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How Long Do Earthworks Take?

When you understand earthworks, you get the whole foundation

Copy: Once you’ve made one of the biggest and most important decisions of your life (and finalised all the paperwork) — it’s time to break ground!

You’ve completed prestart, signed all the docs, and your pre-construction schedule is locked in … before we continue, let’s celebrate the huge mark you’ve made on your new home build so far! 

You’ve done all the hard work and, next up, we start the build. To kick off we need to complete a process called earthworks—it’s the all-important foundation of your home so we take serious care at this stage; it’s kind of our calling card the whole way through and you’ll see why it’s especially essential when we prep the ground.

How important is the earthworks stage? 

Well, simply put, the earthworks process involves moving, changing, or relocating the ground to make the perfect base for your new pad (it’s like cleaning the kitchen before you make pasta).  It’s what we refer to as the reshaping or prepping of your plot before the slab can be laid. Over a few weeks, we ensure the foundation of your mark is prepared and levelled with every bit of care. 

Think of it like this: earthworks could mean the difference between a home that rivals the longevity of the Gaza Pyramids and your childhood tent with two pegs missing!

First, the sand pad (minus the organics)

Levels of blocks are set to create a tightly compacted sand pad that will be the solid base for the remarkable home you’re bringing into the world. Most blocks, when left untouched for some time, start to sprout all kinds of weird and (sometimes, wonderful) things. We need to remove these goodies—particularly the plants, weeds, and shrubs—to create a smooth, solid base to build upon. 

During the earthwork process, we call in the professional earth workers to:

Scrape the site

This involves removing the organic matter from your plot of land to be able to start the process of leveling it out. Bushes, trees, shrubs, and more will be removed to make way for levelling.

Level the lot

Now is when the process of leveling out the earth starts to take shape. Surplus soil will be removed to ensure things are nice and even.

Add sand

This will continue to help level the space in areas as needed and provide all important drainage areas.

Compact the area

This will tighten up and ready the earth for your slab to be laid!

Set the location one peg at a time

Once all this prep work is done, the site will be ‘re-pegged’ by a land surveyor to ensure we know exactly where your block starts and ends, and—most importantly—build your home in the correct location. Initially, your developer would have pegged the block to mark your plot, but many of those original pegs go missing or are generally misplaced during this time. 

Next, the engineers are called in to undertake a site inspection and give everything their tick of approval. After this, it’s finally time to add pre-lays to the site in preparation for laying the slab. 

The layers of your foundation

We know you’ll be keen to get to the slab party stage, but each layer of your foundation has a seriously important job to do. This is what we add:

  • A termite barrier to help prevent future termites from getting into your home’s structure.
  • Waterproofing membranes to help with filtering.
  • Plumbing pre-lays to help move waste systems out of the house down the line.
  • Service penetrations, including inward water, gas and electrical, and outward grey and black water waste.
  • Engineer-specified steel mesh which sits just under the concrete.

Timeline of earthworks 

So, how long does the whole earthworks process take? From start to finish (in a record that the Gaza Pyramid people would envy), it takes approximately three weeks. After this has all taken place, it’s time to pour—not the wine, but something rather more expensive and less tasty. Your concrete slab! Now that you know how long the earthworks take, it’s time to prep for your slab party.

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