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02 February 2012 Work STARTS Now!

With the  Stage 1 Construction Certificate for demolition and excavation at hand, and the boys ready we are ready for the excavation to begin.

Before we start the following needs to be done;

  • All services such as power, water, gas etc need to be disconnected and fixed off.
  • Stormwater and sewer drains will need to be sealed as well.
  • Adjoining properties need to be protected.
  • The site must be fenced or suitably barricaded to prevent public access during the construction process.

In addition, Council requires that a temporary electrical sub-station and toilet facilities be established on-site before construction commences.

Because of the sloping block and to ensure we stop earth falling onto the road or into drains and waterways we need to use a combination of sand bags and fencing for sediment control.

Before the excavator can start, the builder with the surveyor pegs out the dwelling footprint from the design drawings. They start at a boundary corner, peg a corner of the building, then lay a string line to describe the perimeter of construction. If the building has walls that step in and out each wall and its change in direction will need to be located on the site.

The plan is to excavate the garage and clear out the front to create a level, clean area to work and establish foundations in the excavation area and to give us better site access for the trucks and equipment for the demolition (phase 2). On any construction, excavation is the first stage and crucial to the success of a project.

Excavation and difficult sites are a common concern for many home renovators and developers as it’s well known that excavation projects can easily spiral out of control when it comes to finances with unexpected costs cropping up at every turn. You need to prepare yourself and research your excavation project before you commence in order to make yourself fully aware of what is involved. One of the first things to consider is where your excavation project is located and what kind of land it is located on. Basically the price of an excavation job will be greatly affected by what  material is being excavated with certain materials costing more to move than others. Another aspect of excavation projects that can easily cost a fortune are the removal costs for the excavated material.

In this case our site primarily consists of sandstone. To some that might seem daunting however sandstone is not too difficult to cut unlike other types of harder rock, however the removal costs can be quite expensive. A great way to save is by re-using the sandstone in other parts of the construction, like for retaining walls, footings and foundations.

Most excavation quotes are calculated by measuring the area to be excavated in cubic metres or tonnes, by the hour or in some instances it is actually possible to get a fixed price for excavation and  removal which we have been fortunate to receive.  By allowing us to have a fixed price it gives us much better control of our budget and also the allocation of funds. Especially so early on in the project, it’s essential we have a strong grip on costs and try to keep unexpected expenses to a minimum.

Once they begin its amazing how quickly the look of the site changes.

Firstly all the loose rocks and gardens are cleared. Once that is done, more invasive machinery are used for the rock cutting.

With the use of a rock saw, which are great for bulk sandstone excavations, we are able to cut through the rock at a greater rate with less force required by the excavator. A rock saw as opposed to hammering will also significantly reduce any potential damage to adjoining buildings.

After a couple of weeks, the change is remarkable.

Before

After

With the excavation complete at the front of the site, its time to start the house demolition.
I look forward to uncovering more next time.
With Love, TinaC

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