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Inspect and Research your Land Before Making a Purchase

Inspect and Research your Land Before Making a Purchase

Prepare Before Making a Land Purchase

 

Before beginning the development of your project, you have to take into account the zoning, environmental, sewer systems of the land you are purchasing and additional costs that comes from hiring experts.

 

Amenities and The Local Government

The first and foremost important aspect of a piece of property are the local amenities and the local government. This is because of the permits and variances involved when purchasing a property. You also have to consider what is around your property and how that be beneficial or detrimental to you. Ask yourself these questions: Do you have a supermarket close by? Schools? Parks? or Sources of Medical Care? Remember that all of these factors also affect the amount of property taxes you will eventually have to pay.

 

Zoning

It is important for you to know your surroundings before you start a new project. There are resources like Google Maps and surveys that FEMA prepares that will help you have a better understanding of what is around you. Based on these results you can get a better picture on the property that you are purchasing. All cities have zoning bylaws that regulate the kinds of uses permitted on vacant land. This means if you are planning to build a home make sure the land is zoned residential and vice versa with commercial land. Other zoning regulations include location of utility lines, building setbacks, size and height of buildings as well as number of rooms.

 

Be Prepared

When purchasing any kind of property, hire a reliable attorney before making the big purchase. An attorney has full knowledge of everything that involves land development and purchasing like zoning, environmental, taxation, construction and more.You also have to prepare a budget for the closing costs plus costs for improvements after construction is over. These extra costs may include fencing, furnishings, appliances, landscaping and other repairs. Having a budget ready can help you prevent overwhelming costs that may come after you finish building your property.

 

Property Taxes

Paying for property taxes may be more beneficial to you than you know since you might be able to qualify for tax deductions. To calculate your property taxes and tax credit possibilities contact your local tax assessor. This information will allow you to prepare for property taxes costs even before you purchase the property. As a reminder don’t forget that taxes are based on city and county.

Costs of Land Development

Costs of Land Development

Costs of Land Development

All of these factors affect the cost estimate that a civil engineer would calculate, not including soil tests, water and sewer connections, utilities and septic system.

There are many components that may affect the total costs of your construction including:

  • Project Location
  • Earthwork Required
  • Inspections
  • Installations
  • Pavement Work
  • Permits Costs
  • Property Taxes
  • Removal of Defective Soil
  • Capital Facilities Fees
  • And More!

Preacquisition

We make sure to take active and sustained action to manage construction costs even before your project is built. The first step that you should take to calculate construction costs is during the preacquisition process, where you need to ask yourself a few questions.

  1. Has the property I’m looking on buying been survey recently?
  2. Are there power lines crossing the property?
  3. What is the zoning of the property?
  4. Why do I have to buy this property?

After taking those considerations in mind, now you have to consider the location as a whole, for example, will it need any removal? extra structures? underground utilities? environmental assessments? and lastly will it need miscellaneous?

Acquisition

Don’t forget that before a construction estimate can be done, there has to be a land survey. A surveyor will indicate the exact boundaries of a piece of land/lot. Even though it is not mandatory, a percolation test might be required at times. This test determines the soil types and how it deals with water, which basically let us know if the land is suitable for construction.

Construction

The last step is this process is the construction stage. This includes the earthwork or vertical construction process which includes grading for roads, curbs and utilities. Our job as a land development company is to provide you with the earthwork for your your construction project. This may include grading, site drainage, cut and fill. We also do pavement work of either asphalt or concrete. Then comes the horizontal construction, which utilizes the design of the building by making sure that the structure is safe and aesthetically pleasing to the client.

Costs of Land Development?

Costs of Land Development

What is Land Development?

You may wonder about the process of land development and all the stages it involves. The trades include rough grading, wet utilities, dry utilities, street improvements, masonry walls, fencing, finish grading, flatwork and landscaping. The development of land is the process of converting raw land into construction ready property – It can be commercial, industrial or agricultural construction.

  1. Rough Grading
    The first step in the land development process is rough grading. This is the stage when our team shapes, fills and clears the construction site. Our goal is to make sure we create flat and perfectly stable leveled pads. To achieve this we have to perform different approaches. Depending on the land we will have to do a mass excavation, over-excavation or even demolition.
  2. Wet Utilities
    Then it is time to go underground with the wet utilities which includes the sewer mainline, pipes, basins and more. Sometimes storm drain is installed, this directs excess rain water away from your location and it sends them out into canals, seas, lakes or other bodies of water.
  3. Dry Utilities
    After the wet utilities comes the dry utilities, these also go underground but they deal with electricity, gas and internet. These utilities consist of the installation of structures along with the conduit. The mainline is the joint trench that it is installed behind the curb. In the other hand, the crossings refer to the conduit that crosses the street
  4. Street Improvements
    Street development consists of curb, gutter installation, paving and other concrete items such as catch basins and cross-gutters. Streets are very important because our team can’t start building a location without a street. Street pavement consists of three layers, subgrade, aggregate base and lastly asphalt concrete.
  5. Walls
    There are different types of walls: general sectional walls, block walls, perimeter walls, side p/l walls, spine walls, return walls, etc. Concrete Masonry Unit or CMU is the most common type of wall in land development. There are also retaining walls, these (as the name suggests) retain earth.
  6. Fencing
    Sometimes alternative to building walls in building fences. Fencing is way cheaper than having a wall constructed and there are different types of fences as well. There are vinyl fences, wood or tube steel. These fences have different looks and prices, however you have to make sure that your city allows the construction of a particular type of fence.
  7. Finish Grading
    We are almost done finishing with the land development process. During this step it is time for our team to prepare and clean out the building pads before construction begins. There are several steps of mobilization in the grading process, however it depends in each project and the land development company. Construction creates a lot of dirt, this is why it is important that you let the professionals handle your project.
  8. Flatwork
    During this process our team at RGV Land Development starts forming and pouring concrete for flatwork. Depending on your preference and the project’s design, we will start developing the driveway, walkways, porches, steps and patios. We do both commercial and industrial off-site and on-site flatwork. Our flatwork process is fast and efficient, first we will add moisture and compact your flatwork sub. Then we start setting up forms for the concrete to frame the areas of the flatwork using stakes and lumber. After that comes the pouring process. Our team carefully mixes, levels and smooths the concrete. The last step is up to you, it is called the finishing process. We can use different types of finishing methods, float finish, broom finish, exposed aggregate finish, and stamped concrete finish.
  9. Landscaping
    The last step in the land developing process is landscaping. Depending on your project, different services will be applied in regards to irrigation, planting and amenities. The irrigation system serves to distribute water throughout the planted areas in order to irrigate all your trees and plants!Planting includes trees, shrubs, ground cover and any other additional floral decorations you will like. Amenities are included for both commercial and industrial land development, these include: benches, trash cans, fountains, fire pits, etc.

Should I Replace or Repair My Driveway?

Should I Replace or Repair My Driveway?

Our driveways go through a lot, think about it, they sit on the hot sun for years, they carry the weight of our cars and they are constantly exposed to rain and chemicals. It is important that you know the signs of when your driveway may need a little bit of care. The usual signs of damage are cracks, holes, sunken areas or divots and oil stains. If you spot any of these damages you need to make sure cracks and divots are no bigger than 2 inches. If they are then your driveway would be better off replaced. However if your driveway has minimum damages, at RGV Land Development we recommend a resurfacing service. Age is a big determining factor when considering if you have to replace or repair your driveway.

The amount of time your driveway has existed determines how vulnerable the driveway is. However, there are other scenarios in which younger driveways need to be replaced as well. Younger driveways that are already cracking will most likely continue to split, which means the driveway was probably not installed correctly, and needs to be inspected for repaired immediately before it is too late.

Should I Replace or Repair My Driveway

Signs It’s Time To Repair or Replace Your Driveway

  • Cracks
  • Potholes
  • Drainage issues
  • Weathered appearance

Cracks

Visible cracks are a sign that the surface of your driveway is failing. Like we mentioned earlier, the dimensions of the crack are the determining factor of deciding if your driveway needs a little fix or a replacement. If the cracks you find are less than a quarter-inch wide, you can get away with repairing the surface. Instead, we recommend that you reseal or refinish the entire surface to ensure the driveway has a consistent aspect.

However, when cracks are greater than a quarter-inch, repairing won’t get the job done. Large cracks are a sign of significant issues because water is able to seep in, even after a repair job, which is why in this scenario we recommend replacing your driveway.

Potholes

A pothole in your driveway could be an unavoidable issue that can eventually damage your car, your tires and your visitor’s cars. Potholes are developed for several reasons, the main one being water. In some driveways water is able to displace the soil beneath the surface which eventually creates the potholes. Your car could be affected in several ways due to potholes. The sidewalls and treads of your tires can become damaged over time as well as the wheels, suspension and exhaust system. Depending on what type of driveway you have, we will approach the pothole. If your driveway is made out of asphalt, then we can use an asphalt patch to fill it in. For a concrete driveway it is a similar process, at RGV Land Development we can make lasting pothole repairs because we take the time to enlarge the hole at the bottom and compact the base material and then add the patch.

Drainage Issues

Have you ever noticed rainwater accumulating in areas around your drive way? If you answered yes then you probably have drainage issues. This can create even bigger problems since water can weaken the driveway surface therefore increasing the cracking and/or creating potholes. To prevent these issues you can do several modifications such as adding strip drains, curbing or replacing drainage piping. However if the damage is not something small, we always recommend to replace the driveway to make the replacement worth your money.

For our customers it might be a big decision to whether replace or repair your driveway, but remember we are here to help you along the way. Even though there are basic signs and guidelines, it is always better to have an experienced opinion. Here at RGV Land Development we help all of our Rio Grande Valley community with their questions and concerns. We can inspect your driveway to determine if you have a small or big problem and then determine if your structure needs urgent care or just a simple repair.

What to Know When Repairing an Asphalt Parking Lot

What to Know When Repairing an Asphalt Parking Lot />

What to Know When Repairing an Asphalt Parking Lot

If you spot holes, cracks or any other damages around your parking lot, you might need to start considering repairing it before it is too late. One of the most important things to consider is the concept of time. You have to consider the intervals in which your parking lot has had repairs or maintenance, time of the year the repairs were made and the current weather conditions.

You may ask yourself how much it costs to repair your parking lot, well it depends on the condition and growth of the problem. For example, If you have a small crack that you spotted early, then the cost would be relatively low compared to a crack that is older and has expanded through time. At RGV Land Development we recommend routine pavement inspections which are the best way to save you money over time. Our team’s mission is to ensure proper product application conditions because it helps ensure a long-lasting repair, process effectiveness and better use of your money. We are constantly exploring the latest technology and other innovative options to meet the needs of our customers.

Why Winter is the Best Time to Repair Your Parking Lot

It is recommended to make parking lot repairs during the winter for several reasons; weather, supply and demand, budget and aesthetics. Since spring and summer have the warmest temperatures, it makes it challenging for us to perform crack sealing and parking lot marking. There are temperatures recommended for crack sealing, striping and other repairs. For crack sealing it is recommend to have ambient air and surface temperatures have to be about 40°F or above.

For striping projects it is recommended to be applied when surface and air temperatures are 40°F and above 90°F. Repairs for potholes should be done in the winter because this is the time of the year when premium cold mix asphalt is used. Winter time is also recommended because asphalt prices are at its lowest in the beginning of the year when asphalt plants re-open. Lastly, a repair completed during winter temperatures will make a great impression for a longer period of time compared to projects executed later in the year.

3 Ways to Improve your Paving Pavements

3 Ways to Improve your Paving Pavements

3 Ways to Improve your Paving Pavements

As you follow these three tips they will help you have the best results for every dollar spent on your commercial paving projects, whether it is a restaurant, small business parking lot or driveway.

  1. Planning – First step is to take a look at your pavement. Take note of everything you see such as holes, cracks and any other defects. Take a look of the locations that are the busiest (more traffic), they should take priority over those in less noticeable locations.
  2. Specifications – When you get a consultation with our team at RGV Land Development, we help you determine which materials are ideal for your project. After a short process of communication between you and our team, we acquire an intimate understanding of the unique geography, climate, and land quality of your project.
  3. Budgeting – It is important that you have a budget when you have a project in mind. Once you have your specifications, you should create a highly accurate budget spanning from 2 to 3 years ahead. When you maintain a budget it can help you predict future expenditures based on past spend, drivers of cost, and other variables specific to your organization.

What to Know About Parking Lot Cracks

What are Parking Lots Cracks - Parking Lot Repair Procedure

What to Know About Parking Lot Cracks

It is important for you to be aware of cracks that may be in your parking lot. If you spot a crack, you want to make sure it won’t become a liability. If you leave cracks untreated, months later you may find it’s not such an easy fix. The level of concern depends on the type and size of the crack. If the crack measures anywhere from a quarter inch to a whole inch in width, then you should reach out to RGV Land Development so we can seal it for you.

Parking lot damage happens over time and the longer you leave the crack, the worse it can get and the more amount of money you would have to pay. Neglecting to handle these issues can cause significant problems, and the escalation of those problems tend to sum up on you. At RGV Land Development we recommend to handle any issues before they get worse. Now you may wonder, What services are often needed in parking lot repairs?, the answer is three primary procedures: parking lot crack repair, seal coating, and lot marking.

  • Parking Lot Crack Repair – This is the most cost-effective asphalt parking lot repair. It is crucial to perform as early as possible to make sure you are minimizing water infiltration that can eventually permeate through cracks and quickly erode the sub-base.
  • Seal Coating – After crack repair comes seal coating. Even though this step is not a requirement, it could be a beneficial preventative to your parking lot or driveway. This preventative provides a protective barrier against UV rays, water, salts, oils and gasoline. This sealer acts as a waterproof agent that minimizes the rate at which water enters the pavement and reduces oxidation, helping the parking lot maintain its black color for longer.
  • Parking Lot Striping- Soon after seal coating comes parking lot marking or striping. It’s important to have a well-marked pavement to help direct people safely around your parking lot.

Concrete Parking lot vs. Asphalt parking lot

Concrete Parking Lot Vs Asphalt Parking Lot

Concrete Parking lot vs. Asphalt parking lot

When comparing a concrete vs asphalt parking lot, you should consider cost, durability, maintenance, environmental impact, and even aesthetics. There are several differences between concrete and asphalt, however each of them have their own benefits.

Concrete Parking Lot

When it comes to having a concrete parking lot, its benefits include better lightening, strength, less maintenance and a decorative appearance.

  • Better Lightening – Concrete and asphalt differ in color, concrete is usually a light gray while asphalt is black. The light gray color of concrete allows it to reflect the light of the sun during the day and street lamps during the night, making the parking lot more visible. The better lighting eventually improves the safety of your parking lot and community.
  • Strength – Concrete is much stronger than asphalt. Due to its durability, concrete parking lots can withstand the weight of multiple heavy vehicles unlike other parking lots.
  • Less Maintenance – Concrete pavement lasts significantly longer with minimal maintenance. Once in a while asphalt wears down, holes or dents are made, requiring constant preservation.
  • Decorative – If you want to match your parking lot with your home color theme or want it to be more decorative, concrete may be a better choice. This is because concrete is more flexible when it comes to color.
    Lower Costs – Concrete is about 35% more expensive than asphalt. However the low-maintenance needs of concrete could possibly save on costs over decades.

 

Asphalt Parking Lot

There are several factors in which asphalt may be more convenient for you, depending on your location, weather factors and installation costs.

  • Environmental Impact – Asphalt is 100% recyclable and more eco-friendly than concrete. Old asphalt can be removed and converted into new asphalt at asphalt plants, and there is no limit to how many times asphalt can be reused and recycled.
  • Less Maintenance – While asphalt requires regular maintenance (crack and hole filling, sealcoating, etc.), concrete requires very little maintenance other than joint sealing and annual cleaning.
  • Decorative – One of the greatest appeals of asphalt is its sleek black surface. Additionally, asphalt provides a smoother, quieter, and more enjoyable ride.
  • Lower Costs – Asphalt is easier and faster to install and repair, adding to the time a commercial lot cannot be used. Asphalt definitely saves on upfront expenses.