Tradespeople part 1: Ground workers

In part 1 of 7 where we discuss the professionals you’ll need for a self-build, we talk about ground workers and what they’re responsible for.

ground workers

You must never underestimate the importance of the ground workers on a construction site. Much like pawns on a chessboard, they’re the ones who go in and prepare the area for other tradespeople to come in and do their various work. They’ll construct the foundations of your home, which is the most important part.

Ground workers are the first and last people on site. They start by putting in the levels, digging up the ground to the required depth, excavating and putting concrete in the foundation and building this up until the base of the house is complete. They’re also responsible for connecting up your drainage system and laying down any driveways and footpaths that you want.

They are always led by a foreman who directs their work until it’s completed according to plan. They’ll often lay the brickwork up to the damp proof course (dpc), so that the bricklayers can start work straight away.

How involved do I have to be with their work?

You can be as involved or uninvolved as you like, although you should probably just leave them to it. The foreman will have knowledge of what you want done with your self-build project and will dictate everything so that there shouldn’t be any deviation from your original plans. If you have experience of what ground workers do then by all means get stuck right in. You may save a small amount of money on your overall budget but in the grand scheme of things it won’t warrant the time or effort.

Where can I find ground workers and how much do I have to pay?

There are plenty of ground workers about, so you won’t have to look very hard. You can find some online who will be suited to your particular job, or through word of mouth or recommendations from other professionals. If you hire an architect or a design and build company, then you won’t have to worry about finding them. It’ll all be sorted for you on your behalf.

When it comes to paying for ground workers, it can be a little complicated. If you’re your own project manager then you’ll have to construct a detailed run-down of all the involved costs, which will include labour, toilet facilities, materials, digger hire, and insurance. Paying for other professionals like plumbers and electricians is normally much simpler and less costly, but once again it can’t be stressed how important the work of ground workers is!

Tradespeople part 2: Local builders.

Image: Ryan

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