Grading Land for New Construction

Grading land for new construction is much more time consuming and expensive than I imagined when we first started to plan our Vacation Rental Business. I originally sent a quote to the bank when applying for our loan with an estimate of $10,000 for our driveway expense…after getting real-life quotes from several reputable companies in our area though, I realized the I needed to increase my budget by 3-5 times that much depending on who I hired!

For our project, we had an existing concrete enforced culvert that crossed our little creek in place and a small roadbed that was great for the tractor up through the woods to the location that the houses would be, but that was it.

To quote this project, the Sub-contractors met with us and measured the length of the driveway (approximately 1400 feet) and looked at the house sites we were building and the type of drainage we would need. Then they added up the expense of grading the driveway to 20 feet wide (per NC standards with Commercial Property) and grading the house sites, removing trees and brush, adding drainage, and finally, putting down gravel…tons of gravel!

We started this process in May and with the amount of rain we have had this summer, we are still not complete. But, I feel like at this point, it is a great time to show how far we have come! You will see all the final touches down the road as we get ready to reveal the finished product!

Things we Learned from our Grading Project
  • Start Grading months before you think you should…its a long process!
  • Get multiple quotes; our prices ranged by $20,000 and we felt good making a decision once we got more than one quote in the same price range
  • Ask for Referrals so that you can view similar projects and speak to owners about their experience.
  • Get everything in writing…many sub-contractors quote without including anything in writing.  Look for Price, what’s included and timeline to be included on your quote.
  • Crushed asphalt made a great base for our main roadbed. You can see it in the video!
  • I don’t like mud…and mud is part of construction…so, I have to learn to like mud to do construction!

Here are pictures of our process!! Be sure to watch the video at the end!!

Grading land for new construction

Crossing the Creek to access the Pasture…this will soon have a road running through it!

Looking down from the top of the hill

The new road will stretch through these trees

A few trees have been removed near the creek and they are burning them to make it easier to get through

From the creek, looking up the hill where the driveway will be cut through…

The burn pile

This small road is what we used as our guide for cutting in the big road

Through these trees we will cut in the driveway and put the two houses up on the hill

This is the beginning of the driveway that will lead to the houses

Opening up the trees to form the main road

The kids loved exploring where the trees had been cut

New construction at living water lane

This is the first “plateau” that is reached when you come up through the pasture.

Mapping out how the driveway will go through the pasture

Grading project at living water retreats

Here you can see the Main road on the right and the drive to the house on the left

Lots of brush and trees to get rid of

They are cutting in the driveway through the pasture!!!

Looks different already!

The second hill being widened and cut in

The drive curves up to the top of the hill and then turns right into the drive for the houses

Commercial grading project at living water lane

Grading the plateau down to get it level…who knew the bank would be so high on the right?

When I originally looked at this, I would never have thought it would need to be cut down so much to level! That is why you hire professionals!

Looking down toward the creek

Grading land commercially for new construction at living water lane

The plateau

New side driveway to house number 1…each house will have its own driveway where we initially planned to let them share one main drive

The Gathering Place road sign is in!!

Putting down gravel on new driveway up to House 1

If this video does not show up here…refresh your page!!

Land Grading for New Construction at Living Water Lane from Kelli Duncan on Vimeo.

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