Home Construction 101: How To Perform A Site Inspection

Architect surveying a new building plot
  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: April 25, 2023
  • Updated On: July 11, 2023

Buying a property where you’ll build your home is a significant investment; you would want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth even before you take a loan. So, it’s in your best interest to inspect a site before buying a property, as the construction of your home depends on the quality of the land you’re getting.

However, you’re surely not an expert in site inspections. After all, while you know the things you want and don’t want to see in a property, it would help if you could follow a well-structured guide to assist you. This article will be that guide, so continue reading.

Survey The Land

Surveying the land is the most basic step in inspecting a property. Begin by walking around the perimeter of the property. Look for possible obstructions or concerns that may interfere with the construction process and cause future problems.

Some common issues you should look for are rocky soil, underground pipelines, deep-rooted trees, and pest infestations. Gauge if you have the time and resources to work on those problems. Do you need soil testing before building? Alternatively, will you need to hire someone or a contractor to remove the deep-rooted trees? Be sure to consider these things.

After surveying, the next step is to assess the topography around the property.

Assess The Property’s Topography

The type of foundation that will be constructed on the property depends on the topography around it. Because of that, observe the elevation of the land and look for potential hazards like steep slopes. Check the soil’s consistency to see if it’s stable enough to hold a foundation.

Action of safety officer is writing and check on checklist document

Remember that choosing the most suitable foundation for the property help ensure the stability of the structure you’ll build on top of it. After all, a property’s location and topography are some of the factors to consider before laying a home’s foundation. After assessing the topography, the next step is to check for existing utility lines.

Check For Existing Utility Lines

Hitting existing utility lines is just a huge headache you should prevent. The damage it can cause can be devastating. Not to mention that the costs associated with fixing these damages aren’t just worth the trouble.

Because of these reasons, contact the local utility companies to check for existing utility lines. Mark the location of these lines to avoid disrupting them during construction. You can ensure the construction process runs smoothly by avoiding damage to utility lines. Once you know the location of existing utility lines or confirm their absence, determine your property’s legal boundaries.

Identify Legal Boundaries

As people in the old times always say, love thy neighbor and know where their property ends and where yours starts—people don’t really say it that way, but you get the idea. Anyway, the goal here is to avoid and protect yourself from potential legal disputes with your neighbors once you start construction.

To start, review the land survey or plot plan to identify legal boundaries. Mark these boundaries to avoid encroachment on neighboring properties. By being aware of legal limitations, you can ensure that your construction project remains within your property limits. Once that’s done, check the soil quality.

Check The Soil Quality

Checking the soil quality helps you determine its load-bearing capacity. Collect soil samples from various parts of the property. Send these samples to a soil testing laboratory for analysis.

Aside from learning the load-bearing capacity of your property, knowing the soil quality allows you to choose the appropriate foundation and construction materials to use. The next step is then assessing the site’s drainage.

Assess Site Drainage

A property with good site drainage prevents water damage to the foundation. Because of that, you need to know how well your construction site can drain water. To do that, observe how water flows around the property during rainfall. Identify areas where water accumulates or flows toward the foundation.

Once you know whether the site drainage’s good or bad, you can plan and implement the proper drainage solutions. Doing so can prevent future issues like foundation cracks or mold growth caused by water damage. Now, you’re a few steps away from deciding if the property is worth constructing a home on top of it. But for now, proceed to check for zoning restrictions.

Check For Zoning Restrictions

Checking for zoning restrictions prevents legal issues and costly fines. Due to that, contact the local zoning department to check for any zoning restrictions on the property. Review the zoning regulations to ensure compliance.

Be sure to adhere to zoning regulations and all legal requirements to avoid problems with the law. Once you finish this, proceed to the final step: assessing the property’s accessibility.

Assess Property Accessibility

Assessing property accessibility helps you plan for proper construction vehicle access. Identify any potential issues that may hinder access to the construction site. Check for any road or driveway width restrictions.


If you’ve followed everything listed above, you’re done with the site inspection and have all the information you need to decide about buying the property where you’ll construct your home. Of course, there are other steps that may be involved, so you may want to check other articles and guides to ensure you’ve got everything covered.

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Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.