Excavation is the first step when embarking on a variety of construction projects. From installing utility lines to building retaining walls to constructing a new home or building, successful excavation work is critical to your project. Why? Because each sequential step in the process depends on the excavation job being done right!
Therefore, it’s important to consult with an expert prior to embarking on a DIY excavation project. Or, better yet, hire a contractor to complete the job. Remember, a mistake at the start of the project will cause additional problems down the line.
Follow the six tips below to ensure your excavation project is successful!
1. Outline the dig site
Outlining the boundaries of your dig site is important for two reasons. First, by delineating the boundaries of the construction project, you’ll stay within the right area. You’ll also be able to dig straight lines. Making straight cuts would be more difficult without the markers. Second, clear markings will show utility companies where you plan to dig.
The best way to outline your site is by using white stakes, paint, or flags.
2. Obtain excavation approval
You must obtain approval from local utility companies before you start to dig. The utility company will ensure there aren’t any lines buried underneath the soil.
In Massachusetts, you can call Dig Safe. Dig Safe is a free 8-1-1 communication network with a simple goal: you call them up, they contact the utility companies.
3. Manage erosion
It’s important to manage storm water run-off within the boundaries of your project. If you aren’t able to manage the erosion on your site, your project will likely get shut down during an inspection.
You can manage erosion by removing the first layer of soil and then creating a silt fence. If you don’t engage in this type of mitigation technique, the soil will likely wash away during the first storm, causing serious issues on the site.
4. Engage in good site management
When starting a construction project, there are important tasks that need to be accomplished upfront to prepare the site properly. While these preparations take time, they cannot be skipped. If they’re overlooked, there will be delays once the project gets underway.
For example, you’ll need to create entrances, provide access to roads for the trucks, and add fill piles.
5. Take advantage of good weather
For the most part, excavation depends on good weather. So, when the weather is good, maximize your excavation time. If you don’t take advantage of the good weather, you may get a stretch of unfavorable weather, which will cause project delays.
6. Ensure good communication with all contractors
As discussed previously, excavation is just the first step in the overall construction process. Because there are other contractors working on the project, it’s important that everyone is kept informed about issues and progress. Effective communication can ensure a project runs smoothly. However, ineffective communication can cause misunderstandings and ultimately, project delays.
Don’t forget. It’s always important to consult with an expert even if you plan to do the excavation project yourself.