Whilst waiting for approvals, work on site begins. And lots can be done!
Read on to see photos and footage – it’s really exciting. Here’s the latest update in the New Zealand New Home Project Diary.
In our last instalment, I shared the final design concept drawings that I prepared for the Andersons. This package enabled them to commission a local draftsperson to work with them to create an approval package and construction documentation.
In the meantime, there is often work you can commence on site without building approval. It’s always worthwhile checking if this applies in your area, for your site – as it can give you a fantastic head start on your project. Building approvals can sometimes take a few months, and that can be a long time to delay a project. Check what’s possible for your project, and whether there’s any work you can commence before you receive building approval – whilst managing your risk as well! (You always have to consider what will happen if you don’t get your building approval when you anticipate it! This is important risk management in any project.)
First, let’s begin with site preparation and excavation
Whilst the Andersons kicked off documentation, and also started getting prices and quotes from various suppliers, this work commenced on site.
“Work has started onsite. So exciting to see some physical changes after being buried in plans and getting quotes from suppliers. Due to soil conditions in this area the geotech report required excavation so that we can achieve a compacted sand base of a minimum 600mm under the foundations. We have also tidied up around the eastern and northern boundaries, trimming back hedging on adjoining properties that had overgrown significantly. It feels like we have another 5m of land on these boundaries now.”
Once the site is prepared and the correct pad level is set, the sand base can begin
It will vary based on your site, your soil conditions and your local building rules as to how a site is prepared. On this site, a sand base is created to act as the platform for the home’s concrete slab floor and foundations. This will not always occur, so check you local area as to how sites are prepared before slabs are poured. And you may be having an elevated floor structure, which will vary again!
The sand base here provides a stable, level base for the home’s concrete slab. And remember, that sand base is sitting on an excavated site, where varying trenches were dug for different areas of the home – where walls were loadbearing vs where they were not, for example.
More progress on the sand base. Now that it’s been excavated its time to refill it with sand being continuously compacted with a roller. It’s a slow, methodical and somewhat tedious task. Amazing to see the colour difference from last weeks excavation as it went through the top soil, to this bright white sand.
The sand pad is all complete now, site is pretty much cleared and getting leveled. The roller worked overtime creating a really solid base. We have been really lucky with the soil conditions here, free draining and next to not clay to have to manage. Just wonderful top soil and sand.
The drone footage is a fantastic way to see the size and layout of the home isn’t it?
In the next instalment, the Andersons will progress to having site services installed, and also get a head start on their landscaping. The beautiful thing about gardens are that they grow, and everything costs less when you buy it small. So the Andersons are employing a great strategy to save money, and make the most of their construction time.
Until next time …
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