Are you building a home on a brand-new lot that’s never been cleared and used? This is an exciting time filled with possibilities. But first, you need to clear the land properly. How do you do this? And what should you know before starting? Here are five steps to get the job done right.
Clearing a lot should call for a more measured approach than many people realize. You don’t want to simply send in heavy equipment to chop and tear at your property. This would most likely result in a waste of money, time, resources, and effort.
Start by becoming intimately familiar with your land’s layout, its boundaries, and any obstacles you may face. Are any existing buildings on the lot? What trees are salvageable, and which ones must be removed in any case? Where do you plan to build the house, garage, outbuildings, and yards? If you need to add a well, a septic system, or utility connections, where will these need to go? And what natural elements may cause challenges to heavy equipment?
Once you know what you’re facing, create a to-do list in the order everything needs to be done. If any structures already exist on the property, these buildings may need to be removed first. Old cabins or unused outbuildings may contain dangerous materials like asbestos or lead paint, so they should be removed by a professional service before work is done in or around them.
If you want to save any elements like trees or boulders, these will need marked before work begins. You should also work with a contractor to draw up a plan for placement of underground utilities so that the ground in those areas doesn’t get damaged by large equipment.
For most landowners, the trees you’re about to remove could represent a valuable source of money for your project. Once you know which trees will be removed, call local timber brokers to find out how much you can get for your timber. While the logging equipment (particularly large skidders) can cause a mess on your land, you could end up with more money than you expect and save yourself time removing the trees.
Other good options for trees include chopping and using the wood, or selling it for firewood. Different disposal methods call for different handling, so decide what you want to do before you cut them down. You may also need to decide what to do with the debris — generally referred to as “slash” — left over after tree removal.
Once the equipment gets going, you may have a hard time keeping up with the project. If you haven’t made your plan abundantly clear, you may lose valuable trees, have work done in the wrong areas, or lose landscape elements you intended to keep. Talk to everyone clearing the land, and mark objects with bright paint or material where possible to clarify communication.
In addition to marking trees, rocks, and other elements you want left undisturbed, stake out the outlines of your planned structures. Use brightly colored and large stakes, bright paint, or even yellow tape to mark the rough outline of the home. And be sure to mark the property’s boundaries, too.
Finally, keep in mind that the actual clearing work is hard and dangerous work. It should usually be left to the professionals. Get a few bids before deciding on a quality contractor. Then, use their expertise not only about the best way to clear the lot but also about issues like grading, approach, and safety concerns for this land.
Whatever the condition of your unprepared lot, a company like Builders At Your Service can help you with construction. Make an appointment to meet with us today so you can get your new house off the ground as soon as possible.
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