Shoring and Excavation
Demolition Los Angeles
A “demolition” refers to the removal of any building or portion of a building that bears weight, or is integral to the structure of a building.
While demolishing or dismantling a structure may seem simple enough, it actually involves many risks and must follow extensive WHS Regulations related to construction work, in order to avoid injury and unexpected collapse.
From assessing the structure to carrying out any necessary demolition work in a safe, clean way that keeps the rest of your property free from damage, Pacific Green Homes will work with you and for you every step of the way.
Demolition work means to demolish or dismantle a structure or part of a structure that is load-bearing or otherwise related to the physical integrity of the structure, but does not include:
The word “demolition” may bring to mind the image of a wrecking ball and a pile of rubble, but modern demolition is a much more involved and careful process of deconstruction.
The deconstruction of a home or part of a home allows for the salvaging of materials, which can often be reused in the rebuilding or remodeling project that the demolition is a part of, or in another construction project. This is not only a less wasteful method of remodeling, it is a great cost-saving measure.
The deconstruction process also prevents dangerous collapse and injury, and keeps the surrounding property, or any remaining portion of the structure, free from unwanted damage.
Careful deconstruction is particularly important when only a portion of a structure is to be demolished, especially when that portion is load-bearing or essential to the integrity of the home’s structure.
Partial demolition is key to many major home remodeling projects, such as removing an external wall for an expansion, or, in some cases, converting a home to an open or other floor plan.
When removing a load-bearing portion of a structure, it is particularly important that the deconstruction process be exact and careful, to prevent the loss or collapse of any portion of the structure.
Our designers and contractors at Pacific Green Homes are experts in demolition and the deconstruction process, and can work with you to come up with and execute the renovations you need safely and effectively.
Budgeting for a Demolition Project
Demolition is typically a small portion of the budget for any major remodeling or reconstruction project, averaging only around 10% of the total project budget. However, it is sometimes hard to know before going in what the exact demolition needs will end up being for a particular renovation. Sometimes more of a structure requires removal than anticipated from the outside.
With any remodeling or renovation budget, it’s important to add a cushion of 10 to 15% to your projected total costs, in case unexpected costs emerge.
However, with skilled and professional demolition and deconstruction workers, you are able to have peace of mind about the demolition stage of your project, knowing that it won’t begin with an unexpected collapse or structural error. Pacific Green Homes specializes in demolition that is professional, careful, and cost-effective.
Shoring in Los Angeles
In major construction or renovation projects, shoring is an essential part of maintaining safety and structural integrity while the work is being done.
“Shoring” refers to the placement of props or supports, usually for a temporary time while construction is taking place, in order to maintain the soundness of a structure. It also refers to the props which are put in temporarily during excavation, such as the digging of a basement or foundation, to keep the walls of the excavation from caving in.
Shoring is absolutely essential to the safety of workers, and to ensure the soundness of structures, during construction and renovation. Experts in shoring are able to make the right calls about what parts of structures need additional support, and what types of support are best in which places.
Shoring During Excavation
During the excavation at the beginning of a construction project, shoring is important in many cases to prevent possible collapse or soil turnover that could cause serious injury to workers, or damage to the excavation project.
When excavations are deep enough (such as when excavating a basement foundation), or when certain conditions persist even in a shallow excavation, shoring is used to retain the soil on the sides of the excavation.
A structural engineer or excavation professional will be able to determine when shoring is necessary during an excavation, as well as the type of shoring that will work best for a particular project. There are many different types of shoring supports, such as H- or I-beam shoring, pile shoring, and diaphragm walls for deep excavations.
Professional shoring plans and services during an excavation are essential to ensure the safety of the workers and the effectiveness of the excavation.
Shoring During Construction
Shoring is just as crucial above the ground as well, during construction projects that require added stability while they are underway.
Shoring prevents the collapse of walls, ceilings, and other building elements during construction projects or renovation projects that temporarily compromise the structural balance of a building or part of a building. It can be used while a structure is going up, or—more often—used to support floors and beams in a building during a renovation, when a wall or other supporting element is being taken down, until a new permanent support can be inserted.
Without temporary shoring, many major renovation projects would not be possible, and would result in the collapse of the structure if they were attempted. But with professional, careful shoring, it is possible to perform a major structural renovation on a home, while maintaining as much of its original structure as you wish.
Pacific Green Homes provides expertise in shoring. Our designers and contractors can work with your vision for home construction or renovation, to create and execute a shoring plan that will maintain the structure of your home or excavation, and ensure the peace of mind and safety of your workers during construction or renovation.
Grading in Los Angeles
Grading, or leveling, is an essential step in most construction projects, in which a level, flat base, or a base of a particular slope, is made, on which a foundation or a landscaping element can rest.
Grading is the final element of an excavation, and ensures a strong foundation that will be resistant to crumbling or sinking.
The degree to which a site needs to be graded before construction can begin will depend on a number of factors, including the landscape, soil composition, moisture levels, and other factors. It is important that an excavation professional be consulted when decisions are made about what grading is done and how it is done, before construction begins.
An Effective Grading Plan
A strong and stable construction begins with a good evaluation of the construction site, and a careful plan about what grading needs to be done.
There are several factors which excavation professionals will take into account when determining the best grading plan on a specific property.
Establishing a flat lot (or a lot sloped at a particular angle) is an essential step before a strong foundation can be constructed. So one factor in the grading plan is a determination of the best site for construction, and an assessment of how level the ground currently is, what obstacles might be in the way of construction and require removal, and exactly how much grading needs to take place.
One of the other main purposes of grading is to control water runoff. Effective grading plans will take into consideration rainfall and water flow on your property, and will direct water away from the future site of your house, in order to prevent future flooding.
Improper grading of a home may cause not only floods and moisture in the home, but can potentially cause damage to the foundation of a home, including cracks and erosion. It can also cause water runoff and soil erosion onto a neighbor’s property, or even into a neighbor’s home, if poorly planned.
The designers and contractors at Pacific Green Homes are prepared to work with you to develop the best grading plan and location for your home construction project. With a good grading plan and professional excavators to carry out the work, you will have a site for your future home that is stable, flat, and safeguards against flooding.
The Grading Process
Implementing an effective grading plan is a tricky project, but when carefully done, should provide you with a completely flat lot to begin laying a foundation.
Excavation professionals work in small increments to excavate the minimum amount of soil possible to provide a completely flat surface, in order to provide the best and most cost-effective grading service.
Having professional excavators help develop the grading plans for your property, and carry out the grading as a team, will give you the peace of mind that your construction site is positioned in the best spot possible, and has a strong, even surface on which to build.
Excavation in Los Angeles
Excavation is usually a necessary step during construction projects. The removal of soil, rocks, and other material from a site in order to form a hole or flat surface is an important, difficult, and often high-risk task.
Excavations are a necessary step before laying a foundation for a home or other building, and become an especially large and difficult project when a basement foundation is being constructed.
While the size and the depth of excavation work varies widely based on the project, it is important to approach excavation with expertise and careful planning. Even the most carefully-laid foundation can have problems when a shoddy excavation job has been done beneath it. You can think of the excavation step as “laying the foundation” for your home’s foundation.
Safe Excavation Practices
Not only can a poorly-done excavation present risks for the future of your structure’s soundness, it can also be a dangerous process for those who are doing the excavation.
While there are risks associated with most of the steps of a construction project, excavation work can be one of the most high-risk steps of all.
Possible risks associated with excavation include cave-ins, the accumulation of toxic or flammable vapors inside the excavated space, oxygen deficiencies in the confined spaces, or dangerous falls.
Excavation can also be one of the most unpredictable elements of construction, as the ground condition and variances in the local water table will all change the way in which an excavation will need to be conducted.
There are steps to take to avoid all of these possible risks, such as a regular shoring up of the walls of the excavation to prevent cave-ins, proper equipment and to prevent falls, and multiple best practices to prevent toxic vapors or oxygen deprivation. Pacific Green Homes provides expertise in all of these areas, in order to ensure safe and effective excavations.
Hiring professional excavators to make and implement an excavation plan for your construction project will ensure an excavation that is both safe and injury-free, and that provides a solid and sturdy base for your home’s foundation.
Choosing a Spot to Excavate
An important first step to the excavation process is choosing the exact spot to excavate. This choice determines the exact location on which your home will rest, and so it is an important decision that requires careful consideration.
The obvious first factor in choosing a spot to excavate is considering where you would like your finished home to be positioned.
But other factors must be taken into account as well, including the ground condition, water table, any underground services and pipelines that run through the property, and any natural habitats or trees that you would like to preserve on the property.
Pacific Green Homes’ designers and contractors are able to work with you to determine the ideal spot to construct your home, beginning with the site of excavation. Selecting the perfect spot to build your home, and starting the construction off with a safe and careful excavation, are crucial first steps in beginning the construction of a solid and lasting home.
Foundation in Los Angeles
The most important element of any home is probably a strong foundation.
Pouring a home’s foundation is one of the first steps in a new construction or rebuilding project, and it is one of the most essential steps to a well-built, structurally sound home that will last for years to come. In addition to providing a level surface on which to build a home, a good foundation will also provide insulation for your home, and can keep out moisture or flooding.
Once the area has been cleared of any trees or other debris, and footings have been installed (the rebar-enforced concrete that will provide a basis for the home’s foundation), the foundation of the home can be poured.
Both the footings and the foundation of a home are crucial elements that will be looked at by city inspectors to make sure the home is safe and up to code. Thus a strong foundation is crucial for a home at the beginning and for decades, or even centuries, to come.
While other structural elements of a home can usually be remodeled or updated, a home’s foundation is extremely difficult to repair once it begins to shift or crumble. While the exterior edges of a crumbling foundation can be patched up, this is only a temporary solution that cannot resolve deeper structural issues.
For this reason, hiring professionals with expert knowledge of laying foundation is a good idea for any construction project.
Types of Foundation
There are several common types of foundation for homes, and Pacific Green Homes is equipped to install, and to do repair work, on each type. Our designers and contractors can work with you to determine which type is best for your building project.
Here are the three most common types of foundation:
- Slab: A solid slab of concrete which lies beneath the home. The most common type of foundation for a home or building, this kind of foundation is relatively simple to put in, and is very sturdy and long-lasting if installed correctly.
- Basement: Basements are far less common in Los Angeles than slab foundations. Built using concrete pillars to support the home above, with space in between, a basement provides additional space for living or storage.
- Crawl space: A crawl space is constructed similarly to a basement, but is much smaller. While sometimes used for storage, a crawl space foundation is well-suited to flood-prone areas, as it keeps water out of the main parts of the home.
Whichever type of foundation ends up being the best choice for your construction project, our team will provide expert consultation and construction work, installing footings and a foundation that will resist shifting and settling, and will provide a strong base and lasting base for your home.
The average home weighs around 50 tons. Regardless of the size of your construction project, a strong, sturdy and well-planned foundation is one of the most important steps you will take in building it. Leave it to Pacific Green Homes to help you determine which type of foundation to choose, and construct a foundation that will last.