The physical part of building usually begins with lot clearing. This will include all the land needed for the house, driveway, front and backyard as well as the area where you need your septic system and/or well (if applicable).
Before hiring the sub-contractor to perform the lot clearing, read through this list and see what may apply in your circumstance.
To point out what may be obvious, remove any old buildings first. Then work on rock removal. Next come the trees, limbs and shrubs you don't want. Even if there is a tree that won't really impact the building pad, you may consider removing it due to the roots becoming an issue, sometimes even years later.
A large part of removing the trees is getting rid of the stumps. If you plan on doing this yourself, start by digging around and down to the roots with a shovel. If you have a tractor or heavy-duty pick-up available, attach a chain and pull the rest out. It's quite important to remember to fill in the hole and get good compaction, especially if the area is under part of the house or driveway.
Remember to consider looking into you could sell some of the debris created in the clearing process, netting you some extra money. You might list the trees that were cut down as firewood or timber, or sell the good soil that was removed to a nearby garden center. It doesn't hurt to look into these possibilities.
Consider what you will do for erosion prevention and drainage control. Will your home have a basement? Do you need an access road to connect to the site utilities? Questions like this and others will determine how and where you put in slopes. After the grading is done comes the excavation.
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