The basement opens more space at home, adds more accommodation, and creates room for more amenities. If you are considering these options, how much does basement excavation cost?
The Cost Of Basement Excavation
The cost of basement excavation is roughly $5,000 to $15,000 on average, and can even be higher depending on several factors. The cost will certainly be based on the preferred depth and volume, the site, and your location.
A greater workforce is needed when the ground is extremely solid. Machines like backhoe loaders and excavators are used to get the ground excavated with ease.
Heavy machinery rental is often charged at an hourly rate, which can range between $40 and $150 per hour.
The renovating company may charge you a flat rate after evaluating the site. On the other hand, some companies may charge per yard of digging.
If the cost is based on the cubic yard of dirt that needs to be moved, then the cost will be somewhere between $200 and $1,200 per cubic yard. This will mainly depend on location and how difficult it will be to access the project.
Soil remediation is another possible extra cost you will have to pay. If you are living in an area where soil contaminants are prevalent, you might be forced to hire a contractor specializing in the identification of these contaminants. If positive, soil remediation will be another story altogether.
If you do not wish to supervise the excavation of your basement, the contractor can offer their services at around 13% to 22% of the total project cost as a supervision fee.
Other additional expenses that will increase the cost of digging a basement include permits, electrical work, and pipework. Building permits are a major requirement of the local government. Building permits usually range from $100 to $800, depending on location.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Basement Excavation
Determining how much does a basement dig out cost will not be fixed because there are major factors that can drive the price up. Some of these are the following:
- Size of the project
Any home improvement or construction project cost will always be dependent on the size because it will dictate how much materials, labor, and supervision will be needed.
Renovating companies will typically evaluate the area in terms of accessibility before digging out the basement. Faraway project sites would entail additional costs if several pieces of heavy equipment needed to be mobilized. This is understandable because there will be additional costs for fuel and labor for the driver to get to the site of construction.
Accessibility can also be measured in terms of how challenging the landscape of the project can be. If the area is somewhat sophisticated, contractors might need to use complex methods of excavating.
- Type of Soil
Another point that deeply affects the evacuation price is the geological features of the land to be dug out. Underground obstructions such as production lines, fire water lines, and electrical feeders can contribute to the difficulty and complexity of the job. Giant rocks underneath are hauled by special equipment.
In construction, the weather is one major factor to consider. Anything related to the season will impact any plans at the project site, such as temperature, wind, humidity, precipitation, barometric pressure, among others. Anything that hinders the execution of the plans according to the schedule will definitely have an effect on the cost.
Where the project is located will have a big impact on the cost because you have to consider the cost of commodities and services in a particular area. Most likely, areas with a high cost of real estate will have a directly proportional cost of excavation.
- Is there an existing structure or not?
The excavation price will depend on whether it will be done over an existing house or if it will be included in the overall construction of a new house. The price of excavation for an existing house can be half as high as the price of digging out for a new house.
The in-built foundation and underground system of the existing house may need engineered calibration to fit the structural components needed to create the basement. In fact, if the structure of the existing house is adequate, lifting the house may be necessary to get the digging completely done. This can inflate the cost of the excavation.
Should You DIY?
The whole digging the basement project can be done DIY only if you are a natural handyman or you are a professional yourself. Otherwise, it is suggested to get professional help.
This is because there’s so much more to consider in this endeavor than you think. Anyone who attempts to take on this project without ample expertise will only be wasting time and money.
What’s worse is that you would be more likely to spend more than you ought to be if you just let a contractor do that for you. That’s because, unlike a professional taking on a back job if everything fails, you only have yourself to suffer the expenses should you do it all wrong.
For one, it takes a lot of time, especially if it’s your first time. The basement excavation usually takes 2 to 3 days but can take 20 to 27 weeks to get completely done, depending on the size and considering all the work involved (not just purely excavation).
Below will be the timeline:
- The first 2 weeks are for the excavation.
- The following weeks are for building the basement floor with concrete and reinforcing the foundations.
- The next few weeks are for finalizing the basement.
The total price will most likely range from $10,000 to $20,000 if you include the building permits, heavy machinery, and renovation. But the total cost can even go higher than $120,000 depending on the vastness, depth, and complexity of the overall job.
An extra hand would cost around $25 to $70 per hour, depending on skills and expertise.