Purchasing or building a new home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your lifetime. So each and every decision you make from the building to the maintenance phases of your home’s lifespan is important.
In 2017, Gravel Grading & Excavating had the opportunity to help a local couple in the building of their new home in a Cascade, Iowa, subdivision. From the planning of the foundation to the final grading & seeding of the lawn, we helped walk the couple through their new construction and build the home of their dreams.
Preparing and setting the foundation of your home is a critical step in the building process. Before the first shovel of dirt was even moved, we carefully went through the house plans with the homeowners and their builders and discussed the exact layout and placement of the home on their lot. In addition, we made sure that underground utilities and lines were located and clearly identified for the safety of everyone on the job. Once those steps were accomplished, we were able to get in and mark out the area with paint and yard flags to guide our equipment for excavation. Our talented crew then brought in the heavy equipment and began excavating and relocating the dirt and topsoil, making sure to preserve as much as possible for the final yard grading at the end of construction.
In this particular project, as we began excavating, we came upon an unexpected development - limestone. A few feet below the surface and unidentifiable before excavation, was a large limestone deposit. In order to continue the home’s construction and get the footings and foundation deep enough for the plans, we had to bring in jackhammer attachments to break apart the rock so it could be removed from the site. Though this discovery set the construction process back by a few days, with the expertise of our crew and the dependability of our equipment, we were able to address the situation and resume excavation.
Once we had the initial hole dug, we brought in laser grading equipment to ensure that it was formed to the exact specifications of the blueprints in order for the next contractors to come in to frame and pour the concrete walls and floors.
Underground Lines and Systems Installation
As the construction continued, our crew was called back in to help install exterior water and sewer line connections. As this residence was within city limits, our job was to connect the home’s systems to the main lines at the curb.
As we did with the digging of the foundation, we needed to make sure all existing underground utilities were clearly marked for the safety of our crew. We could then assess the lot and plan exactly where these essential systems should be installed. With each job like this, our crew’s goal is to find the best location for these water and sewer lines so they both perform at optimal quality for the homeowners and in accordance with city and state code. Once the plan was in place, the guys of Gravel Grading & Excavating were then able to bring in our trenching equipment and create runs in the lot where the pipes would be fitted and ultimately connected them into the main valves along the street.
When installing or replacing lines such as these, it helps to have the assistance of an experienced crew. From knowledge of local codes to experience in proper procedures, our crew was able to quickly get our homeowners access to these critical systems.
Downspout Trenching & Installation
Near the completion of the home’s exterior, our crew returned to the job site, this time tasked with connecting the home’s downspouts to an underground system of perforated drainage pipes.
When water from a home’s roof runs off into the gutters and to the downspout, it can greatly amass force and have enough momentum to dislodge dirt, mulch, and anything that it encounters when it reaches ground level. In the case of these homeowners, they wanted to prevent as much erosion as possible, and so decided to trench in their downspouts. This plan brings the spouts into subsurface levels where they connect with drainage pipe. The underground pipe then routes the water to an area that has been designed for high-capacity water retention and controlled water absorption.
This step, while not essential, greatly helps with protecting your lawn as well as your home’s foundation, preventing water pooling and leakage in the basement or foundation that can occur in heavy precipitation events.
Finish Grading/Yard Prep
The final phase of this project was straightening up around the construction site and preparing the yard for the future lawn. Our crew came in with John Deere dozers to get the larger dirt piles spread out and backfill trenches and holes. We then brought in our Bobcat skidsteers with a rake attachment to level out the grades and aerate the topsoil. This aeration and stirring up of the soil helps grass seed root further into the ground and improve the success of the lawn.
When undertaking a large-scale building project such as a new home construction, there are lots of people you can work with, crews you can hire, and decisions you can make. But the underlying goal is to create a structure that is built on a solid foundation and can withstand the elements for years to come. Our crew at Gravel Grading & Excavating was proud to help this young couple build the home of their dreams, and we thank them for trusting us to help provide that foundation for their family to grow into.
If you’re thinking about a new home build, contact our crew at Gravel Grading & Excavating. We’ve got years of education and experience in moving the earth for our customers, and we’d be honored to be part of your residential construction process.
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