Each time a shovel moves and earth is turned, a list of reasons and goals has led up to that moment. Excavation may appear to be a simple task, but it is more complex than appearances may suggest. Whether it’s to refresh an outdoor space or to kick-start the installation of important infrastructure, excavation is the first step towards the successful completion of most construction and landscaping projects. 

The experts at Pavé IMH explain why and how excavation is key to construction.

Why is excavation so important?

Each dig of the shovel holds the potential to transform the immediate environment. There are many reasons to excavate:

  • Foundation backfill: Excavation prepares the ground for stable, secure backfill, the solid base for all new construction.
  • Landscaping: Excavation is used in landscaping to transform a flat lot into a living, breathing space with unique levels, slopes and features.
  • Parking lot construction: Excavation is necessary to create a level, durable surface for vehicles.
  • Demolition: Sometimes, to build something new, you have to destroy the old. Excavation will remove debris and clean up the site.
  • Decontamination: When it comes to managing contaminated soils, excavation is one step in the process of decontaminating and renewing polluted earth.
  • Asphalt paving: Excavation is used to create a solid foundation for asphalt and build smoother, safer roads.
  • Concrete crushing: Excavation can break down and dispose of concrete, so a site can be used for new projects.
  • In-ground pool construction: Do you dream of creating a garden oasis? Excavation is the first step in making your dream pool a reality.
  • Repairing French drains: Excavation is used to repair or install drainage systems efficiently, and prevent flooding and water damage.

Whether to build, beautify, decontaminate or repair, excavation is the first step toward positive change.

Steps in the excavation process

Before beginning an excavation project, it’s important to do all necessary preparation. Here’s a detailed overview of the key steps to excavation:

1. Assess the site and probe the soil

Successful excavation projects always start with a thorough site inspection. You’ll need to do a soil analysis to assess support requirements such as backfill or foundations, and to help you choose the right excavation method for doing long-lasting, stable construction. You’ll also need a good knowledge of current standards to be confident that your project complies with local regulations.

Ground probing is a necessary precaution, so you can locate underground infrastructure such as power lines and pipelines. This step minimizes the risk of suffering potentially costly and dangerous damage. Professional excavation companies are equipped to detect and protect these vital components during digging.

2. Mark the ground

Defining the boundaries of your project is an important step. Workers mark the ground to outline the excavation area and prevent costly mistakes. Calculating the volume of earth to be excavated also begins with this step. This is important because you’ll need to organize where the earth will be moved to or stored during and after excavation.

3. Choose an excavation company

Choosing the right excavation company is key. It’s a good idea to select specialists with a proven track record doing the exact type of excavation you’re planning. This may be landscaping, demolition or land leveling. Each type of project has its own requirements, and the right expertise guarantees that the work will be carried out safely and efficiently.

4. Excavate the site

Excavation demands precision. There are usually at least two people involved: one to maneuver the heavy machinery and another to monitor the work and verify that the soil is removed at the correct level. Excessive excavation may require backfilling, which can compromise soil compaction and strength.

5. Remove excess soil

You’ll also have to manage the excavated soil. Depending on the quantity extracted and the needs of the project, you may have to move some or all excavated soil off-site. Specialized equipment and logistical planning are required to keep the site clean and safe.

Cost of excavation

The cost of an excavation depends on many factors, including the size of the project, the characteristics of the site, and seasonal conditions. 

Difficult terrain and periods of frost can increase costs. The type of equipment used, excavation depth, obstacles, accessibility and compliance with safety standards also influence the budget. 

Foundation costs can vary from C$25 to C$50 per square foot, and replacement of a French drain from C$15,000 to C$18,000. For an exact quote, consult a contractor who will evaluate your specific project and provide you with a detailed estimate to help you draw up a budget.

Make your excavation project a reality with Pavé IMH

Ready to transform your land? Whether your project involves new construction, landscaping or soil rehabilitation, the experts at Pavé IMH are ready to help you achieve your goals. 

For precise and efficient excavation, don’t leave anything to chance. Contact Pavé IMH today for a customized estimate, and take the first step toward making your dreams a reality.