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How Much Does Excavation Cost?

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Key Takeaways

Key PointsDetails
Average Cost Per Cubic Yard$2.50 – $15.00
Excavator & Operator Hourly Rates$100 – $300
Average Total Excavation Cost$1,100 – $5,600
Factors Affecting CostsSoil type, project complexity, equipment needs

Excavation is a critical step in many construction projects, whether it’s for building a new home, installing a swimming pool, or setting up drainage systems. While the cost can vary widely, understanding the factors that influence excavation costs can help you budget more effectively.

Excavation Cost

Below is a table outlining the average costs of various excavation projects. These costs can vary depending on several factors such as soil type, project complexity, and location.

Land Excavation Cost by Project

ProjectAverage Cost
Foundation pad for new home site$1,500 – $10,000
Dig a basement for new construction$1,500 – $10,000
Dig around existing house$5,000 – $15,000
Dig an in-ground swimming pool$1,000 – $5,000
Excavate a driveway, patio, or deck dirt pad$1,000 – $2,500
Excavate a hillside or flatten slopes$1,000 – $5,000
Grading for lawn installation$1,000 – $5,000
Rock / ledge removal$1,000 – $20,000+
Trenching for sewer, septic, or drainage system$500 – $1,200

Average Excavation Cost Calculator

The following table provides average excavation costs, giving you an idea of what to expect for your project.

Average Excavation Cost

National Average Cost$3,500
Minimum Cost$500
Maximum Cost$20,000
Average Range$1,100 to $5,600

Cost to Excavate Land Per Cubic Yard & Hourly

Understanding how excavation costs are calculated can help you estimate your project’s budget more accurately.

Cost to Excavate Land

Charge TypeAverage Cost
Cost per cubic yard$2.50 – $15.00
Cost per hour (operator & excavator)$100 – $300
Cost per hour (operator only)$50 – $150
Cost per day (excavator rental only)$200 – $700
Cost per square foot$1 – $5
Cost per acre$1,000 – $3,000

Excavation Cost Per Cubic Yard

Soil type can significantly impact the cost per cubic yard.

Soil Type or ConditionCost per Cubic Yard*
Light soil$2.50 – $6.00
Average soil$6.00 – $10.00
Heavy/wet soil or loose rock$10.00 – $15.00
Jackhammered rock$50 – $200+

Excavator Hourly Rates

The cost of hiring an excavator and an operator can vary, but typically ranges from $100 to $300 per hour.

Excavation Prices by Project

The cost of excavation can vary widely depending on the specific project.

New Home Site Excavation Cost

Excavating a site for a new home can cost between $1,500 and $10,000, depending on the size and complexity of the project.

Basement or Crawl Space Excavation Cost

Excavation costs can vary widely based on the depth and difficulty of the soil.

Basement Excavation Cost Calculator

Basement Height & DifficultyAverage Cost*
8’ – 9’ (standard soil)$10,000 – $20,000
10’ – 12’ (standard soil)$20,000 – $30,000
8’ – 12’ (difficult or rocky soil)$30,000 – $50,000+

Cost to Dig Around an Existing Foundation

Excavating around an existing foundation can cost between $5,000 and $15,000, depending on the complexity and required depth.

Cost to Excavate a Hillside

Hillside excavation can range from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the slope and soil conditions.

Pool Excavation Cost

Excavating for an in-ground swimming pool generally costs between $1,000 and $5,000.

Cost of Excavating for a Driveway, Patio, Garage, or Deck

The cost to excavate for driveways, patios, garages, or decks usually ranges from $1,000 to $2,500.

Yard Excavation Estimates

Grading and excavation for lawn installation typically range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Rock Excavation and Ledge Removal Rates

Removing rocks or ledges can be quite expensive, ranging from $1,000 to upwards of $20,000 or more, particularly if heavy machinery like jackhammers is required.

Cost to Dig a Pond

Excavating a pond can have variable costs depending on the size and depth, generally ranging from $1,500 to $5,000.

Cost Factors of Earth Excavation and Grading

Several factors influence the cost of earth excavation and grading, including soil type, project complexity, and additional requirements like removing rocks or adding backfill dirt.

Earth Excavation & Grading Costs

Project TypeAverage Cost
Land clearing$1,150 – $3,700
Land grading and leveling$500 – $5,000
Trenching$500 – $1,200
Dirt removal$140 – $230 per cubic yard
Additional backfill / fill dirt$5 to $25 per cubic yard

Cost to Move or Remove Dirt

Moving or removing dirt typically costs $140 to $230 per cubic yard, depending on the amount and type of soil.

Residential Cut and Fill Cost

The cut and fill method involves moving soil from one area to another for leveling purposes, generally costing $5 to $25 per cubic yard.

Land Excavation FAQs

What is Land Excavation?

Land excavation involves removing earth to prepare a site for construction or other projects. This can include removing topsoil, leveling the land, and digging foundations or trenches.

How Long Does Excavation Take?

The timeline for excavation can vary depending on the project size and complexity. Small projects may take a few days, while larger undertakings could stretch over several weeks.

Can Excavation and Grading Be Done in the Winter?

Yes, excavation and grading can be done in the winter, but it may be more challenging and costly due to frozen ground and potential weather delays.

Getting Estimates from Excavation Companies

When seeking estimates from excavation companies, it’s important to ask the right questions to ensure you get an accurate and comprehensive quote.

Questions to Ask

  1. What is included in the excavation cost?
  2. How long will the project take?
  3. What type of equipment will be used?
  4. Are there any additional charges for moving or removing soil?
  5. What measures are taken to ensure site safety and compliance with local regulations?

Understanding these cost factors and asking the right questions will help you make an informed decision and ensure your excavation project is completed efficiently and within budget.

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