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Intro
Before you begin, you will need temporary electricity, temporary toilets, temporary water and trash disposal. It is convenient to have temporary accommodations if you live a long distance from your site. Don't wait for the last minute to set up your utilities. The electric company and other service companies often have a couple of weeks lead time for temporary services. Start the process as soon as you have secured the building lot, or about 3-4 weeks before construction begins.

Temporary electricity
Contact your local power company to find out the procedure for hooking up temporary power. When contacting the power company find out if they have power poles and if they set them up. Some companies have power poles for building sites. If not you may need to provide one. Find out if power at your property is underground or overhead, and ask for a drawing and description of what is required.
If you need to provide the temporary power pole, the electrical company engineer should be able to provide you with temporary power pole requirements. typical drawing include: required height, Size of pole (usually 4x4), Size of service, where supports are required, ground rod requirements, GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupt) protection, etc. Generally a couple of 120 volt GFCI protected outlets, and a 30-50amp 240volt 4 prong outlet are sufficient.

Cost- The electrical company will usually charge a fee to hook up temporary power. The fee could be nominal or as much as several hundred dollars.

Generator-Where the cost of setting up temporary power is prohibitive or is not available, a use a generator. A 5000 watt gas generator is reasonably priced and should be large enough for the job.

Temporary toilets
For reason of sanitation, portable toilets are recommended on the job site. Often city and county building regulations will require it. The temp toilet company will drop off the toilet and empty it on a regular basis. Check in the yellow pages for temporary toilet providers.

Temporary Water
Water is required for the job site. Water is used for concrete clean-up and for testing plumbing pipes. If the water is potable, it can also be used by sub-contractors for drinking water. Check with the city about using a "cheater" (faucet that hooks on to the city side of the water meter before the meter is installed). If the city requires the water meter to be installed before water usage it will be necessary to put a faucet on "your side" of the water meter.

Well- If you are in an area not served by municipal water a well will be necessary. Have the well drilled and set up as soon as possible after property acquisition.

Trash disposal
It will be necessary to have a system for disposing of construction debris. Accidents are less likely to occur when the site is clean. Building inspectors and neighbors are "put off" by a junky construction site. For good PR and safety keep your site as clean as possible at all times. Some cities require that you have a dumpster on site. Here are three popular methods for keeping the site clean:

Dumpster rental- Rental a dumpster that is dropped off on site and filled with construction debris. The disposal company empties the dumpster when called and returns with a empty dumpster. This method is sometimes required by the city building department. It is a little more expensive than the other options but helps to keep a neat and safe work site. It also keeps people or animals from rummaging through your garbage. The subs also know exactly where to put their trash. There are several sizes of dumpsters and prices will vary a bit. Shop around for the best deal. Usually it is not necessary to rent a dumpster until you are in the framing stages.

Construction garbage haulers- Construction garbage haulers will drop by your site and load up all the junk on site and haul it away. Typically, the subs will make a pile of trash outside the house. When the haulers are called they come load it up and haul it off. The advantages are that it is a little cheaper than renting a dumpster but your site doesn't look as neat. If you hire a company to do this for you make sure that they know what to haul away, and what to leave. If you're not specific you might lose a few studs that you left lying around.

Self Haul- If you have a pick-up truck and/or a trailer you can always dispose of the trash yourself. On a typical house you might spend $400-500 paying someone else to do the dirty work for you. That is money that you can save. Be reminded however, if you do it yourself, it can take away from more important tasks, and it is not likely to be an area where you can make a good wage.

Temporary accommodations
If you are planning to do a lot of the labor on your home, or you live a long distance from your site, an RV or a self contained camper is convenient to have on site. It can be a big time saver cutting your travel time, and allowing you to start work early and finish late when needed.

 

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