What is Site Work

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What is site work?  Learn about it here.

Site work is a phrase in construction that refers to all activities of a project that occur before structures are built.  Below is an outline of what is being referred to when the phrase ‘site work’ is mentioned on our J.H. Hiers Construction website. 

Site work is the part of a construction project that is related to preparing the site before a physical structure is added.  In the case of J.H. Hiers, it is typically preparing a site to become a residential development.

The activities that occur during site work typically include:

  • Earthwork / Clearing and Grubbing
  • Subgrade Stabilization
  • Erosion Control and Shoring
  • Excavation
  • Grading
  • Construction and Installation of Water and Sewer Systems
  • Curbing and Gutter
  • Paving
site work

Definitions of Terms

Clearing and Grubbing:

The process where trees, bushes, shrubs, and other vegetation is removed from the site.  Read more about Earthwork here.

Subgrade Stabilization:

From a safety standpoint, this is one of the most important processes.  All levels of the soil below the topsoil are compacted and stabilized to ensure it can withstand what will be built on top.  Therefore, without proper stabilization, foundations can crack. Or in extreme cases, the ground could buckle or collapse.

Erosion Control and Shoring:

This process performs multiple purposes.  Erosion control helps preserve the construction site, helps to keep workers and equipment safe, and minimizes environmental impact.  At J.H. Hiers, we apply silt fencing (and similar barriers) around every site to minimize erosion.  Shoring is the process of temporarily supporting a trench area when there is danger of collapse.


The process of using heavy equipment to remove excess rock and remove or move excess soil/dirt/fill from and around the site. 


The process of using heavy equipment to sculpt an area to ensure a level base of soil, one with a specified slope.  Depending on the project, J.H. Hiers provides rough and finished grading.

Water and Sewer Systems: 

The creation and installation of the underground utility lines used for water and sewer systems.

Curbing and Gutter:

Usually part of the paving process, curb is a short wall in a row of concrete. It is installed along the perimeter of a road and/or parking lot. Its purpose is one of holding the pavement from the sides and acting as a barrier between another surface (usually grass or landscaping) and the road. On the other hand, gutter is a flat concrete slab channel prepared in a surface. Gutter is usually found along the side of the road and helps drain away water.


The process of completing roads with asphalt. The subgrade must be prepared before the process can begin. Typically, the first step is to perform a proof roll. Proof rolling involves using heavy equipment, like a quad-axle dump truck loaded with more than 70,000 pounds, driving over the entire surface to be paved. This ensures that the underlying surface is indeed strong enough and ready to support new asphalt. Read more about Paving here.

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