Spring in Ontario usually signals the beginning of foundation work. With snow melted, extra moisture, out of the soil, and lower probability of frozen ground – it is a good time to start foundation preparation work if you want to see the house go up before fall.

If you have planned your project right, you have your land surveys in order, as well as blueprints for the house approved and are ready to start the foundation work. Preparing the site for construction is truly a big part of successful construction project.

Is your site ready for excavation? Preparing the site for construction is much more than just bringing an excavator in and start digging. With the plot survey in hand  it is important to look at the plot and determine the terrain specifics and location of the future building in relation to the plot and other structures, type of soil, plot’s natural topography and presence of infrastructure elements such as gas lines, electrical and water mains  and overhead wires.

If there was a structure built before it is important that the ground has been cleared from debris, and the remains of previous foundation have been excavated properly, so that the base for the foundation construction remains stable and maintains specified density. If there are tree stumps massive root systems and larger stones they all have to be removed from the site and disposed properly not to impede the construction.

If the plot is uneven it has to be graded by leveling the high points and filling in the low points with the soil, creating proper base for your building. In fact, in certain conditions the separate grading permit will be required. Unless the architect took into consideration the natural features of the terrain and its topography and has incorporated it in the building design – for example designing a backsplit overlooking the ravine.

In fact, building on the ravine plots, has become increasingly popular and offers beautiful views and privacy to the future owners of the house, but, of course, comes with its own stipulations, and requires additional permits. As any such development is being watched closely the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority ( TRCA), as ravines and watersheds are an important part of Southern Ontario ecosystem, and also some of this areas may present a geological hazard by posing a risk of a landslide and erosion.

Another important point is the drainage pattern of the existing site conditions and proposed construction which is always indicated on the plans. Measures according to sound engineering practice shall be taken to prevent any erosion and water runoff damage to adjacent properties during the excavation right through completion of construction.

The soil density is another important component that is reflected on your survey and it has to be adequate to the calculated weight of the building to provide it enough support and stability, and while certainly is one of the key calculated factors in multistory building construction, should not be overlooked in smaller scale residential construction, and taking it a step before in site preparation for construction. Before the foundation construction starts the soil has to be compacted to the calculated density and if required certain additives might be added.

When you choose the contractor for the project it is important that he has the right equipment and expertise for the scale of the project and understands licensing and permit procedures as well.

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