Is Your Lot Ready?

Everybody knows the phrase, "It was built from the ground up." This phrase has an obvious connection to the building process and to a building's start. This same thought can apply to both large and small projects.

Take a look at some considerations to ensure a good start to your building project.


Do you officially own your property? Sounds straightforward but this would be necessary for new utility accounts and for any financing needed. We often see jointly shared lake properties. Are the others on board for any changes? If you are buying a lot, most purchase agreements will require you to have the transaction completed before any alterations begin.


A site survey, do you need one? A site survey may be unnecessary when building a new home on a large tract of land. On the other hand, the unique space requirements for lake and town properties usually call for an accurate account of property lines.


Do you have an address? At times, raw or recently split land does not have an assigned address. You certainly can get your project rolling without an address by using your parcel number but you will need an address for your utility accounts. Besides, if you get your address established right away everyone will know where to send the house warming party RSVP’s.

Site Clearing

Is property clearing needed? When considering how much space is needed, it is helpful to consider what you are building. Size and orientation are obviously important. Do you have plans for outdoor living areas? Of note, this does not have to mean a mindless removal of all vegetation. Efforts can be put forth to preserve certain areas from the clearing process. This would be the case in sensitive areas such as lakeshore.


Do you know what the necessary permits are? By nature, permits are specific to your project. A zoning permit is the most basic for structures. In some instances, a tradesman will get the necessary permit for their portion of the project, i.e. well driller. Remember, you must follow applicable building codes even if a project does not require a permit.


Do you need a sewer system? In most cases, if you are building in a location without a public sanitation system, you will need a private sewer system. You will need an approved sewer design that is specific to your site. A primary location and an alternate are determined using a soil assessment from the site. Not all areas on a site are viable for a sewer so it is important to consider this early on in your planning.


Do you have a water supply on the property? Connecting to a municipal water supply is straightforward when the infrastructure is already in the abutting road. Call your local water department to clarify your access location. A private well can be installed at any time during a project but prior planning is necessary. A well has to meet setbacks from structures and other elements such as any sewer nearby. You would not want the well location to conflict with the other plans for your project.


How is the approach, driveway or site access? In some cases, you may need to build up the current driveway. This would ensure it could withstand the rigors of a construction project like cement trucks. If you still need an access from the road, make a determination of where you will access your property. The county you are in has minimum requirements to meet.

Electrical Service

Is there electrical service on site? If not, find out what cooperative services your area. Each co-op will have an application for service and require a base fee to begin the process. Plan to include your electrical needs, such as heating and cooling in the application. They will make a site visit with you to determine where the meter will be located.

Site Elevations

Is it necessary to build your lot up before building? Elevation changes in terrain can be difficult to perceive with the eye. This is especially true when viewing land with vegetation. Using a laser transit is one way you can accurately determine the slope and elevation of the building site. Water needs to be diverted away from your building. Therefore, even a flat terrain may need to be built up some.

So, has the groundwork been completed for your project? If not, we can take of many of the following items on your behalf. We can also guide you through the rest.

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