A construction project begins with site prep, which can start several months before the construction process officially begins. The site preparation phase is one of the most important (yet often underestimated) project phases in commercial construction. The site preparation process guarantees that the building site is ready, safe, and adequate to start construction. While it takes time and money, it’s not a corner that any responsible project manager will decide to cut.
How Long Is the Site Preparation Phase in a Construction Project?
Understanding the average time of site preparation is an important component of assessing how long a construction project will take to complete. Here’s what you need to know about site preparation and how long you can expect the site preparation phase to take on average.
Steps in Site Preparation
The site preparation phase is important and happens before laying the first brick. Proper site preparation ensures that the job site is safe. The steps in site preparation can vary depending on the specific project and site conditions, but here are the typical steps involved:
- Site Assessment: Evaluating the site’s conditions, including topography, soil quality, drainage, and existing structures.
- Clearing and Demolition: Removing any existing structures, debris, vegetation, or obstacles from the site.
- Earthwork and Grading: Leveling the ground and performing earthmoving activities if needed.
- Utilities Identification and Relocation: Locating existing utility lines (such as water, gas, and electricity) and planning for their relocation if necessary to avoid interference with the new construction.
- Drainage and Erosion Control: Installing necessary systems for drainage to manage water runoff and prevent erosion on the site.
- Compaction: Compacting the soil to ensure stability and prevent settling once construction begins.
- Access Roads and Entrances: Creating temporary or permanent access roads and entrances to the site for construction vehicles and workers.
- Environmental Compliance: Ensuring compliance with environmental regulations and obtaining necessary permits for site preparation activities, especially if there are protected areas or endangered species nearby.
- Safety Measures: Implementing safety measures for workers and the surrounding environment, such as fencing the site and posting warning signs.
- Site Marking and Layout: Marking boundaries, building corners, and other key points according to the construction plans to guide the subsequent building process.
- Final Inspection: Ensuring all necessary steps have been completed according to the specifications and regulations.
Preparation is Crucial
When site preparation is rushed, disasters can happen. Preparing the site is important for the strength and safety of construction projects.
For example, there have been instances where shopping malls have been built in landslide territory because of faulty site preparation data. This essential step wasn’t given the necessary attention it demands. A site investigation assessment can report potential hazards beneath the surface that may be unknown.
Never cut corners when it comes to site preparation, even when there might appear to be delays in the process.
Estimated Site Preparation Time
An estimated time for the completion of the site preparation phase is important for everyone involved in the construction project.
The estimated time it takes to complete site preparation can depend on several factors including:
- Size of your construction team
- Efficiency of their heavy equipment
- Size of the site
- Delays such as construction site conditions or assessment or site access as a result of weather.
An estimated time should be calculated for every job. However, there is no single answer for the time each construction project site preparation phase will take.
Getting a Second Opinion
If you aren’t sure about the estimated time of a site assessment, get a second opinion. There’s no shame in requesting the assistance of a company to make sure that your estimated project completion time is accurate.
Site assessment is such an important thing for the longevity of a construction project. It can be worth it to subcontract another firm to give a second opinion.
This way, you can be sure to give clients the most accurate answer when they ask: how long will the site preparation phase take?
Potential Delays in Site Preparation
Always prepare for potential delays, which can include repairs to equipment or weather delays. Such factors have to be accounted for – and could affect the speed of site preparation.
Play open cards with your clients, and admit if there are any delays in the preparation or construction phases.
PSC Construction – Excavation Contractors Omaha, NE
Excavating | Site Development and Preparation | Underground Utilities | Location Mapping & Hydro-Excavation
PSC Construction in Omaha provides a full range of services, performed according to your specifications. Regardless of the complexity of the project, the scope, or the timeline, PSC Construction ensures you have the foundation you need to safely and successfully move forward. Contact PSC Construction today to see why we’re one of the most trusted resources for location mapping and hydro-excavation, underground utilities, site development and preparation, and excavation in Omaha.