Whether you call it groundworks or carving up the land or even total mayhem-style destruction, no new house gets built without a bit of mess to begin with.

We know from first hand experience harmony will eventually be restored, but we also know it’s hard to hold on to that when you’re knee deep in mud and wondering what trench-foot looks like and if it’s wise to Google the symptoms. Muck’s unavoidable but there ways to make groundworks a little easier. Have a look at the top seven pre-tested on Louis Croft, for starters:

  1. Put essential services in before you start groundworks

Sounds obvious? You’d be surprised how many contractors will try to convince you it’s easier to put services in at the end. Ignore them. Services first, then the groundwork begins – it’s a rule.

  1. Don’t listen to stories about power companies dragging their heels

If there are issues putting in services before groundworks, it’s probably down to your contractor’s poor planning. So if you hear the likes of Scottish Hydro or SSE being blamed for delays, think on this: taking your money ASAP is the sworn mission of every power company on the planet.

  1. Invest in an on-site hut

If you’re laughing at this idea, we can promise you won’t be after a few weeks in the trenches. Invest in a simple hut and you’ve all-weather protection for contractors and a ready-made family camp when you need it – and you will.

  1. Set aside an accessible and protected area for storing cleared material you plan to recycle

It makes sound fiscal and environmental sense to recycle original material in your new build whenever possible. So establish an accessible, protected and clearly marked area well away from the work site for storing reusable stone, peat, rubble and whatever else looks like it might be handy in the future.

  1. Take to technology to make life easier any chance you get

Marking Out is time-consuming, especially on a complex site. Plotting various measurements from the 1D grid on your architect’s drawings is fairly straightforward in flat areas. But for the likes of Louis Croft’s curves, slopes and terrace levels, Strathearn contractors worked with advanced 3D laser plotting: still takes time, just a lot less of it.

Whats up next: A cautionary tale about concrete