One key step in any construction project is preparing the site. This must happen before any type of construction begins in order to ensure that the ground is level and ready for building. Although every site is unique and will require different steps, there are some typical site preparation processes that you can expect for most construction projects.
What Is Site Preparation?
The first phase of any construction project is always site preparation. Depending on the site, this might include any or all of the steps below. Additional preparation steps may also be necessary when unique conditions are encountered.
Before beginning any work, the site must first be assessed. Both the site clearing company and contractor must understand the regional zoning and regulatory requirements and obtain any necessary permits. Site assessment also includes:
Identifying any trees, rocks, and other obstructions that need to be removed or avoided
Understanding where the structure will be placed
Determining how the site will be accessed throughout the project
Ensuring there are no environmentally sensitive areas or specific invasive species that must be identified and undisturbed
Clearing the Land
Any trees and debris that will interfere with the building site or access to it should be removed. In some cases, an architect or landscape architect will identify which trees to remove and which ones to leave in order to get the desired shading or aesthetics. Underground obstructions may also need to be avoided or removed and filled in to maintain the integrity of the ground below.
Leveling the Ground
The building pad and surrounding area should be leveled and graded to ensure both safe access for equipment and a blank slate for construction. The building pad may also need to be raised to a certain elevation for drainage purposes.
Creating Site and Perimeter Access
The ultimate goal of site preparation is to make it easy for crews to work from day one. This process includes creating a safe and efficient path for movement of materials and equipment to and from the site.
This might require installation of a temporary road or driveway to protect the ground below and create a smooth path. Construction crews also need easy access to all sides of the structure. Site preparation should include ensuring the area is cleared with enough space for people and equipment to maneuver around the entire site after construction begins.
How to Choose the Right Site Preparation Services Vendor
Because site preparation is so important—you are essentially laying the foundation for the foundation—it’s critical to work with a qualified provider. Look for the following characteristics when evaluating your options.
Any site preparation services provider you choose should be able to provide credentials upon request. These credentials can vary regionally depending on local requirements and TRIR and EMR safety ratings, but they might include a business license, contractor’s license, and liability insurance.
Experience with Land Clearing
Site preparation is not a project that should be handled by your buddy with a backhoe. In some cases, experienced construction companies don’t have the right experience, even if they have equipment that will do the job. Make sure that any vendor you are considering is knowledgeable in land clearing and has local experience. Scalability is also an important consideration. Vendors you have worked with in the past may not have the skills and experience to take on larger projects or multiple projects at the same time. They may also not have the necessary expertise when it comes to environmental regulations. Ask potential vendors for references to learn more about the quality of their results and what it was like to work with them.
The process of site preparation is unique for each project, and therefore the equipment required will vary. Look for a provider that is able to offer a diverse range of solutions so they can tackle any issue that arises on your site. Site preparation sometimes takes a great deal of problem-solving, so you will only benefit from choosing a vendor that has experience across a range of project types.
YAK ACCESS Site Preparation Services
Site preparation is not just the first step in a construction project; it’s also often the most critical. Without a properly cleared site, construction crews may not be able to safely maneuver, or may encounter obstacles that cause project delays. YAK ACCESS companies BLUROC and NEW SOUTH provide specialized land clearing services to ensure your site is ready for construction. Our comprehensive site preparation services also include implementation of best management practices for minimizing erosion and sediment to ensure your project stays compliant with environmental regulations.
With a broad range of equipment from heavy machinery to hand tools, we use a customized approach for every project to transform the land safely and efficiently. Our specially trained crews have the expertise and experience to ensure your land is cleared to your specifications so you can start your construction project off on the right foot.
To learn more about how our trusted team tackled site preparation in a thick forest, read our case study, “Preparing the Land to Power the Future.”