Long before construction begins and the foundation is even laid, your development site will first need clearing. Depending on the state of your site, it may require demolition services as well. Both are necessary to ensure a clean, safe site that the rest of your build teams can work with.
Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that these jobs are so simple that any crew can pull it off, as only a reputable, experienced contractor should be trusted with this task.
Demolition and Site Clearing Projects are Logistically Complex
Site clearing and demolition work is demanding, from a labor and a logistical standpoint. Site clearing and demolition equipment, for example, includes the following:
- Skidsteers (Bobcats)
- Stump grinders
It takes skilled operators to handle this heavy machinery safely. On-foot, demolition teams frequently operate chainsaws, shears, hammers, and other tools, which requires experience to handle safely.
Further, it takes a strong logistical backbone to mobilize this equipment and ensure it arrives at the project site on time and in good operating condition. If there’s any failure on this end, delays and reduced work efficiency are essentially guaranteed.
Identifying and partnering with a reputable site clearing and demolition contractor is a must for protecting your project timeline and budget. We’ll address a few more reasons why your organization needs a reputable contractor, but first, a quick review of what a reputable site clearing contractor looks like.
What a Reputable Demolition and Site Clearing Contractor Should Provide
Although site clearing and demolition contractors do not need to be licensed, they should still be characterized by professionalism and competence. Here’s what to look for to verify both:
- Relevant project experience – If your site clearing and demolition contractor has worked on similar projects before, they’ll know what to expect in terms of likely hazards and the scope of the work. Armed with this knowledge, they’ll be better prepared to manage the job from the start, ensuring enough equipment resources are dedicated to the project and that a comprehensive work plan is in place.
- Strong recommendations from previous clients – Experience is obviously a must in your site clearing and demolition contractor, but if that experience can be placed in context, even better. In practice, this means contacting previous clients (a reputable contractor will have no issue providing references) and asking important questions about timeliness, professionalism, and work quality. You might also ask how the contractor dealt with unexpected challenges, work order changes, or complaints from neighbors about noise or dust. These answers will give you an idea of who you are considering working with.
- Established safety processes and insurance – Safety is non-negotiable on site clearing and demolition worksites. With so many hazards present, accidents are likely without safety protocols, and that often means delays or exposure to liability.Your contractor should be able to point to its safety measures, such as pre-project safety training. Further, they should have an active general liability insurance policy in place, which can be verified through a certificate of insurance.
- Enough manpower equipment to manage multiple projects – This can be difficult to assess from casual observance, but your contractor should be able to confirm that they have the equipment and labor to handle your project. This goes hand-in-hand with experience, and if they have worked on multiple projects simultaneously in the past, prioritize those clients when reaching out to references. They should be able to confirm the contractor’s logistical fitness.
- A wider set of site development skills – Some site clearing and demolition contractors are able to do more than clear land and demolish structures. They may have site development, excavation, and construction skills, which could be of use depending on your project’s scope. If your job does require those additional skills, it will be more cost effective to source them from a single contractor. It will also be more convenient.
- Comprehensive communication during the proposal process – It’s during the proposal stage that contractors must be their most communicative. They must clearly explain the processes and materials involved in the project, as well as answer any questions posed by the client. The contractor being considered should effectively communicate and leave you with zero doubts about the project’s planning or progression.
A reputable contractor can provide all of the above and largely avoid the delays, errors and budget overruns that are unfortunately common in the industry. Specifically, here are a few more reasons why your organization will need a reputable site clearing and demolition crew:
Compliance Is an Important Part of Demolition and Site Clearing Jobs
Although licensing isn’t required to perform site clearing and demolition work, your contractor will still need to pull permits before they can get started. Site clearing and demolition projects require permits in most areas in Texas, including Houston, and your contractor will be responsible for pulling them.
In addition to the above permitting process, there are environmental and safety regulations your contractor must adhere to during the job. If these regulations are not observed during the job, local authorities may levy fines against the site owner and prevent work from moving forward. Both are major negative consequences, and they are both avoidable if your contractor is reputable and observes proper work practices.
Demolition and Site Clearing Pose Safety Risks That Reputable Contractors are Familiar With
There is a list of hazards that site clearing and demolition teams must contend with during a project, including:
- Heavy vehicle traffic
- Excessive dust
- Excessive noise
- Falling debris
- The presence of hazardous materials, like asbestos.
With a site full of hazards to account for, your contractor should have its work and safety processes down to prevent those hazards from affecting the job’s timeline. A single accident is all it takes to potentially expose your organization to liability, so safety is more than a nice idea – it is absolutely necessary.
Shoddy Demolition and Site Clearing Work Will Cost Your Organization More
If a contractor offers a too-good-to-be-true quote, there’s a good chance that they’ll provide substandard site clearing and demolition work to reduce their costs. That, of course, means your organization will be left with a lower quality result.
For example, the crew may fail to identify utility lines and slice into them. They may leave behind underground obstacles or fail to grub out vegetation to prevent it from growing back. They may not have enough equipment resources to get the site cleared in time or may not even have equipment – such as PPE wear – to handle hazardous materials.
In fact, there may be ominous signs from the very beginning, as less reputable teams often fail to pull permits. That puts your company at risk before a single tree or rock is removed.
In effect, this all adds up to additional costs down the road, as your organization will likely need to hire a second contractor to finish (or correct) the project.
Choose a Reputable Contractor for Site Clearing and Demolition Services
As the opening stages of commercial development, site clearing, and demolition set the tone for the rest of your project. If both are performed competently, thoroughly, and safely, they’ll ensure the job stays on time and on budget.
The opposite is also true, of course, and poorly managed site clearing projects can quickly grow in timeline and cost. Reputable contractors understand this, which is why they have the processes, equipment, and expertise in place to ensure site clearing and demolition are done according to best practices.