What Does an Excavation Contractor Do and When Do You Need to Hire One in Cortlandt, NY

Whether you are thinking of renovating your Cortlandt, NY home’s yard or you’re constructing one from scratch, you can be quite sure that excavation will be an important part of the process. Given its importance, having the right people doing it can have a huge impact on the quality and longevity of your construction project. But when exactly do you need excavation services and what does the process entail?


Excavation contractors are often hired as subcontractors for larger projects, carrying out the specialized work of digging out and moving dirt. Their work starts with inspecting the site of the excavation, estimating the scale of the job, and giving the client a quote. Once a contract has been written up, the actual work starts. The site has to be cleared and obstructions have to be removed. Then, the equipment suited to the scale of the job is brought in. Entrance and egress paths have to be identified to move the equipment in, especially as excavators and loaders often have tracks that can damage lawns and walkways.

What Does an Excavation Contractor Do and When Do You Need to Hire One in Cortlandt, NY

Proceeding with the work

Once the site is cleared and the equipment is in place, the digging starts. The process varies depending on the scale of the work, but safety is an important part of an excavation contractors job. Especially with larger jobs, such as swimming pools, cave-ins are a deadly risk that has to be minimized. This is done through properly reinforcing, or shoring, the sides of the excavation, as well as having a well-trained and experienced crew who communicate well with one another and other teams on site. Moreover, underground utility lines have to be accounted for and utility companies are consulted in case of any problems. Once the excavation has been completed, the ground is graded and smoothed for the next phase of construction. The contractor also does the laborious job of moving the mounds of excavated dirt off the site.

When is excavation needed?

The breadth of landscaping jobs that require excavation is quite vast. In general, any hardscaping job where a foundation is required needs some level of excavation. Driveways, walkways, and patios start with excavation to remove soil, followed by grading of the site before the aggregate is deposited to provide a solid foundation for the weight of the paving materials. Similarly, retaining walls, especially ones that are required to provide necessary support for large masses of soil, require a solid foundation that will require excavation. In other cases, excavation is required to remove trees and tree stumps, install boulders in a natural landscape, or to fill up unnecessary trenches in a yard.

Excavation for drainage projects

Drainage projects are also heavily reliant on proper excavation so that trenches can be dug and drainage pipes can be installed. Naturally, proper grading plays a pivotal role in directing stormwater towards the drainage pipes or trenches, which also necessitates the services of an experienced excavation contractor. Another major job is installing or repairing underground septic systems. This is a highly specialized job that not only requires excavating the site but also the right skills, knowledge, and special licenses in order to install the septic system.

Excavation is a dangerous but necessary part of any construction project. Whether it is a simple landscaping project, installing a full-size pool, or a drainage system, a qualified excavation contractor can make a world of difference.