Earthworks – A Simplified Explanation – Part 2

Site & Earthworks - cut to fill average levels

What are site – earthworks?

In this post, the second in the series, we provide more explanation of the processes or site – earthworks items you may encounter.

Generally, when you receive a quote to build your new home, the costs for site related items are not included in the actual cost to build the home. They may be added as provisional sums (PS) or prime costs (PC) and don’t always form part of building the home itself. However, all new homes require site – earth works in some form or another, so those costs will need to be considered. Central Avenue Homes provides all costs for site related items in our initial quote.

Some items may be included as provisional sum items for site-earth works for new homes are:

  • Re-peg
  • Earth works
  • Scrape and removal of overburden
  • Turn over the soil to remove debris
  • Cut and fill to average levels
  • Additional sand
  • Compaction of the sand
  • Compaction certificate


A re-peg is a survey of your block after the earthworks have been completed, but before any work commences.  It will ensure that your boundary pegs are in the correct position after siteworks. On occasion, the large machinery used on site may knock the pegs and they need to be replaced. Concretors and plumbers dig and form up the footings, and prelay pipework, either by hand or by machinery after the earthworks are complete. A re-peg ensures the trades that they are digging in the correct position.

Therefore, it is critical to ensure that your home is set out and built in the correct position on your block. It’s even more critical that the home is aligned correctly with one or more boundaries.

Once the re-peg is complete he signs a resurvey or re-peg certificate for the builder’s records.


This is when the earthmoving equipment is delivered to site, is mobilised and preparation for your ground slab starts.

Earthworks can include some or all of the following:-

Removal of Overburden

The site-earth worker uses large machinery to scrape the lot, generally with a rake attachment and remove any grasses and small shrubbery. Soil is turned over, and any debris removed, including any rubble or green waste, to make sure there are no tree roots or rocks left in the soil

Cut and fill to the average level:

Is when soil is cut from one area and moved to another, generally, when no additional sand is needed.. It’s levelled out to an average level across the building envelope (the area where the house is to be built).

Sand fill 

If a sand pad is required but there is not enough soil on the block from a cut to fill, it will need to be imported. When sand is brought in, it is levelled across the building area to create a raised sand pad.


The earth worker compacts the sand pad and an engineer tests the compaction. Once compaction has been reached, the engineer signs a compaction certificate for the Builder’s records.

For a more specific idea of what your blocks Site works will include contact us at Central Avenue Homes. Phone 9456 3366 or email [email protected]

Posted by Lee Grainger

For more insights into site-earthworks explanation, check out our other blog posts in this series:-

A simplified explanation of site – earthworks Part 1

A simplified explanation of site – earthworks Part 3

A simplified explanation of site – earthworks Part 4