It is worth to preserve topsoil before building house?

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It is worth to preserve topsoil before building house?

Post by pk+ » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:31 pm

I plan to build a house in near feature, and intuition tells me to gather all topsoil form building site before letting heavy machines in.
It would be a lot of labor, which is great but takes time.

soil quality - 20-30 cm - I guess medium? (even if it is classified as the worst taxable soil class by our government, it was unused by long time and weeds gets even 1 meter+ high)
I will store it in place of future permaculture garden (on top of the same grade soil).
(Future permaculture garden will be started in a year or two).

It is worth it?
When to do it? (now it is heavy since snow just melted).

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Re: It is worth to preserve topsoil before building house?

Post by anesde » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:01 pm

Not sure where you’re located, how large the site is, when you’re starting, or what type of foundation/structure you’ll be building.

That said, in general yes - a topsoil strip is required within the wider perimeter of the proposed structure prior to digging out foundations. Depending on where you are, how large the site is, and what the local environmental conditions are this is either done separately or in combination with the underlying excavation.

If you want to keep the topsoil you could either
a) do it yourself as you indicate
b) verify to see if your contractor is planning on separating the topsoil strip. If so you could just ask them to strip and dump in your preferred location and to not mix up with underlying material.

If you opt for (a) definitely ask for a credit back if you already have pricing/contract set up. If you opt for (b) it’s best to physically be there on site when the guys are doing it otherwise you’ll risk the workers just doing what they normally do regardless of what you agreed with their boss.

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