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How To Prepare A Vacant Lot For Building A New Construction Home

Today, we will be discussing the behind-the-scenes process of prepping a lot for a new home. A common question that arises after a customer is ready to get started on their new build home is, "What happens before the construction begins? Are you waiting for us, or is there more work being done?" There is a significant amount of preparation involved in building a home, and it’s not as easy as putting a shovel in the ground. Today, we will discuss what goes into prepping your lot for dig day and the extra steps Style & Structure does to ensure a great build process.

Lot conditions:

If you want your construction project to go smoothly, it's really important to properly prepare the land beforehand. By doing this properly the first time, it will avoid unexpected problems that could seriously slow down or even halt the project altogether. Preparing the land involves taking into account a few different things, like the land itself, the house design, and the environment around it.

Doing some research and checking for both external and internal factors. Before construction starts, you need to plan for things like access, location details, grading, and excavation. By doing this, you can identify potential issues and make the most of the lot you’re building on. Preparing the land might seem like a big task, but it's actually a great opportunity to catch problems early, save money, and come up with new ideas that can make the project even better. (Read the "Finding the Perfect Lot" blog to learn more)

  • Have The Land Surveyed And Evaluated

  • Drainage issues

  • Soil engineering

  • Septic percolation test and design

  • Does a well need to be dug?

  • How will the utility connections be made?

  • Do you have to deal with any wind or sun exposure problems?

  • Clear The Land

  • Check The Land’s Accessibility And Utility

  • Remove Debris

  • Selecting Your Building Location

  • Where the driveway will be placed?

  • Where the mailbox will be?

  • What the culvert width should be?

  • The location of trees

  • The location of the powerlines

camera and hand surveying land

Pulling permits:

Building a home requires several permits, including land-use, city permit, watershed, driveway, DNR (if near water), gas, and electric. The septic permit can take months, (usually 2 months) and needs to be completed before permit application to the city. Pulling permits can be a painful and grueling part of the build, especially when it hasn't even started yet, but it has to be done. Having a builder like Style & Structure during this phase of the build can provide great value, and we are there for you every step of the way.

plot of land

Getting bids and hiring the right trades:

When building your dream home, it's important to pay close attention to all the details and work with skilled professionals from different trades. It's also helpful to know that prices for materials and construction practices can vary widely. Don't be afraid to ask your builders questions about what's included and make sure to work with experienced tradespeople to ensure a strong and durable home.

construction site, huge yellow machine digging

Making a build schedule:

Our project deadlines include time allocations for each trade, but delays can cause a ripple effect. To ensure flexibility, we factor in dead and open days and meter the release of trades to avoid overwhelming the schedule. We communicate with homeowners about each phase of the project to maintain consistency and finish on time.

Example of what a Style & Structure schedule looks like
Example of what a Style & Structure schedule looks like

Our team at Style and Structure communicates extensively before scheduling. We hold an internal meeting to discuss home design, potential issues, unique selection items, and lead times. We work together to ensure everyone understands the project's details and eliminate any confusion. Clear communication is our priority for a successful outcome.

We have a thorough construction process that includes milestones, internal reviews, and triple-check moments to catch potential mistakes and ensure clarity. We document every conversation and seek homeowner approval to avoid misunderstandings. Our goal is to make construction as smooth and stress-free as possible for our customers.

family posing for a dig day picture
Style & Structure Dig Day

Dig Day:

We’re ready to begin construction, and everything is set. Homeowners have a clear understanding of the design, schedule, and pricing. This is a fun day for our homeowners to come out to the site with our entire team and be the first ones to put that shovel in the ground. We celebrate with them on dig day with big trucks, a gold shovel or two, and champagne. Listen to both our podcasts Ep. 5: Behind the Scenes (Prepping for Dig Day) and Ep. 8: Dig Day!

gold shovels digging into dirt


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