A simplified explanation of site & earth works Part 1
What are site works or - earth works? Site & earth works, can be anything required to be completed before commencing construction of the home.
They generally don't form part of the structure itself.
The type of things that may be included in site & earth works for Perth lots are:
Re-peg of the site
Confirms the location of the boundary positions. Its critical to ensure the home is set out in the correct position on the lot. Its even more critical if the home is being built on one or more boundaries.
- Scraping and removing overburden.
- Turn over the soil to remove debris.
- Cut and fill the site to the average level.
- Possibly import sand fill if required.
- Compact and arrange a compaction certificate.
Preliminary site - earth works on a sloped rear strata, small and difficult block - Karrinyup - 2408Service runs
Bringing the power, water, communications, gas and any other site specific service from the supply location to the connection point in the home. Often this requires a great deal of coordination especially if on a rear strata lot as all services are generally in the same trench.
More often piling is required under some of the home footings to allow the home to be built near a sewer main or other type of easements. Usually this would be completed using steel ‘screw’ piles that finish inside the footing they are supporting.
Storm water disposal
Almost all local authorities now want suitable storm water disposal systems in place as part of the building permit conditions – this could be concrete tanks or the more recent polypropylene modular systems.
Removal of excess soil
The digging of footings, installation of house drains and storm water disposal systems generates a remarkable amount of excess soil, often up to 20 cubic metres that has to be removed and dumped somewhere as it cannot stay on site.
Limestone access track
In Perth’s often sandy sites and especially when building at the rear of an existing home (rear strata or battle-axe lot) its necessary to place approximately 100mm of limestone down over the access track to allow trades and suppliers to get their vehicles near the building site.
In cases where there is too much slope on a lot to allow simple cut and fill earthworks retaining of some sort will be required. This can be a simple brick build up so the footings and brickwork are just built down to accommodate the slope or it could be a retaining wall. Retaining walls can be built out of double brick, concrete post and rail or limestone blocks, depending on where the wall is to be placed and how high it needs to be.
In addition there could be other things like removal of existing fencing, removal of asbestos, temporary fencing, hard digging and traffic management to name a few.
Brick build up on a sloped rear strata, small & difficult block Karrinyup - 2408
The cost of site works can be intimidating which is why its important to deal with a builder who knows how to assess the site - earth works component of your lot accurately. From the outset, those costs are taken into account when designing your home to your budget, so that there are no nasty surprises.
Site - Earth Works Costs Explained
We include all itemised costs for works related to the unique nature of your site once we receive the Survey and Engineer’s reports.
- Service connections,
- Storm water,
- Clay or Engineers details,
- Fence removal,
- Temporary fencing,
- Hard digging,
- Work-safe requirements,
- Traffic management
- Access track, etc
All builders will need to do the same amount of work to satisfy Shire and Engineer's requirements, and will charge for all of these works somewhere.
Comparing Site costs
When comparing site costs with other builders, clients should find out exactly what is included in their quote. Then compare those costs with our costs. Ask the other builders when and where they will charge for those items not included in their estimates or quotes.
Owner site - earth works quotes
Sometimes clients will get their own quotes for earthworks, and other works with complex or clay sites. They will remove these costs from the contract, because their quotes are cheaper than ours.
Unfortunately, in many cases the reason these quotes are cheaper is the works are not to Shire or Engineer’s requirements.
The saving they thought they were making in reality will cost them much more.
No Surprises or additional unknown costs
With Central Avenue completing these works, you will be guaranteed they'll be:
- Completed to Shire and Engineer requirements.
- All costs provided upfront.
- No unexpected or unknown costs.
- Will be supervised by us as part of the building process.
Posted by Lee Grainger
Check out the other posts in this series
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