How Much Does It Cost To Excavate Land?

How Much Does It Cost To Excavate Land?

There are many different reasons that you may need land excavation done. Anything from simply digging a hole to see if you can find a leak in one of your underground pipes to larger projects that entail heavy machinery and a full team can be considered land excavation. Depending on the size of the project, you could end up paying a large amount of money for a project to get done.

If you have never had land excavated before, you may still be researching what a land excavation project entails and how much does it cost to excavate land?

We’ve got the answers you need so that you can make sure you’re getting the right work done for the right price.

Types of Excavation Projects

The cost of your land excavation is going to depend primarily on what type of excavation you need to be done. This guide is a great indicator for the scope of the project which will affect what types of machinery, price per square foot, and, ultimately, the total cost of your land excavation project.

One way that experts classify the different types of land excavation is by the types of materials that are being excavated. The main land materials that are commonly excavated are:

  • Topsoil- Topsoil is the outermost layer of soil or dirt. This layer supports and includes vegetation, meaning that the material being excavated here is moister than other types of material. This is important to remove as quickly as possible, making it the first step in any land excavation project.
  • Earth- Earth is classified as the layer underneath the topsoil. This is generally removed using a scarper but may include rock and boulder materials that require the use of a drill for removal.
  • Muck- Muck is any earth material (topsoil or earth) that has a high concentration of water. As the name suggests, this includes things like mud and undesirable soil. Since it is so unstable, it’s often spread out over a larger area, allowing it to dry before it can be used for anything.

Here are a few of the most common types of excavation that both residential homes and commercial properties alike may need to be done at some point or another.

  • Securing Foundation- This type of land excavation is necessary for any building, whether it be a home, a small business, or even a huge office building. If you’re building a new home, the most important part of it is the foundation. In order to build a solid foundation, a large amount of soil must be removed to make space for pouring concrete, ensuring a level surface for the rest of the construction.
  • Drainage Solution- To avoid things like flooding that could cause damage, it’s recommended to have some sort of drainage solution that leads rainwater away from the property. In order to do this, however, land excavation is necessary to make way for a pipe or seepage pit installation.
  • Pipe Damage- One of homeowners’ and businesses’ biggest fears when it comes to their home is a pipe leak or break. When this happens, it can lead to flooding and severe water damage to your property. If your pipes are damaged, you will need professional land excavation to get to those underground pipes so that they can be repaired.
  • Environmental Cleansing- For a variety of reasons, the soil surrounding your business may become contaminated with things like sewage or improperly disposed waste. When this occurs, the soil must be removed to prevent the contaminated land from causing environmental or even health problems and also needs a team of general contractors to ensure the land is removed and disposed of properly.

As you can see, on top of the square footage and equipment used, issues like toxic materials and types of soil affect the overall cost of any particular land excavation project. 

What also factors into total cost here is how the contractors or company you hire choose to charge for each project. It’s generally up to them, based on the scale of the project, cost of labor, and equipment used, to decide by what metric they will charge.

  • In general, the hourly price of land excavation will run from $100-$180. 
  • If you’re being charged per cubic yard, your costs could be anywhere between $50 and $200. 
  • Yard grading typically starts at about $1,000 per project but could cost up to $6,000 and beyond.
  • Equipment charges can cost from $100 to $150 per hour depending on how much heavy equipment is needed.

Of course, these charges also vary depending on the type of project that needs to be done. The price for something like a residential swimming pool excavation, for example, can vary greatly depending on whether your land is mostly soil or rock, making it a much larger investment for some than for others.

How to Know if You’re Being Overcharged

Keep in mind when asking yourself, “how much does it cost to excavate land” that the price of land excavation is not only dependent on the quality of the team – it is also dependent on the quality of land they are working with and the scope of the project. 

Ultimately, the best way to know if you’re being overcharged is to compare the cost with other local top-rated contractors and read through each company’s reviews. You can always get multiple bids on your project and hire the contractor that seems like the best fit based on your research, their portfolio of work and quality of customer service. 

Contact a Trusted Contractor for Your Land Excavation Project

At Mikula Contracting, we’ve successfully completed countless commercial and residential land excavations across New Jersey. When you work with our team, we’ll not only take care of all permits and inspections, but we’ll also make sure your excavation project is completed on time and within budget. Contact us for a quote today.


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