We are experienced in a number of ground works. RBS Builders can facilitate your full ground work requirements, including installing new underground drainage, repairing existing drainage and formation of new manholes or septic tanks.

Groundworks are a vital part of any building project. Getting everything right the first time can save you a great deal of time and money further down the line. This is also an important area for planning officers, who will want to check that the property has been positioned where it was specified on the plans.

The Initial Work

The first jobs on a construction site are just as important as the main building work. The groundwork lays the foundations for a well-built property and helps ensure that the rest of the project runs smoothly. This work includes clearing the area of rubble and debris, digging trenches and ensuring that there is access available.

Laying Foundations

The ground works on a site include digging the trenches and laying the foundations of the property. There are two types of foundations that are generally used.

A trench fill foundation is usually the preferred option, especially if the ground is chalk or clay based. When using this type of foundation, the ground needs to be stable and the sides of the trench have to be capable of supporting loads.

Strip foundations are an alternative. These require less concrete, as they are thinner than trench fill foundations. They are typically used where the ground is softer, as the building weight is spread across a larger area.

The groundwork contractors will organise for concrete to be laid into the foundations once the trenches have been dug. It is vital that the concrete is level, and this can be achieved by hand-raking as the mixture is being poured. Tamping it also helps to create a level surface.


Digging the correct depth for the drainage system is another important element of the groundworks. If these are at the right depth, you will require less bedding to help keep the pipes level when they’re laid. By working with a specialist groundwork services team, you can ensure that the process is followed correctly and that no elements are missed.

The drainage system should have a fall gradient of around 1:40, but some types of drains, such as plastic, can manage with a lower level if required. It’s beneficial to complete this section as quickly as possible so that the trench is only open for as long as it’s needed. Once the drainage system is complete, it needs to be tested before it is backfilled.

As the groundwork is such a critical component of the building work, it’s important to seek professional guidance. Groundwork contractors can work alongside your project management team to ensure that all areas are completed, tested and inspected in accordance with building regulations.