When it’s time to clear a plot of land, you’ll need to hire the best excavation service you can find. While there are plenty of jobs on your property you can do yourself, excavating requires a skilled professional (not to mention heavy, costly equipment). A poorly done excavation can permanently damage your property and leave you with astronomical repair costs. That’s why it’s well worth it to secure the services of a professional excavation company. Despite the upfront costs, it will save you a lot of money down the road.
Finding a good excavation company can be a challenge in and of itself. How much, exactly, does excavation cost? What other things do you need to consider? How can you be sure you’ve hired the best company for the job? Let’s start at the beginning.
What Is Excavation?
To reduce it to the simplest terms possible, excavation is simply the movement of a large amount of dirt. If you need a plot of land cleared, whether that’s the removal of a large amount of dirt, debris, or rocks, that’s a job for an excavation service. Professional excavators also specialize in removing plant matter—brush, shrubs, trees (living or dead), or tree stumps. You might want your plot to be completely flat.
You may also want ditches dug for laying down water lines, gas lines, or electrical cables. If you’re having a swimming pool put into your yard, it’ll be an excavation service that digs it out for you. When clearing land, it’s not always as simple as just removing everything and digging holes. It’s possible you’ll want some things removed and to leave other things. Whatever the service you need, an excavation service can do it.
Why Do I Need a Professional Service?
A poorly handled excavation can be an absolute disaster. All too many landowners have shelled out the money for rental fees, only to accidentally cause irreparable harm to their valuable property. Damage to your property is not always immediately obvious either. Often, it’s more insidious. For example, an improperly excavated piece of land can become vulnerable to erosion, which, over time, can lead to much more serious problems.
It’s simply not worth it for an untrained person to risk their property attempting an excavation project. It’s best to find a professional excavation service that has a great deal of experience, skill, proper equipment, and most importantly of all, a commitment to safety. Safety in excavation requires specialized equipment and an ongoing commitment to your training.
How Do I Find the Right Company?
Finding the right excavation service is a step that’s worth spending some time on. You’ll want to invest effort into researching, interviewing, and vetting any company you’re considering for a big job. It starts with a simple internet search of companies in your area. In most areas, you’ll get plenty of hits, but needless to say, not all of the excavation services you find will be equal to one another. For every one of the best services—like Mr. Tree in Portland—you’ll find there are many cheap companies that do subpar work. Indeed, even if you live in an area with plenty of companies around who offer the services you need, you might have a hard time finding a good one.
Start narrowing it all down by first perusing the online reviews. Is the company consistently highly rated online? Read a few of the customer testimonials to see if they have had good experiences. Don’t rely solely on online reviews, however. You’ll also need to head to the company website and do a little investigation to see if they are experienced, equipped, and insured.
Once you have found an excavation service you are leaning toward, contact them. Ask questions and get references. Check those references. If you are satisfied with your search, you can begin budgeting your project.
So How Much Will It Cost?
Of course, the excavation cost will depend greatly on the size of the job and the work being done. If it’s a big job that requires a lot of material being moved, it’ll cost more than a smaller job. When you hire an excavator, you’ll generally be paying by the hour. Depending on your location, their rates can usually range from $100 to $180 per hour. They may also charge by the cubic yard, which can be anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on the material being moved.
If you want other work, such as grading, to be performed, it will incur an additional cost. The price of excavation will also be affected by what type of material your contractor will need to dig into. For example, a project that involves digging into simple soil will naturally be far less expensive than one that involves cutting into rocks. Even the time of year can affect the project cost: if the ground is icy, it can be more difficult, and therefore more expensive, for your contractor to do the job.
In 2019 the national average for a professional excavation is around $3,106, though projects can easily range from $1,441 to $5,050 or more. Larger, more challenging projects can run more than $10,000 and can be done over the course of multiple days.
In this article, we’ve tried to answer a few of the more common questions property owners have when it comes to excavation. Because there are so many variables that can affect the size of the project, and therefore its cost, you’ll probably need to talk to a professional to get your questions answered.
If you’re located in the Portland area and have a project in mind, you can call us at Mr. Tree. With decades of experience in both residential and commercial work, they have performed every sort of excavation you can imagine. They particularly specialize if you’re looking to have stumps or fallen trees removed from your property. They can also, of course, keep any trees you’re interested in keeping. Contact them for other excavation related concerns.
To read more on topics like this, check out the budgeting category