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Looking for an Excavator in Colorado Springs Area


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Steven's Forum Posts: 89
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By Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 2/10/2009


Anybody know where I might find a good excavator in or near the Colorado Springs area?

We had previously selected somebody last summer but when we kicked our project down the road into this summer we had lost track of him.  When we got in contact again today we found out that the economic downturn had just been too much and he'd shut down his business!

Dang it... we really liked this guy too.

So there we are, starting over.  Anybody have any tips or recommendations?

Steve

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By Arnold in Colorado Springs, CO on 2/11/2009


Steven,

Try Munson Excavating (not Munson Ditching) in Black Forest.  We used him on all three projects in the Springs, and I've maintained a business relationship with him that's been really good.

If you run into any snags, he works with you to solve it. 

Tell him Arnold sent you.

AG

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By Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 2/12/2009


Thank you Arnold!  Appreciate the pointer!

Steve

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By Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 2/12/2009


Heh -- I just checked a couple of the recommendations we got from our architect and one of them was Munson!

Sweet.

A good reputation definitely means something in this business!

Steve

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By Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 8/4/2009


Just as a followup to this, we ended up going with our builder as the excavator. Turns out he's done a lot of that work in the past and has often done it as part of the O-B process. 

He was quick, thorough, and worked closely with the soils engineer to ensure proper compaction and such. He was even patient with my asking that he leave some trees and areas alone! He did a fantastic job.

So... this probably doesn't help anybody particularly looking for an excavator, but at least I wanted to update status. We were very pleased and he enjoyed it, so it was a win-win all around.

 

Steven in Colorado Springs


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By Gregory in Colorado Springs, CO on 9/15/2009


I have also heard Boddy Excavation is a reputable company but I don't have any personal experience with them. By the way, we are looking at building an ICF home in Colorado Springs. Who is doing your footings, walls etc.? You previously indicated you were very satisfied with the guy who is coordinating the project at this time. Would you mind giving me his name as I am looking for someone who can oversee my project all the way up to framing. Does your guy do that? If so, have him PM me. Greg


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By Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 9/16/2009


My guy is Dale Stevinart of Craftsman Homes. He runs a custom homebuilding company out of Pueblo, but I know he's worked all over Colorado. His phone is 719-251-8680.

Dale happens to be a Buildblock ICF rep, but he's worked with a half dozen systems (used to be a Polysteel rep) and knows them all very well. He can do GC work as detailed or as hands-off as you'd like, and he's VERY easy to work with.

Steven in Colorado Springs

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By Christian in Sequim, WA on 9/16/2009


Hi!

I intend to be my own contractor on a 2,300 square ft home at 8,600' in Crystal Park. We just capped a nice well producing 7-10 gallons/min.  I'm financing this myself from savings, so no loans at this point.  I'm less than three weeks away from finishing drawings and need some advice:

1. How long does it take for regional building to approve drawings once submitted?

2. Does the excavator lay out the house out with a transit or do I hire my surveyor? If the surveyor lays out the house after I clear trees this week does the excavator have means to establish the correct excavation floor levels?

P.S. I need a surveyor on site to find some pins so I can complete my plat (something unique to Crystal Park).

Thanks,

Chris


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By Chuck in Colorado Springs, CO on 9/17/2009


From my understanding the Plan Check from PPRBD only takes a few weeks for them to complete, however if everything is not in order they will send them back to you and you will need make changes. You need to have more than just drawings - you need to have a set of plans, site plan, development plan, Manual J heat loss calculations, ResCheck, etc, etc. I'm not sure what jurisdiction you are in up in Crystal Park, I'm guessing Manitou Springs??

Be forewarned that the Platting process for your land could be quite extensive if you're in a hillside zoning, which again I'm guessing you are. We went through the process for our 1/2 acre lot in Colorado Springs and it was ridiculously time-consuming and expensive. I took over two years jumping through hoops to satisfy the Planning Department and DRE, and we spent over $20K. Even though you are only building one home, they treat you the same as a developer who is platting 20 acres into dozens of lots. We may have had a more difficult time because we are inside CS city limits; hopefully it will be easier on you up there. Get ahold of a surveyor; you will need them to prepare your plat for submittal and they can give you all the info on what will be required.
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By Christian in Sequim, WA on 9/17/2009


Thanks for the feedback, Chuck. My construction docs will be completed in about two weeks. I hired a company to do the mylars and platting. Since I have a current survey, I just need to get my pins relocated and get it filed. CP is unique in that we buy a membership for a particular site. A bit weird, but it works. Luckily, we do not need to go through all the same things as in CS. 

I'm still curious about laying out the house, getting the excavation to match the site-plan contours and foundation plan. 

Christian


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By Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 10/8/2009


I thought I'd toss in my two cents' worth here too.

1.) For us the regional guys didn't take long at all. We had the most problem with our "mother-in-law" apartment, since it's right at the maximum size allowed by county code (not sure why the size is what it is, but that's the rule). Colleen was able to work it with them without too much trouble, though there was a lot of discussion before our plan got signed off on. Couple of days maybe, total, to walk the plans through the system with a couple of go-backs.

2.) I cleared out all of the trees myself, but surveying has been a bit of a sore point. We incorrectly surveyed the whole house before any excavation was done, partially because we didn't have a good feeling for how it should fit on the lot. We ended up moving the house a bit as a result (so maybe it wasn't a completely bad way to go) and had to have it surveyed in the new location again since that was going to drive the excavation. We probably would have been better to wait until basic excavation was done and just had the general area overdug a bit, since that made a flat spot that would have made the survey much more easily done; but on the other hand, it probably would have take a day longer. We then surveyed it again and staked out the house, and were pleased that everything pretty much went where expected.

 

Steven in Colorado Springs


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By Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 10/8/2009


I realized I wanted to expand on this a bit...

Given the chance to do it over again, we'd probably not have paid for the survey "on the raw hill" at all. I'd instead mark out where I thought everything would go, and adjust it a bit until I was happy; then take some GPS readings to mark the corners. 

Excavation would then proceed in this area with a bit of overdig, so I'd have some options to move things around if I changed my mind, and THEN I'd call in the professionals to do the final markout. They could use my GPS coordinates as a start and we'd tweak things a bit if needed.

This approach would have allowed me to save monies up front on what was (mostly) a wasted survey and let the professionals work on a flat and properly prepared site, rather than having them wrestle with slopes and whatnot.

Oh well. We got where we needed to be, and I guess that's what counts.

Steven in Colorado Springs

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By Mike in Westminster, CO on 4/16/2010


I'd like to give this thread a little bump. I will be building in Pueblo County near the town of Beulah, and would like to get any recommendations for a competent excavator who works in this area. I will be building a single-level house with a walk-out basement on a 6-acre lot. There is some slope to the land, but it is minor, about 1-2%. The design calls for the use of retaining walls and elevating the foundation above grade to a small degree, so I would need someone familiar with this type of excavation.


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By Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 4/17/2010


Howdy Mike:


Gorgeous country down there, Mike! The Wet Mountains are a real treasure and change the whole character of that region of the Front Range.

You shouldn't have too much trouble beyond folks willing to work at a distance from Pueblo. I probably can't help much since my builder did our excavation, but I'd poke around the Pueblo West and Canon City areas.  Given the layout of the land, it shouldn't take too long to do. 

Just make sure you take pictures before they come in--it'll never look like that again!  ;)


Steven in Colorado Springs

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By Cheryl in Ft. Collins, CO on 4/18/2010


Hi Mike,

I found the Official Government County site to be helpful in regards to finding excavators in my county, Larimer. Pueblo has a nice site too. The listing for licensed septic installers is a good resource and starting point to find your competent excavator, since a lot of septic installers are excavators.  co.pueblo.co.us/pcchd/environmental

See attached .pdf I downloaded from your county site. Some are builders, and some are strictly septic, but also many excavators and I bet one is your local experienced guy that will give you a good deal. Good luck!


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By Mike in Westminster, CO on 4/18/2010


Thanks Cheryl, I found about 15 excavators from that link with good BBB ratings. I'll be making some phone calls tomorrow. BTW, do excavators usually work by the hour, or do they charge a set fee for the project?
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By Cheryl in Ft. Collins, CO on 4/19/2010


I believe most do work by the hour and should include their hourly rate in their quotes. Knowing their hourly rate is important, because you never know if it will go smoothly or if they will run into an underground boulder and need extra time. Also though it will be important to hire the guy with the right equipment to power through the job quickly. Get plenty of quotes and compare.


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By Christian in Sequim, WA on 4/20/2010


I also thought excavators bid by the hour, but I bid four guys, and they all gave me firm bids for the jobs (excavation and septic). Make sure they include the haul time, and be specific about any change orders and what is not included. I had to assert myself with my sub on these items and remind him of our agreement. I sent out a specs sheet of what I wanted that included these things. I also had an agreement that he agreed upon so we had clear boundaries.

Christian


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By Mike in Westminster, CO on 4/20/2010


Excavation is probably the one area I know least about in regards to the homebuilding process, and one I should educate myself on quickly. Cheryl - what is the right equipment they should have other than a front loader/backhoe? Christian - the spec sheet is a good idea, what other things should I include in it? Any other questions I should ask when I interview excavator subs? Thanks for the input.
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By Cheryl in Ft. Collins, CO on 4/20/2010


Mike, I am just going out with my first excavation requests for quotes for my driveway, septic and garage. Not even close to ready for the house, but when I do, it will also have a walkout basement like yours. I am in a very rocky wide-open area and am making sure the work is done with full-size excavating equipment as opposed to mini-excavators (front loaders and backhoes), which are great for tight, small jobs in town and cost a lot less to operate, but take a lot longer and most definitely would not get through the job on my land. So it all depends on your soil and location to determine the right equipment. I also need a heavy-duty trencher to trench the power/cable in. I am having my potential excavators visit my build site so it is taking some time. I'll have to post quote details, as I really don't know what I'll get back. 

Christian, I like the spec-sheet idea also, will incorporate that into my project.


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