Building Process Step 1: Lot Preparation

"Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn't fall, for it was founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of mine, and doesn't do them will be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell—and great was its fall."

— Matthew 7:24–27, World English Bible

The first step in the building process is Lot Preparation. Since the beginning of history, a solid foundation has been the key to good construction. Even the Bible refers to the mistake of building on "sinking sand."

Very few properties are "ready to go" when purchased. Excavation and/ or lot grading are typically required. A lot that is 2 feet higher at the back than the front may look flat, however, if proper lot preparation is not completed, addition cost will be incurred when attempting to level the foundation itself.

The owner builder should evaluate the condition of the property, the location of utilities and any pre-existing damage to curbs, sidewalks, etc.. The jobsite should also be cleared of vehicles, debris and spoils.

Prior to beginning construction, a survey should be scheduled. Soils should be tested as well. If soils do not meet building specifications, additional excavation and import of soils may be required. Sometimes, foundation specifications may change due to soil and compaction issues.


Lot Preparation Video 1

BUILDING PROCESS VIDEOS

LOT PREPARATION 1
LOT PREPARATION 2: GRADING
CORNERSTAKING/FOOTING LAYOUT
FOOTING EXCAVATION
SETTING FORMS
UNDERSLAB PLUMBING I
UNDERSLAB PLUMBING II
BACKFILL AND COMPACTION
VAPOR BARRIER
INTERIOR FORMS
PRESLAB ELECTRICAL
SLAB REINFORCEMENT VIDEO
CONCRETE POUR
STRIPPING FORMS
LOT SPINOFF
LAYOUT AND PLATE

Las Vegas Project

We will be continuing our Building Process Video Series. The typical residential project takes 4-6 months, however, our Las Vegas Project was a 10,000 square foot custom home. While it may not be exactly what most owner builders are undertaking, it demonstrates that construction management is common to all projects.

The ultimate goal is to show owner builders that a complicated, enormous custom home is built the in same way, using the same subcontractors, steps and materials as the smaller, "simpler" projects that most of us undertake. Of course, there are unique challenges that may not apply to an individual's owner builder experience. They will, however, address another's issues.

I hope the videos are enjoyable and informative. We anticipate beginning new projects and adding new videos to the website very soon.

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