of settling that occurs during and after the construction process. Sinking soil can affect the integrity of the whole structure. Other reasons soil compaction is necessary are:

  • It reduces water from seeping into unwanted areas.
  • It provides a stable work area.
  • It increases how much weight the soil can hold.

Not all soil reacts the same way when using the same soil compaction methods. Therefore, soil test information can be very useful in determining the best and most efficient way to compact the soil on your site. Once the soil is compacted, excavation can officially begin!

Consult Our Excavation Experts for Your Construction Project

Mikula Contracting knows all about construction site preparation and excavation in New Jersey. All the small (and large) details are second nature to our fantastic crew. Mikula Contracting gets busy taking care of all the preparations mentioned above and more so you can reach your final goal – your finished construction project where you can make great things happen. 

Give our team at Mikula Contracting a call to learn more about our residential and commercial excavation services today.

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