The process of building a house is often destructive to the immediate environment.
It takes forethought and prevention (plus a firm conviction) to preserve the plants and habitat around your home from destruction by equipment and thoughtlessness.
If you want to rescue any of your native plants, dig up what you can and transplant them into containers or relocate them prior to breaking ground. Tap-rooted species can’t be transplanted without going to extremes but many fibrous rooted species can be easily moved. Replanting mature plants will shorten the time it takes to revegetate the area around your new home.
Once the soil is disturbed it is vulnerable to weeds.
Vigilance is your key to preventing wholesale weed invasion. Remove weeds as they appear. Try to prevent equipment that has been in weedy areas from working on site until it has been properly cleaned.
Once your native soil is compacted by equipment and foot traffic the complex microbial systems within it are unable to function and the soil is essentially dead. Compaction is your worst enemy. Keep contractors and equipment within bounds – they won’t like it, but do it! Most plants can’t grow in compacted soil. Roots can’t breathe in compacted soils.
Scraping off the topsoil to use it later usually kills whatever plants, seeds and micro-organisms are growing in it. That said, bringing in topsoil from somewhere else is always a bad idea – you are bringing in someone else’s weeds, so it’s best to use your own topsoil whenever possible – just know it will need rejuvenating to get it going again.
Protect your trees! Trees may be small now, but they will provide shade, wind protection and privacy for your home as they grow. Keep equipment from damaging them!
You chose to build your home in a spot that appeals to you. Protect that spot as much as possible!