Preparing the building site

Site Prep


Several trees needed to be removed on my site for bushfire protection – they were also dropping limbs so they were potentially dangerous. The trees were identified in a Bushfire Hazard Management Plan – what it is, and its implications, will be discussed later in a separate post.



A large blue gum that was dropping limbs and needed to be removed


Even if you own a piece of land you may still need permission to remove particular trees – check with your local council before firing up the chainsaw. It was OK to cut down smaller trees without a permit, but a couple of the larger trees had conservation significance. I had to pay a biodiversity offset of $350 per tree to remove two particular large trees – total cost $700.


It would have been good if I had been able to keep all of the established trees on the site, but as they say: you can’t make an omelette without felling some trees. While removing the trees was a requirement for bushfire purposes, it also had other benefits: to minimise the chance of branches (or the tree) falling on the building; allow more winter sun into the house site; provide timber that could be milled to use for cladding of the house; and deliver some firewood to keep my parents warm during winter. Burning the branches and leaves also keep me warm while working on site!



Burning off the leaves and branches

What lies beneath

Having a neighbor with a tractor and an excavator is pretty handy when it comes to preparing a site for construction. Tree stumps were dug up and the building area was leveled out a bit. This was all done when the weather was good and the ground was dry. What we didn’t realise was the clay just beneath the topsoil was very sticky and slippery when wet – we soon found that out…



Excavator creating the cut; tractor leveling out the building site


Disclaimer: Any advice contained within this blog is of a general nature only and cannot be relied upon. Details provided are in good faith and relate specifically to this project. Any author will not be held responsible for advice or information presented.

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