When planning a home, it’s incredibly tempting to get wrapped up in the details of the house itself, but what many homeowners don’t realize is that there’s this giant piece of the puzzle completely outside the home that often dictates how the entire build will go . . . this one so-very-often-overlooked factor that decides whether construction will flow smoothly and can actually reduce the number of days it takes to build your home OR will sabotage every single step and make the whole construction process excessively more difficult.
What is this thing that could so influence the construction of your home? Homesite access!
A property’s site conditions are the true foundation for a future home. When you’re building on your property, you must keep in mind that simply building the structure is not the only thing you need to take into consideration for your timeline. In my experience (over 22 years in construction), no two properties are alike when it comes to site conditions and site access. We’ve seen the property with soil that holds quite a bit of water, then moved about half a mile down the road to find soil that is completely different and dries up quickly! The biggest cause of delay when building a home is rain. Anything that can be done to help alleviate obstacles that could be amplified by weather will help to speed up the build.What can you do?
I once worked with a homeowner who decided to build up a pad to put his home and driveway on. Instead of bringing dirt in, he hired a company to dig a pond on the property (which is a very common practice). The dirt from the pond ended up being what we call “blackjack” dirt, meaning that the soil is mostly clay which is very sticky and does not compact well at all. It turned out that the entire property was covered with blackjack. Just because the property was “cleared” to the house, he thought he’d established “home site access,” but in reality, there was nowhere to safely drive to the actual build area. We ended up adding a 200-foot limestone driveway to the property, which didn’t give us a supportive enough base due to the blackjack dirt underneath. On a daily basis, subcontractor after subcontractor got stuck and we were continually having to tow them out. This caused months of delay since it meant almost completely stopping construction every time it rained and for days, even weeks, afterward.Homeowner Story 2: Room to deliver materials
A different homeowner I was building for decided to install a very sturdy limestone driveway which was 150 feet long. It was safe for the trucks, amazing for access and absolutely helped us complete the build in a more timely manner. The house was placed on a large dirt pad, but the property was densely wooded. Due to this, the few open areas on the property consistently held standing water. This made it difficult to have material delivered since there was not a lot of space to put it down. The problem with not having enough area for the material is that subcontractors had to wait on the material to be delivered, instead of having the materials already on-site and ready for use. This caused subcontractors to reschedule.
-Written by our Project Manager in the Baton Rouge Region, Jason Foster
Manuel Builders is a family owned company that has been in business for over 50 years. We build residential homes on your lot and develop outstanding communities. We have built in Lafayette, Carencro, Broussard, Youngsville, Erath, Kaplan, Ville Platte, Lake Charles, Sulphur, Westlake, Moss Bluff, Iowa, Dequincy, Duson, Scott, Maurice, Anchorage, Port Allen, Brusly, Addis, Baton Rouge, Scotlandville, Merrydale, Monticello, Central, and surrounding cities in Louisiana. Manuel Builders reserves the right to make changes to speculative homes under construction. Colors, exterior finishes and square footage may vary from pictures, plans, and virtual tours. Elevation Renderings could include optional features that are not included in the base price. Prices also subject to change without notice.