Site preparation is usually the first program of work on the construction site. Spending so much money preparing the site when there is a lot more work to be done could eventually lead to abandoning of the project; hence estate developers together with their contractors should always adopt best and cost-effective approaches to project delivery before moving to site.
Let’s consider a scenario where there is 100 acres of wet land (swampy) to be cleared, prepared and subsequently developed into a housing estate. From experience, it takes a swampdozer about 8 hours (equivalent to a day work) to neatly clear an acre of land. By the way, an acre of land is about 6 standard plots.
In some cases, it takes even more time depending on how thick the vegetation is. A plant company would normally charge some 100,000 NGN per 8-hr to perform such task. Hence it may cost about 10,000,000 NGN to eventually open up the entire land area. This estimated cost may not include the cost of supervision and clearing the entire site may take up to 100 days (not including down-times) if only one swampdozer is used.
Employ a skilled operator with three able assistants on a casual arrangement to man the machine at a combined salary package of about 250,000 NGN per month.
Assign a mechanic to do routine or emergency repairs on the machine during work. Repairs may gulp only about 500,000 NGN throughout the duration of the work.
|A Swampdozer at work|
In fact more money can be saved if site clearance activities on wet lands were performed during the dry season as the plant would experience less fatigue and do more work in lesser time.
Although this particular idea may be cost-effective for large land areas up to 50 acres even in the short term, the same cannot be said for smaller land sizes except perhaps in the longer term.
But by and large, the principles are useful everywhere. Working with the right contractors or project team can help developers minimize project costs, achieve more in less time and maximize profit. The ability to identify and implement cost-effective yet suitable approaches in estate development from start to finish is something any developer who intends to grow and expand quickly should take very seriously.