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My excavation quote

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Mat's Forum Posts: 39
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By Mat in Rome, NY on 6/14/2006

I am still awaiting more quotes for the excavation, however I received one today from someone who is highly recommended.  I realize costs vary tremendously around the country given location and requirements, but I wanted to post what I got to see if anyone had comments vs. what they ended up with for this part of the budget.

Also, I unfortunately don't have an itemized quote (which I asked for) so I will be going back for round two with them.  Our footprint is 54'x24' and includes a standard size two-stall garage.

In a nutshell:

Provide materials, labor & machine time for the following:
Strip topsoil from cellar & driveway
Dig cellar & garage
Install cellar drains & sump pit
Backfill cellar & garage w/on-site material
Bank gravel driveway 15' wide. 100' width w/40x40 parking area
Driveway fabric
Septic tank & leach field to meet engineer specifications
Dig & backfill water & electric line
Spread topsoil, rough grade all disturbed areas
Price: $16,600
If I estimate $100/sq foot average, and my house is roughly 2,200 sq feet, this comes out to be around 7.5% of my budget.  Any comments?


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By Marsha in Frankfort, KY on 6/14/2006

Hi Matt!

Not sure where you are, and I know that location can make a difference.

We are in KY, and just received the bill from our excavator yesterday for $14,061. We were a little shocked as this was quite a bit higher than his quote of $9,000, but we were expecting a little more as we hit rock and had him do a few extra things.

Our home is 3,670 sq ft over a 2,600 sq ft basement.

All that being said, his price covered:

Digging the basement (moving dirt from the basement)

Hauling dirt down to a low point in the driveway

Cut in the entrance Grading the driveway (918 foot driveway!)

Installing a culvert

Digging electric and water

Laying the electric and water conduits

Backfill electric and waterline

Hoe ram in the basement to remove rock

Hauling rock away

Dig basement larger (not big enough the first time - our fault, not his)

Dig walkout and haul dirt away from walkout

Strip topsoil from turn circle in front of house

Spread gravel

Dig trench footings

He also laser leveled everything and furnished all materials. Our footings are quite complicated evidently- some big stepdowns and lots of corners. You can check out pictures on our blog:


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By Mat in Rome, NY on 6/15/2006

Marsha -

Thanks for the info.  My concern with this quote is, my brother had used the same person six years ago and the price was about half that.  So, I am trying to figure out if prices have doubled in six years, or if he is just high in price.  I think I am going to have to see what else I get for quotes to know for sure.


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By Yvonne in Helena, AL on 6/15/2006

I had the hardest time getting a quote from an excavator.  They would only give me ballpark quotes which were definitely SWAGs.  They said that if I wanted a firm quote, they would be high to cover themselves for any unknown issues.  So, I ended up with an hourly rate for all equipment used.  If you can get a reasonable firm quote, that's great!


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By Lori in Reno, NV on 6/15/2006


We got our bid from the concrete sub, he is also who we are using for excavation. I have listed below what we got for our money.

The house is a  2,508 sf single story with double garage with 741 sf covered patio. We got a soil analysis before starting to build. We could have built right on top, but the contractor decided to dig down; about 18" in front and 2' in back.

He rented all equipment and did/will do the following (as you can see by our journal we are still doing dirt work)

Dug 80x80 house footprint plus garage, compacted @ 98%, and will backfill when foundation is complete. We paid $2,250 for this.

We are doing our own digging for the electric, piping for well and septic.

I don't have a bid for the garage pad or drive, but will post when I do. I have found sometimes we pay more for a job if it is done by a sub that only does that, but that doesn't mean your foundation sub can't do it.

Hope this helps.


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