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"They were very prompt and professional. They coordinated the inspection, permit and removal with the town and did a great job.

-Chris A.

was knowledgeable and efficient. He had many helpful suggestions concerning this project and others to be completed in the future. He did" exactly what he said he would do, exactly when he said he would do it. It was a pleasure to have a project go off without a hitch and without stress on my part. I look forward to working with
again. .

-cassie L.

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Local Articles in Surprise

Backhoe digging up dirt.

Hiring an Excavator

There are a number of reasons why homeowners need a professional to excavate their yard, concrete or around their foundation. In this guide to hiring an excavator, we'll dig into what situations require someone to do excavation work, what to look for when hiring an excavator, what you should do before you dig, alternatives to excavation, costs to excavate on your property and scams to avoid.

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If connecting to city sewers requires special equipment, like the sewage pump shown here, costs can quickly increase (Photo by Brandon Smith)
Excavating, Drain Pipe Installation - Exterior

Wet basements, crawlspaces or overly-saturated lawns could require the expertise of an exterior drain pipe installation and excavation expert.

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Angie's Answers

Well the fact is he is going to have to pull permits which means it has to be inspected before he is done, you also have to consider the equiptment that he has to bring out to the jobsite to do the job and the man power plus materials, it's costly, but I am not from your area so if you are unsure call another company out and see what they say.
Don't tell them what the other company said as far as price.

It is almost certain that you will have to modify the foundation to make it deeper too - and that is MAJOR structural work.


You need a civil/geotechnical engineering firm with experience in foundation rehab and putting in basements under existing homes to design the process and prepare and seal the plans and specifications, which you will need before you can get a building permit for this. They will also be able to help you select either a foundation excavation or a house moving and jacking company to do the actual work for you.


The engineer can also help you with a cost estimate - because I think you will be surprised how much this is going to cost. I have designed or managed quite a few such jobs, from highrise buildings to homes, and even the smallest houses of about 600SF footprint ran at least $15,000, and generally house basement excavations run more like $25-40,000 unless the foundation was originally designed for it but for some reason the basement was never put in, which is VERY rare except in very deep frost areas were footings are occasionally deep enough to allow a basement to be dug without deepening them. I worked on a couple back east that ran about $100,000 each because they were old 2-story brick buildings, which are very sensitive to differential movements - probably like yours.


A couple of other factors to consider is that in doing this you are likely to get at least some minor drywall cracking and door and window jamming, and be sure the contractor is insured and bonded to the hilt and for the potential rebuild value of the house, not just the job cost, because a major mistake can turn your house into a teardown. Not common, but the less experienced the contractor the more likely he is to do something dramatically wrong, and at the same time the smaller and less experienced contractors generally have lower coverages so your risks is compounded in two ways. With a row home you have the added risk of damaging adjacent units.


One thing to consider cost wise before you go ahead - I have worked a couple of jobs where it turned out cheaper and far safer to scrap the digging in a basement idea and put in an addition with same footprint instead. However, looking back I see you are in a row home, so that is likely not going to work. However, being in a row home, especially if on the Potomac flats south or east of the capital area, the soil conditions are generally the pits once you get off the Georgetown heights, so putting a basement under a rowhome without disturbing the other ones is VERY difficult and pricey - I would be surprised if you could do it for less than $100,000.

One other factor is utilities - one of the first things to do is check depth to any utilities like sewer lines, the Metro, etc - if you are over one of those that could well put your project totally out of the frame of reality.


You asked for a recommendation - one who specializes in this type of work that I would recommend, though your job might well be too small size for them - but they might be able to give you an engineer and contractor recommendation if so. Company name is Schnabel Foundation Company in Sterling Va and Bethesda, MD in your area - website www.schnabel.com. They could handle both the engineering and construction.

If the windows are being put in by a general contractor, he can easily handle the window wells too. If you were looking for a window installer to do the windows, they might or might not do the window wells as well - some do, some do not. A small one-man excavation company can do this excavation, as can a handyman as it just takes about 1/2-1 hour shovel work per window in normal soil conditions, because the soil around the foundation is already pretty loose from foundation constructiuon (as a rule). Just be sure they pour concrete in the bottom to keep water from coming under the well, and that it is firmly fastened to the foundation and liberally asphalt sealed at the interface with the concrete - not just caulked at the edge, but mastic-coated on cleaned concrete BEFORE the window well in installed and concrete poured in the bottom. (Note - the concrete depends on soil conditions and water level - if your soil is pretty free draining and groundwater level never comes up to bottom of window well, then a gravel bed in the bottom is best so it stays dry - but if groundwater rises that high or you are in real impermeable soil like clay, then concrete works best. If concrete bottom is used, you probably want to have the clear acrylic window well cover put on too to keep water and frogs and such out. Of course, if this is an emergency egress window, you cannot put the plastic covers over it legally.

Wow - from way general to totally specific - nice job, you have your scope of work almost ready to contact potential bidders about giving a bid - just need to double check each item hads quantities attached to it, plus a plan with depths (or specify tie-in elevations to existing pipe and required drain/pipe slopes - say 1% or more). Search the List (in green banner bar) for Earthwork and Excavation contractors in your area with good reviews and ratings.

here is a very rough idea of costs - obviously you need bids to tie it down, this should just give you a ballpark to compare to - assuming all this work is done at the same time.

1) & 2) - Tree and rock maybe $100 - more like $200 if you want the stump totally rooted out rather than just the stump and root crown taken out.

3) Walk removal and disposal probably about $100-200 - maybe half if these are 3-4 inch individual concrete squares or rectangles that can be skidded to the side, the excavation and ground sloping done, then slid back into place with a backhoe or bobcat or by wood skids and prybar, eliminating the hauling and disposal cost.

4) Excavation and disposal of soil probably about $20-30/CY, because you are talking a small quantity. Cheaper if you have an on-site area it can be spread out onsite for disposal, or stockpiled in yard as a future project dirt pile, if that is suitable.

5) You don't say what the existing drain is - underground drain for downspouts maybe ? For shallow burial, probably about $5/LF or so. Why square - round is cheaper and far stronger for given material thickness.

6) Fence R&R probably about $150-200, depending on depth of posts and whether concreted in or not.

7) vegetation removal - not knowing how much, $100-200

8) Garden wall around $10-12/SF assuming excavated material from yard is suitable for the general backfill - remember should go 4-12 inches below grade for stability (4" for this wall, more like 6-12 for higher front wall)

Front/side yard:

1) Move large boulder - $50-100

2) vegetation removal and relocate 3 shrubs - $150-300 (not knowing how much vegetation orhow big shrubs are)

3) excavation at $20-30/CY again as above

4) sprinkler system relocate/repair - $75-150

5) garden wall around $12-15/SF as above including concrete footer needed for this height wall

6) area drain laterals about $5-10/LF, assuming not over 3 feet deep

7) slab drainage - I don't know where the quick lime idea came from, but this is a no-go - it will remove a small amount of water (maybe 5-20 gallons) from the soil one-time - it has no long term function as it will quickly become saturated. You are actually likely to have 5 wet circles in your concrete slab from this forever, as the lime will act as a soggy sponge, retaining water that would otherwise wick away. If you have or expect a basement slab moisture problem, then you need a sump pump with sump installed, and possibly (depending on how free-draining the base material under your slab is to carry waer to the sump pump) lateral drains cut in below the perimeter of the slab. Can run from $800-1500 range for a pump and pit depending on capacity and wiring situation, plus $500-1000 for an emergency battery-powered backup if desired. $1000-2500 range typically if lateral drains around the perimeter of the slab are necessary. Cheaper but sloppier and moisture-causing solution is small trenches or above-slab channels to carry the water to sump pump. These laterals are commonly held off on till you see if the sump pump can handle the issue itself, ASSUMING you have unfinished basement so a bit of seepage aroundbthe slab does no more damage than needing a mopping up. Personally, unless you have a continual seepage of water into basement or it is finished so leakage is critical, I would leave sump pump and drains for later - to see if your surface drainage changes eliminates the basement dampness problem, which it commonly does unless your water table rises to the basement slab level. Also, having a sump pump implies water issues and tolls against any future buyer finishing an unfinished basement, so it detracts from resale value if you have one.

Note these are off-the-cuff type numbers, NOT any sort of deliberate estimate - but I felt it was better to give you a ballpark than to just say go get estimates. Except for the floor drains, this sounds like a good job for a small 1-3 man excavation and hauling company, but make sure they have experience in putting in drain pipe and block walls and have good references in that area.

Note- if you are inclined to do it yourself work and have the time, most of this is good homeowner home improvement project material. You could have a contractor with a bobcat or small tractor with small backhoe come and pull the fence posts out (you could remove the above-ground apart easily), trench for the pipes, maybe move the rocks and sidewalk (though you could do that yourself with a few scraps of wood as skids and a 5 foot prybar assuming the walk is in piece, not continuously reinforced, and to do the bulk excavation and hauling for you, leaving the vegetation clearing, pipe work, trench backfilling, final slope dressing, block wall building, transplanting, etc to you - could cut your cost about 1/3-1/2. Basement slab drainage I consider a separate issue which would not cost significantly different if done as part of this job, or later if drainage channels or slab french drains are deemed necessary.

For the excavation - remember to get utility locates - I recommend once for bidding so they know where utilities are, then require the bidder to get relocates just before excavation starts. Gas, telephone, cable TV are commonly less than a foot down - water and sewer usually 3 feet or more but don't count on it. Also worry about septic system is you have that, and any power or water lines to/from well if you have a well. Plus of course your sprinkler system if in the way of proposed excavation.

Good Luck with your project


Excavating reviews in Surprise


After a few months of plumbing problems we finally found out we needed a new sewer line. After a few quotes we found
Surprise Excavators Provider Name Locked
and they were the lowest by far. After checking them out we decided to go with them. The process was super quick and with in a few days I had a bunch of guys and machines in my yard. And the job was done the same day. My only disappointing factor was that I had a tree in my front yard and the person I spoke with originally understood that we wanted to try and keep the tree. The people that showed up was not the person I spoke with originally and told me the tree was probably going to have to go. After speaking with those guys we had decided to TRY and go around the tree but upon returning home there was no attempt to go around the tree and the tree was completely gone. While we were sad to
Surprise Excavators Provider Name Locked
the tree it was what caused all of the problems. Other than that we had a great experience.
- Jennifer W.

We were concerned about some wall cracks in my lower level family room and had a couple of people come over to give us their professional opinions on what we needed to do and about how much it would cost. We originally thought that we would need foundation work and a French drain (which is what one guy told me).
Surprise Excavators Provider Name Locked
inspected the interior and exterior and told us that our cracks were superficial and normal due to the age of the house, and that the foundation was fine. He suggested how we could fix the cracks ourselves as a do-it-yourself project. He educated us, too -- told us how to tell whether a crack was serious or not, and other things to watch for. He was very helpful and saved us potentially several thousand dollars!

Swift, VERY professional, and amazing to watch - like a wave of a wand and from bare lawn to installed in under the three hours we were told to expect. Quality work!
- Rick F.

Surprise Excavators Provider Name Locked
Surprise Excavators Provider Name Locked
came out on a Saturday and pumped the standing water out of our septic tank, and checked the pump for problems initially. He diagnosed it as the float not doing it's job. He repositioned it and said that we needed to wait to see if it was going to be work and recommended that we hard wire the pump to the electrical source we had available instead of having an exposed cord. This would be done once the ground around the pump tank had time to dry out. After a few days we noticed that the tank was filling up again, and called
Surprise Excavators Provider Name Locked
. He sent one of his crew out to reposition the float. The young man let us know he was there and went straight to work. He knocked on the door after he had finished and let me know he would be back to check on it ( but he wouldn't bother us, just go to the pump tank and check) and make sure it was working and that they would hard wire it once it was dry. For several days we had rain, and of course the ground could not dry out, but we didn't notice any water building up in the tank. I spoke with
Surprise Excavators Provider Name Locked
a few days later and he told me that his crewman had been out three times to check the pump and was certain the problem had been fixed. He then set up a time to have someone come out to hard wire the pump. The young man who came out was the same one who had been checking on the pump. He was polite, quick and efficient. I can't say enough good things about this company! They are excellent and saved us a ton of money! Thank you,
Surprise Excavators Provider Name Locked
and crew!
- Deborah G.

It went really well. The company responded and set up an estimate the same day. I thought I was going to need some work done on my foundation because of something I noticed in the cinder blocks around the slab.
Surprise Excavators Provider Name Locked
looked over what I saw and said it wasn't an issue and was quite standard with my type of home (that it wasn't actually a foundation issue). He told me how to fix it with some basic supplies from Home Depot. He recommended possibly installing weep holes in the future and consulting an HVAC company (to reroute ductwork from the slab to the attic). He was extremely helpful and informative. I really appreciated his honesty in this situation and not trying to
Surprise Excavators Provider Name Locked
me into unnecessary work. Because of that, if I ever really have a foundation issue, I will call these guys.
- Angelica G.

They did a beautiful job!
Surprise Excavators Provider Name Locked
and crew were easy to work with. As in any project, there were a couple of issues along the way but they were quickly addressed.
- Jeffrey H.

The consultants arrived on time
exposed and cut open the tank
cleaned and removed any sludge
worked in a friendly and professional manner.
- Vincent A.

Everything went very smooth. I made the appointment with Billings and they showed up, pumped out the septic system and left the bill on my door. No surprises or last minute price adjustments. The quote on the phone is what I paid them. I will certainly use them again in the future.
- Sarah S.

All Excavators in Surprise, AZ

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!

A - Cal Wrecking Co.

13443 N 20th St

AAA Imperial Concepts

7339 E williams DR #26742

ABC Plumbing and Rooter

284 E Chilton Dr

Accure Contracting

16801 W Toronto Way

Acme Building & Wrecking Company

9446 E Laurel Ln


Apache Junction

Allied Plumbing Co.

12514 W Rosewood DR
El Mirage


14850 N 83rd Place

Arizona Tractor Guy

1088 N Pleaseant Dr

Ashrey Bobcat Service

2117 N Verano Way

AZ Landscape Creations

5791 W Creekside Ln
Queen Creek

Aztec Pools and Designs

50 North 226th Ln.

Blue Horizon Excavating & Grading

3908 E Joan De ARC Ave


PO BOX 41967

C A Seymore Builders Inc

6926 E Prkwy Norte

Cahaba Scapes

2130 11th avenue north

Cancelli Development Group Inc.

10552 W Villa Chula

Canyon Sunrise Development LLC

10243 E Caribbean Ln


3654 N Power Rd Ste 150

Clair Adams Engineering LLC

6332 E Presidio St

Clay's Concrete Inc

4038 E Sweetwater

Concrete Services Inc.

1196 S Palomino Creek Dr

Consumer Finance Solutions

6909 W Ray Rd., B15-106

Copperline Contracting LLC

148 W Orion St Ste C-1

D&K Entprises

517 S Lebaron Road

Desert Hay LLC

25425 W Pueblo Ave



DLM Excavation

2130 W Red Range Way

Duck's Septic Pump & Install Inc

6115 S 196th Dr

E.R. Plumbing & Drain LLC

19216 n joy ln
Sun City


1647 S Maple Dr

ehs International Inc

3011 E Broadway Suite 300

Emergency Plumbing, LLC.

17826 N 11th Avenue

Energy 1st Exteriors

500 N 56th St Ste 7


598 Redwood Rd

Flortek LLC

6413 W Madras Ln

GES Construction

11275 E. Sahuaro Dr

H & K Plumbing

6508 W Becker Ln


11344 W Pinehollow Dr

Hawk Builders, LLC

6040 N. 7th St .

Immediate Pool Builders & Repairs

329 W Lone Cactus Rd

Isley's Home Services

219 S William Dillard Dr


1225 W. Main Street

JTL Tractor Service

P.O. box 50776

Kleven Construction

110 S. Priest Dr. Ste. 101

L&H Desert Homes

4804 W. Misty Willow Ln.

Land Technics

709 N Merrill Rd

Levelup Enterprises, Inc.

18862 N. 62nd. Drive


3730 W. Eastman Ct.

Modern Property Solutions

20118 N 67th Ave Ste. 300-410

Mountain Ridge Construction

6635 W. Happy Valley Rd

MPF Construction, LLC

Apache Junction

MTR Builders Inc

28316 N 92nd Place



Patterson Construction

PO Box 203

Pickup and Transport

PO Box 5062

Pino's Contracting & Home

19001 W Latham St

Polar Pools & Spas Enterprises Inc

PO Box 1370
Queen Creek


36 N. 63rd St

Provision Construction LLC.

24654 N.Lake Pleasant Pkwy

Quail Run Landscapes, LLC

3050 E St John Rd




14011 N 183RD AVE

Raindance Builders

5206 N 136th Ln
Litchfield Park



Reddi Services Inc

3025 W Weldon Ave


114 e Hampton av


229 S 166th Dr



Rounds Construction LLC

905 Monroe Avenue

Roybal Underground Utilities LLC

45313 W Portabello Rd


PO BOX 6606

Santiago Contracting

19819 N 6th Dr.

SCM Handyman Sevice LLC

10212 E Jensen St


70 S Val Vista Dr

Straight Line Landscape

23620 N. 20th Drive

Strickland Construction

515 E Carefree Hwy

T & T Customs, LLC

7531 E Naranja Ave

the swift co

7137 E Birchwood Ave

Tribal Waters LLC

2630 W Deer Valley Rd

U Design Landscape

7927 W Payfan Road


37507 N 20TH ST


9835 N 21ST AVE


P.O. Box 837



Young Swenson & Cross Paving

1329 E Gibson Ln
Surprise Zip Codes

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