What Do Excavation Companies Do?

Apart from operating some very large pieces of machinery, excavation is an essential component to almost any construction project, moving, grading, and leveling the ground before work can take place. 

They work with a number of other professionals including engineers, architects, and general contractors who usually sub-contract out to excavation contractors. Alternatively, homeowners can contact an excavation company directly for personal jobs around the home.

Their work extends to digging for foundations, pools, sewers, wells, drainage systems, and more, handling the preparation and supporting aspect of these jobs and to ensure success on the worksite.

What is excavation work?

Excavation work is an important part of any construction project, using various heavy equipment to prepare the land for certain construction projects to take place including:

  • Foundations
  • Roads, Driveways, and Sidewalks
  • Sewer Lines and Pipes
  • Drainage systems
  • Landscaping
  • Pools

Excavators primarily work with the ground, moving soil, rock, and other materials out of the way to make room for construction. They also grade and level the ground to allow for proper water drainage according to architectural and engineering specifications.

Preparing the Land for Home Construction

One of the most common jobs for an excavation contractor is to prepare the land under and around a new home. After the surveying crew determines the lot boundaries and specifications, excavators will then dig to the appropriate size and depth required for the new foundation.

Excavators will ensure the ground is level and compact, as well as match the grade to the appropriate specifications in order to allow for the proper drainage to occur. After the foundation is poured in, the excavator will backfill around the foundation with dirt. This is typically done for any foundation construction.

Drainage Systems

Excavation companies are essential for trenching and digging foundations for drainage systems for homes or commercial buildings. They’ll often work with zoning and utility professionals to trench for electrical, telephone, and water lines as well as prepare the ground for wells and septic systems.


Apart from preparing the foundation for homes and other structures, excavation companies also help with landscaping and grading land.

Grading the soil is important to allow for proper water drainage in the future. Excavators usually work with landscape architects or designers to determine what the grade will be. 

Other Excavation Work

An excavation company, with the help of an excavator (a crane-like piece of machine) can also help with:

  • The demolition of structures
  • The removal of dirt and debris from the worksite
  • “Cut and Fill”, meaning to take earth from a high area to fill in a lower area

Heavy-Equipment Expertise

One of the benefits of working with a professional excavation company is that they are often insured and trained with operating heavy equipment. There’s a lot of cost involved in excavating properly, which is why these types of companies are usually hired to come in as subcontractors.

Oftentimes, these companies will be ready with skid steers, front-end loaders, bulldozers and backhoes. Some companies will even have their own large dump trucks for hauling away soil and debris.


Excavators and excavation companies do a lot of hard work to facilitate construction projects but they usually work under the guidance of a general contractor, engineer, or other professional that has overseen the planning and knows what the specifications are.

Excavation companies are critical to any construction project that requires land to be moved and prepared for construction, whether for homes, or for other projects requiring digging such as wells, trenches, and piping systems.

A quality excavation company is properly trained and insured, and has heavy equipment on hand to handle any job.

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