The Expert Advantage: Why Dirt Work and Site Prep Should be Handled by a Reputable Houston TX Team
Site preparation is a challenge in the best of conditions, and Houston rarely offers those. Down here along the Gulf Coast, soil and weather conspire to make large-scale development difficult. Difficult, but not impossible, as long as there’s a reputable dirt work team on the job.
A crew with proven experience and a proven reputation brings several advantages to the project – advantages that equal lower costs and reduced delivery times.
Here, we’ll address four of the most important reasons to hire a reputable site development team. As you’ll see, partnering with an expert pays off from start to finish.
1) A Reputable Site Preparation Team Will Get the Necessary Permits in a Timely Fashion
Almost all construction projects require permitting, and site preparation is no different. The permitting process verifies that all construction will meet zoning requirements, so it puts the development and build teams on notice.
The earlier the permitting process starts, the better. Any delays here will have cascading effects on the rest of the project, so it’s a critical step to tackle quickly. Reputable dirt work crews have experience with local planning and permitting agencies, so they know what those permitting timelines look like.
The temptation to save money is always there, but bottom-dollar developers can cause problems even at this early stage. If permits aren’t acquired in time, it will cause delays. If permits aren’t acquired at all, then a future court date may be in order. After all, someone will have to pay the fines and cost of redoing work when the no-permit approach backfires.
2) An Experienced Dirt Work Team Will Map Out the Project and Avoid Blockers
Site development may be just one part of the overall construction process, but it’s made up of many steps itself. Specifically, every dirt work project involves the following:
- Site evaluation and surveying
- Soil testing and analysis
- Site planning
- Land clearing and grubbing
- Cutting and filling
- Installing drainage
- Site compaction
There are potential obstacles at every stage of the project. Some of these obstacles are “blockers,” or tasks that must be completed before the project can proceed. Blockers can quickly turn into bottlenecks if they aren’t identified ahead of time, which is why reputable developers do just that – create a timeline for every project phase and determine who is accountable for each of those tasks. With extensive upfront planning, reputable teams are always ahead of potential bottlenecks, so their impact is minimized.
3) A Reputable Site Prep Crew Will Have the Equipment Resources for Commercial-Scale Projects
Large-scale commercial development demands large-scale mobilizations. Reputable contractors have the equipment resources – excavators, dozers, graders, trenchers, haulers – to match the project’s needs. They know how to efficiently deploy these resources so they can efficiently access the project site. Further, reputable developers have sufficient manpower to draw from – a welcome bonus, as low-rate contractors often have trouble holding onto labor.
Material or labor shortfalls are a primary cause of construction delays. Reputable developers forecast potential shortfalls and work to resolve them before they slow job progress.
4) A Reputable Site Developer Will Have Engineering Expertise on Hand to Ensure Precision Work
Ultimately, what separates reputable developers from the rest is execution. Reputable contractors only succeed if the job is done well, so their work is precise. In site development, precision means everything is graded, shaped, cut and filled within ultra-tight tolerances. The building pads are compacted properly, the topsoil is replaced properly, and all drainage structures are built with the proper slope.
Achieving this level of precision consistently is impossible without an engineer on the team. If a site developer does attempt a commercial-scale project without an engineer, there could be issues with:
- Creating sufficiently detailed site plans
- Securing site access
- Establishing the right location for buildings
- Selecting the right foundation design for structures
- Assessing thermal and wind-related loads on buildings
- Calculating the optimal slope for drainage lines
Reputable crews have engineering expertise on staff to draw from. As such, their work is far more likely to remain within necessary tolerances.
In Houston, Clays and Floods Can Confound Inexperienced Site Developers
Dirt work? In Houston, that often means clay work. Houston’s soil is notorious for its high clay content – you may hear it not-so-affectionately referred to as “gumbo soil.” Gumbo soil is characterized by a small amount of organic material and a large helping of expansive clay particulates.
This soil is a nightmare to deal with after a major rain event. The expansive clays inside the soil readily uptake water and stubbornly retain it. As they do, the soil expands, and when it dries out, it shrinks again. This swelling-shrinking cycle can be devastating to foundations, including slab-on-grade foundations that are featured all over the Houston area.
Given these developmental difficulties, it’s critical for property owners to choose a team that has a history of success with soils similar to Houston’s gumbo mix. The easiest way to do that is to choose a team that’s had success in Houston.
Developing in the Bayou City Can Be as Swampy as it Sounds, So Choose a Proven Houston Team
The Gulf Coast is plagued with developer-unfriendly soils, but expert dirt work teams are adaptable, if nothing else. In Houston, the expert developers have adapted to the area’s expansive soils with careful site analysis, modified work practices and specialized equipment resources.
What is that kind of reputable contractor worth? With a reputable site developer launching the project’s opening steps, initial milestones will be easier to hit. With a reputable Houston team handling the details, your project’s foundation, so to speak, will be on solid ground.
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