Tips on Clearing Land before Building: What You Need to Know

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When it comes to building a structure on a piece of land, clearing the area beforehand is crucial to ensure a successful construction project. Land clearing involves the removal of trees, bushes, rocks, and other vegetation. But what exactly needs to be cleared before building on land?

Identify Your Building Footprint

The first step is to determine the exact location and dimensions of your building's footprint. This includes the foundation, any attached structures, and access roads. Knowing the exact boundaries of your structure will help guide your clearing efforts.

You will want to clear a space that's slightly larger than the building footprint to ensure a buffer zone for any excavation or grading work. This usually involves removing trees, vegetation, and any rocks, stumps, or debris that may obstruct the building process.

It's also important to identify any protected areas, such as wetlands or floodplains, and abide by the regulations put in place by the local authorities.

Soil Conditions

The type of soil on your land will impact the success of your construction project. Before clearing the land, consider hiring a soil engineer to evaluate the soil conditions. This will help determine if the soil needs to be amended or replaced before the construction phase. Soil testing will also reveal if there are any specific permits required before breaking ground.

Survey the Land

Survey the land to better understand the slope or grade of the land. The slope will impact your land-clearing efforts and construction design, as a steeper slope may require additional materials to retain the structure. A land survey is typically completed to determine the boundary lines, contours, topography, and location of any man-made or natural features, such as drainage paths or waterways. This information is important for site grading, excavation, and drainage management.

Hazardous Waste

Before removing any hazardous materials from the site, it is imperative to have a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) conducted, which will investigate the site for potential hazardous waste. It will provide a report on whether there is any hazardous waste on the site. This report helps you take care of the hazardous waste before clearing the land. A Phase I ESA can also help identify hazardous waste that may have migrated onto your property from a neighboring facility. It is important to handle hazardous waste as per local, federal, and state guidelines.

Protect the Surrounding Environment

Land clearing, while necessary, can impact the surrounding environment, soil, and water quality. Clearing out large areas of vegetation can result in soil erosion, increased runoff into nearby streams or rivers, and a decrease in plant and animal habitats. Before embarking on clearing the land, consider planting native trees and vegetation that can help prevent soil erosion. Limit the amount of vegetation removal, concentrate efforts on the necessary areas, and avoid runoff into water sources.

For more information, contact a professional land clearing service in your area.