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How Much Does Excavation Cost?

Last Updated Sep 16, 2014 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald

Excavation is often necessary if you are landscaping, installing a pool or building or renovating your home, so it is a cost that should be built in to the overall cost of your project from the get go.  But how much can you reasonably expect excavation to cost?  Here’s what you need to know.

© Treelawney

Where and What Type of Soil is Being Excavated?

The first thing that you need to look at in regards to excavation cost is where the soil to be excavated is, and what kind of soil it is.  That is, the cost of the excavation job will depend on how easily the machinery can access the area to be excavated and the composition of the soil. Easy to remove soil will be quicker and cheaper to excavate while soils with rocks and other tricky materials will cost more.

Can Materials Be Reused?

Also look at whether the materials being excavated can be reused elsewhere. If so, this can lower the total cost of the excavation project. As an example, if you are excavating sand, this can potentially be used in other areas of construction, saving you money.  To see if reusing materials is possible for you, you can have a series of tests performed to see what is lying under the topsoil.

Removing the Excavated Materials

One of the largest costs involved with excavation is the cost of removing the material that has been excavated. Find out where the disposal site is – if it is close to your site then the costs will be significantly lower than if it is far away, as travelling distances costs money. Find out the removal costs before the project starts and make sure everything is included. This means that as well as the cost of disposing of the materials, you need to include the cost of handling the materials, and the cost of any licenses or permissions that need to be obtained.

The Cost of Equipment and Tradespeople

Any excavation project will require the use of equipment and tradespeople. Such equipment includes backhoes, bulldozers, excavators and loaders while tradespeople include the people needed to operate the machines and perform the work.  The number and type of equipment and tradespeople necessary will affect the cost – the more that are involved, the more it will be.

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