Phases of Construction - Site Prep
At this point, you’ve closed on your lot and you have your construction loan in place. You are now free to begin moving forward on your next items.
Designs: If you haven’t already done so, now is when you wrap everything up with your Architect. That will also include having an Engineer review the plans and submit required specifications for some of the structural work. The Engineer does far more than just stamp their approval onto the Architect’s plans. Here is an important piece of advice, don’t shop for your Engineer, use the one your Architect often works with. It will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Permitting: Once you have the final plans from both the Architect and Engineer, you can submit everything to the City for permitting. In Houston, where I do find our permitting center to be quite organized and efficient considering it’s a city run program, it took about 5 weeks to get permitting. In my case, when the city found something wrong, they bounced the plans back, the Architect made the corrections, and the plans went back into the system, picking up where they left off.
Site Prep: While your plans are being permitted, this is when you’ll want to prepare your site for construction. Shrubs and debris should be removed and grading should occur. If you need to raise your lot for flood purposes, this is when you would bring in your dirt to do so. Something my builder did to reduce mud was add torpedo sand (beach sand) where the house was being built. That did wonders in preventing a muddy site.
Sundries: You will need to install a temporary fence surrounding and protecting your construction site; be sure to include a chain and lock-box so you can secure your fence and provide access to your contractors. You will also want a construction trash dumpster delivered about this time. The service provider will empty the dumpster and bring an empty one as they become full. In addition to these items, a port-a-potty should be placed on the construction site.
Termite Treatment: Before you begin foundation work, you might need to treat the soil for subterranean termites. If your home is built on a slab, the entire area will be treated. If you’re home is being built on Pier & Beam, you can actually wait and have the area around the piers treated once they’ve been poured.
Finally, this is when the city will come out and tag gas lines so that your contractors don’t accidentally cut into a gas line.
Once these things are complete and you have your approved City Permit, it’s time to move onto the Foundation/Structural phase of your build.