For many people, especially in our DIY-friendly, workmanlike corner of the country, the best way to move into your dream home is to build it yourself.

That process begins with clearing your lot, which will do everything from removing trees and large rocks to provide the space for your structure and, if desired, a yard — to preventing pests and disease from getting into your new space.

We first and foremost recommend contacting an expert to aid you in formulating and carrying out this plan. Beyond that, here are a few tips that will help you determine and follow the correct procedure to get your plot shovel-ready:

  • Have your lot surveyed and its soil tested. This will help you know if and where it is most safe to build and what other steps you may need to take to make your structure and its foundation safer.
  • Remove pre-existing structures, both above and below ground, that may interfere with what you have planned.
  • Remove downed trees, bushes, stones and live trees that are where your structure will go.
  • Have the plot graded. Land that looks completely flat at first glance can be sloped enough to cause serious issues down the road.

All of this will be integral to make sure an effective and safe foundation is installed under your structure. Without one, whatever you build will not stand the test of time and weather, and this is not an easy issue to fix after you’ve begun building.

It’s worth mentioning here also you should be aware of whatever permits and licenses you may need to begin building, issued at either the state or local level.

These are all steps that are in our wheelhouse to ensure the safety and effectiveness of your structure. We strongly suggest enlisting professionals for the excavating process — it’s more than simply moving dirt and rocks around. We are trained and certified and possess the proper equipment to make this process the most easy for you that it can be!