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Building a New Construction Home - Building the Pad

In our last post; Building a New Construction Home: Getting Started, we talked about what it takes to get started building one of our new homes! We are continuing along that journey with building the pad the home will lay on. Building a pad properly is important, it ensures the home won't sink or heave. By compacting the soil the right way before laying the concrete slab, your home will be safe and drain properly. Read for a bit of review and the step by step process of building and prepping a new home's pad.


Build the Pad

A Soils Engineer tests the native soil to insure it will compact to 95% or greater. This is necessary so the concrete slab doesn’t sink or heave once the home is built. Water is needed to compact the soil. We dig down 24” and build the pad with

Building the pad of a new construction home

existing soil and water. While applying water we drive heavy equipment over the soil and compact it.

This new build project in Tempe, AZ has no water serving the vacant lot.

The City of Tempe’s water main is on the other side of the street. So, we hired the City of Tempe Water meter installers to bore under the street to set a water meter on the vacant lot. The City employee above has found the main water line and is preparing a “hot tap” to avoid turning off the main water line serving the neighborhood. Once the tap is installed, they will bore a 1” copper tube under the street to the vacant lot.

Install a City Water Meter

The City of Tempe pulled a 1” copper tube in the bore hole under the street. The size of the water meter for this project is 1”. Once the water meter was in place, we dispatched our Plumber to install a garden hose bib on the new water meter for the lot. We now can start soaking the lot with water to keep the dust to a minimum.

Soak the Lot

We now have water and can start soaking the dry soil. We will continue to soak the lot 3 to 4 days to avoid creating a dust cloud in the neighborhood while building the pad. We want to get moisture down 2 ½’ so the soil is moist.


We ask a Surveyor to place a monument on the site with the finish floor and pad elevations. This allows the Excavator to build the pad per the Drainage & Grading Plan. Note that the soil is moist with water. The Excavator continue to turn the soil over with his tractor while applying water for compaction.

Finish Grading

The excavator uses a GPS device on the rear of his tractor to set the pad height to the exact elevation height of the monument.


Follow along on our blog and Facebook to keep up with our new Tempe Custom Home build!


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