Builders | Building Siteworks - Dial a Contractor - Site Works

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  • An Introduction to Siteworks
  • Excavation
  • Site Huts & Toilets
  • Poisoning
  • Tree Felling & Stump Removal
  • Signage


The equipment most commonly used to clear a site is a TLB (tractor loaded backhoe) or sometimes a front end loader. This would be used by a skilled operator and would cope with most site clearing tasks. These units are readily available and can be hired daily or hourly, at a wet or dry rate - the wet rate includes diesel, the dry rate excludes diesel. This equipment would be supplied with an operator. As the rental of this equipment is time related, careful instruction is important to avoid unnecessary movement of soil and wasting of valuable time.

A site of 100m2 with lightly uneven ground and a covering of grass or weeds can be cleared and ready for construction in about four hours. It must be noted that some hire companies have a minimum fee which can very well be half a day or six hours.

Sometimes earthfill is needed to either level a site or fill depressions, or maybe fill after foundation brickwork has been done to the underside of the surface bed. This fill is either builder’s rubble (hardcore) or a soil that is suitable and safe to use for that particular application. Your local supplier of sand and stone will generally undertake to transport this filling material. The building contractor will have to assess the quantities needed for this purpose. Most transporters of aggregates or fill use 6m3 or 10m3 trucks, and it would be advisable to order in these quantities where possible.

Some building sites would require that excess soil is removed from site to a dump or a building site where fill is needed. In most cases, this would be the task of a TLB and trucks and would be undertaken by your aggregate suppliers or plant hire company.


Site huts
Site huts are an absolute necessity if no other water or rain-proof lockable facility is available. They would generally be used for the storage of cement or any other items susceptible to water damage or theft. Examples of such huts are:
a timber frame clad in corrugated iron sheeting (wendy houses)
brick-built with a mud type mortar mix and demolished on completion
park homes (for larger sites)
It must be noted that stringent regulations are enforced regarding site huts and other temporary facilities, and the onus falls on the builder to be aware of these regulations. These regulations would relate mostly to the occupant of such a dwelling who would reside therein as a watchman or the like. The type of flooring, adequate ventilation, roofing and more would have to adhere to the minimum regulations set down by the local authority. Should any accidents occur where the occupant is injured, the building contractor would be held responsible.

Site toilets
Most new building sites do not have toilet facilities, but portable toilets can be hired, or temporary site toilets conforming to local authority regulations can be constructed for use during the term of construction.

Siting of site toilets
No excavation for a pit latrine can be sited within 3 metres of any building or any boundary of the site on which it is located.

Where any excavation for a pit latrine is positioned outside the closet so that excreta is delivered into it from a chute fitted under the closet seat, such excavation must be adequately covered over.

Where any closet, other than a chemical closet, forms part of any dwelling house, such closet should be so positioned and constructed as to prevent the transmission of odours to the rest of such house. No closet, other than a chemical closet, shall open directly into any habitable room.

Any closet which contains a removable pail shall be provided with access to such pail for replacement purposes so that the pail is not carried out through the doorway of such closet and such access must be provided with a self-closing fly proof lid.

Poisoning of soil under concrete surface beds and foundations is always a recommendation, especially in areas with known termite infestation. Rates vary according to the type of poison used, type of pest involved, size of project, and varying soaking depths.

Treatment must be effected once the footings are built and the filling has been consolidated, prior to the laying of conduits. It is also recommended that a plastic sheet with no puncture holes be laid over the treatment (Gundle USB green black). This would also eliminate rising damp if correctly applied.

There are also insecticides available for use on all timber which comes in contact with the building surfaces, i.e., window frames and doors. The product is painted on with a paint brush and usually three coats are ample to impregnate the wood.

Soil treatments are used to combat termite nests encountered in the surrounds to a building. The aim is to introduce approximately 40 litres of the mixture into the nest which would gas the queen, and the nest will die

Tree felling and stump removal may seem an easy task, yet this often requires skilled persons such as chain saw operators and sometimes even people skilled in the use of dynamite. Many building sites today are in built-up areas between existing buildings or maybe down panhandles. The tree feller needs to know where the tree will fall, its length when fallen and removal of it after it has been cut down bit by bit from the top. As this is such a diverse and varied trade, it is impossible to give guideline prices. It would be necessary for the tree feller to evaluate the amount of work on site by means of a site visit before a quote can be given. The following points are however taken into account when pricing.

Alive or dead

Type of tree (some have brittle timbers, others have soft flexible timbers. This determines if branches can be swung towards the trunk or if they need to be tied off and lowered).

– e.g. Eucalyptus (brittle)
– e.g. Cedar (soft flexible)

Crown leaf volume (mass)

Proximity to buildings, boundary walls, swimming pools etc.

Accessibility for debris removal and stump excavation (the longer the distance the debris has to be taken, the higher the price).

Services would include tree pruning and shaping, thinning out of branches to improve light penetration, tree removal, stump removal, bracing of trees, tree maintenance (removal of dead branches, die back, dead heart rot, etc) and tree transplanting.

Signage consists of:
SABS approved Chromadek sheeting mounted on 25 x 25 square tubing frame, treated as per SABS standards, and erected with 76 mm x 2 mm D-profile treated poles with galvanised bolts, planted 700 mm deep in soil, concrete anchored.
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