What Is An Excavation Contractor?


Excavating contractors are a vital part of almost every big construction project. Your project isn’t going to go very far without the necessary excavation that requires heavy equipment for site preparation. But digging holes and moving dirt isn’t all that excavation contractors do. In this article, we’ll discuss a variety of topics related to excavation and the work that we do. These projects include:

  • Site preparation
  • Grading
  • Trenching
  • More dirt related projects

Site Preparation

Here’s an example of how a foundation contractor is involved in the preparation in a typical project home building. (One of the most common excavating services is preparing the ground under and around the location of a new home.) First, a surveying crew will determine the boundaries of the house and lot. Secondly, the excavation contractor will excavate the soil. They’ll often work to remove the soil and then haul away everything that is not needed. Once the soil is gone to the depth for the new foundation, the excavation crew will make sure the soil is firm. This is frequently done with compaction equipment.

These construction projects must be done precisely and require heavy equipment to be done properly. The excavation contractor will also be responsible for backfilling dirt and soil around the new foundation. Before any project gets going, the landscape needs to be moved, graded, and the site prepared for the specifications of the work to be done.

Site Excavating Tasks

When a construction area has been approved, surveyed, and staked out — then it is ready for excavation. Here’s what may need to be done.

  • Trenching. This is done for foundations, pools, and utilities.
  • Grading. After a foundation has been poured and the needed backfilling completed, then it is time to grade and smooth the soil. This is important to ensure that the location has proper drainage away from the building, driveway, etc.
  • Demolition. If there are any structures already on the site, they may need to be demolished for removal. This takes precise work and skill to eliminate obstructions without causing any damage to any of the necessary surroundings.
  • Clearing the area. When a contractor has completed excavating, they usually need to clear the property by hauling away and dirt and debris.

Excavation Companies & Landscaping

In addition to work like preparing a property for home construction, excavation contractors will frequently be involved in landscaping and other projects. Here’s a brief look at some things your favorite excavation worker might be doing.

  • Grading. This is what needs to be done to the soil so a foundation or driveway can be built correctly. It is also an important part of ensuring the land has drainage in the right places. Drainage is a huge deal.
  • Landscaping. Large landscaping projects may require a dirt-moving professional to work in coordination with the landscape designer. Digging the dirt is just one aspect of designing and creating a new landscape. But the excavation contractor doing the work needs to know everything about the design. Where are the trees, grass, sidewalk, etc going to be placed?
  • Clearing & Demolition. Large equipment can be used for all sorts of things. Excavation equipment is commonly used for things like the demolition and removal of old structures. It is also perfect for clearing the land of trees and shrubs.
  • Cut and Fill. This term refers to moving dirt from a high spot and using it to fill in a low spot. It is often a major part of preparing large areas for road construction.

How Does Excavation Process Work?

The site must be thoroughly evaluated before the excavation and heavy earthworks operation can begin to ensure that the natural ecosystem and artifacts surrounding it are preserved during the excavation phase. Following that, the excavation contractors create designs based on the site’s size and depth to clearly designate the excavation site’s borders. The excavation work can commence when these two crucial procedures have been completed.

The complete excavation procedure entails the following steps:

  • Establishing corner benchmarks
  • Examining the ground and upper levels
  • Excavation to a predetermined depth
  • Strew the loose soil
  • Bringing it up to the cut-off level
  • The building of dewatering wells and trenches that connect them
  • Establishing the building’s borders
  • The construction excavation of drainage and protection bunds

What Else Do Excavating Contractors Do?

The list of jobs and projects that might require an excavating contractor is virtually endless. But there are certain tasks that are done more often than others. Here are a few of them.

  • Pool excavation. This is not an easy job. It’s one that a lot of pool installers will sub-contract and excavator to do. This is mostly because of the retaining walls. Backfilling and compacting the dirt around the retaining walls has to be done precisely because that is what supports the walls of the pool.
  • Basement excavation. This is included when you are building a new house. The backfilling (after the foundation has been formed) plays a major role here too because it helps to support the home and dictates what happens with drainage around your home.
  • Driveway excavation. Usually, a driveway just needs small equipment like a skid loader. But there are exceptions where more power is needed and a job like this is where an experienced excavator can be contracted.
  • Drainage excavation. If your property does not have adequate water drainage, an excavation company can help. There are a few possible solutions to that problem, including trenches, yard sloping, catch basins, and French drainage systems.

Contractors And Subcontractors

Excavation contractors are commonly thought of as subcontractors. This is because the work they do at the site is often just one part of a larger project. Therefore, the heavy industrial contractor doing excavation work may be working under a general contractor.

The general excavation contractor is in charge of the entire project. They solicit the bids, choose the excavation companies they want to work with, organize the schedule and timeline for all of the subcontractors involved in the work, and pay for excavation and all other parts of the work done at the site.

They Move Dirt Around

When someone needs dirt moved around from one place to the next, they’ll be looking for excavation contractors to make it happen. Here’s a list of all sorts of projects that the best excavation contractor performs for residential and commercial clients.

  • Asphalt Driveways
  • Concrete
  • Aprons
  • Belgium Block Curbing
  • Storm Drainage & Drainage Repair
  • Masonry
  • Walkways
  • Landscaping
  • Demolition
  • Foundations
  • Waterproofing
  • Concrete Slabs
  • Brick Pavers
  • Bluestone
  • Septic
  • Asphalt
  • Excavation
  • Retaining Walls
  • Pools
  • Blacktop Sealcoating
  • Drainage
  • Septic
  • Grading
  • Dry Basements

The Heavy Equipment

Excavation contractors use a lot of heavy equipment to complete large excavation projects. Some of the excavation equipment are bulldozers, compactors, skid steers, backhoes, front-end loaders, and trenchers. They’ll likely also use dump trucks to remove the dirt after they dig it up.

Excavation Business

The excavation services include more than simply clearing sites, moving earth, permits, and demolition. Excavation contractors submit bids, must be licensed and bonded, manage payroll and bookkeeping, and much more.

Woolley Excavation

Our company takes pride in every job we do — no matter how big or small. We do everything in our power to make sure your needs are met and you are completely satisfied. Our excavation team will walk you through each step of the job. We do clean, neat, professional work at great prices and look forward to doing business with you.

Interested in working with Woolley Milling and Paving? Let us help you get started on your excavation project. Contact us to find out more information or to request a bid.