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Site Preparation

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Site preparation includes: clearing of the site and the preparation of services to the site. Site preparation is generally not a cost that is included in the intial construction cost estimate, because what lies below the surface is often unknown.

Demolition of existing structures

Before demolition can begin:

  • All services such as power, water, gas etc need to be disconnected.
  • Stormwater and sewer drains will need to be sealed as well.
  • Adjoining properties may need to be protected.
  • The site must be fenced or suitably barricaded to prevent public access during the demolition process.

New legislation requires that where possible materials from demolition must be retained for reuse, resale or recycling. Recycling commitments will need to be outlined to council in the DA stage.

Where asbestos or materials containing asbestos are involved in the demolition works, compliance with WorkCover or WorkSafe legislation must be maintained at all times.

Establishment of Services

Services are:

  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Stormwater
  • Sewerage
  • Gas

Council requires that a temporary electrical sub-station and toilet facilities be established on-site before construction commences.

If there are no or insufficient services on site, or they need extending, permission from council and relevant authorities will be required.


A hoarding (site fencing) will also need to be erected and is to remain for the entire construction period.

Sediment control

The builder may have to use a combination of swaling, hay bales and sedimentaion fencing on a sloping block to stop earth falling onto the road or into drains and waterways.

Set out of dwelling

The builder (and quite often the surveyor) pegs out the dwelling footprint from the design drawings. They start at a boundary corner, peg a corner of the building, then lay a string line to describe the perimeter of construction. If the building has walls that step in and out each wall and its change in direction will need to be located on the site - this process usually takes one day.