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Bruce's Forum Posts: 4

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By Bruce in Dallas, TX on 5/29/2008


I'm wondering if anyone has experience in performing sitework to include leveling, grading, taking elevations, removing dirt and operating machinery such as skid-steer loader?  I am going to take on this task myself at my new building site.  It is a very hilly site and needs about 4,000 CY of dirt removed.  Looking for info. about getting the right machine and operating machinery to level and grade land.

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By Greg in Zanesville, OH on 5/30/2008


Hi, Bruce. I just dug my own basement with a mini excavator and my uncle's new Holland skid steer. This job can be done but if you're renting equipment just make sure it can be done without having to rent it a bunch of times. That being said, my buddy used to be a trackhoe operator and he dug the perimeter of my basement. He knew a few tricks about digging straight walls by leveling the trackhoe before starting. I can run the skid steer better than he can, but digging with the trackhoe is his thing. I was quoted $2,200 to dig my basement, and after equipment rental and diesel fuel I will probably be around $1,000-$1,200 out of pocket. Not a significant savings, but I want to do things myself. A laser level is a must when trying to get proper grade.
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By Bruce in Dallas, TX on 6/1/2008


Hi Greg... thanks a bunch for your input... it is very valuable... I definitely will get a couple of prices before attempting to do it myself but like you, I love to do this kind of work. It is both challenging and rewarding to me.  I will most likely hire a Civil Engineering firm to come up with a grading and retaining wall plan. This property is in New Mexico and has a variance of 30 feet from top of hill to the plain. So I will have to cut 7 to 9 ft of soil from the top and haul it away by bucket truck.  But, few or no basements exist here, so I won't have to dig for a basement.  Is this your first homebuilding project or have you done others?  Again, thanks for your input!


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