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A
"He was great to work with! He was very knowledgeable, easy to work with and very nice. The job went much faster than I expected and turned out great. We are very" happy with the work performed. A year later the retaining area is doing its job and looks great. We had been getting quotes to fix the old wall for years and never thought we could ever afford to have the work done so we were very happy with what
was able to do for us. It was an even better solution than we expected.

-Marc L.

A
"There was an initial mix-up with the appointed time. However, it was taken care of with one phone call and the service guy was here the next morning. He did the" job faster than I expected. All went well. My bathtub drain is unclogged and I have a beautiful, and functional, new faucet. Good job. I recommend them to others. In fact, I already have.

-Barbara S.

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Local Articles in Lancaster

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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Contractors say homeowners with this trait are the most satisfied with home improvement projects.

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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Basement Waterproofing, Excavating, Gutter Cleaning, Handymen, Home Inspection, Housecleaning

Mold remediation companies offer advice on how to prevent and fight mold in your home.

Angie's Answers

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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.

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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.
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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 Lancaster

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Rating
Lancaster Excavators Provider Name Locked
was great. The owner,
Lancaster Excavators Provider Name Locked
is a great guy and really works with you. The job came out better than expected, and the workmanship is top notch. I was very pleased. Only drawback was that
Lancaster Excavators Provider Name Locked
was so super busy this summer i had to wait a couple of months to get them scheduled. So if you are in no
Lancaster Excavators Provider Name Locked
then i highly recommend
Lancaster Excavators Provider Name Locked
for your next masonry project.
- Edward D.
A

Rating
I'd had an estimate a few weeks ago and they said they would send the same technician out because he was familiar with the job - and it actually happened! Work was done professionally and quickly. Thanks very much.
- Elizabeth B.
F

Rating
They were hired by
Lancaster Excavators Provider Name Locked
Buildings per our request to do the grade work to put our building on. The grade was set per customer and the help of the
Lancaster Excavators Provider Name Locked
building personal. Once the dirt work got started we felt it was excessive and tried to stop the dirt company to stop in order to have them help us understand and achieve the level we wanted. The owner operator of the companied refused to do so. We find out the reason was because he was sub contracted. He never mentioned that we could not work with him one on one. We contacted
Lancaster Excavators Provider Name Locked
and they came out. It was then determined that it needed to be lowered. the dirt owner said it would be out of our pocket the change I asked the cost and he said in the range of 3000.00 dollars. This was all discussed very fast and he was going across the street doing a job that was acquired because he was in the area. They were having dirt work done while the equipment was partly at our place and we were also having the trailer stored at our place while across the street. When he came over to our place (in between our job and the neighbors) he was angry and said this was the original agreement. This is true but we realize that there was some lack of communication every after we were paying for them on our time. The bill was by the hour, the equipment extra even through the mentioned amount was 2800.00 dollars Got the bill and the total was 9100.00 dollars. I feel the professional aspect was extremely low, the work on our dime not the best. The
Lancaster Excavators Provider Name Locked
people tried to talk to him and he said he would not only not work on the lowering of the bill but he said he mis figured and he under charged us 150.00. Customer service, satisfaction and working with them was Not. I would never suggest them to anyone
- Cathy D.
A

Rating
Did a very professional job. Owner,
Lancaster Excavators Provider Name Locked
, personally performed the work with 1 experienced assistant. Was careful digging up and replacing grass in front yard. Only needed to dig hole at water line shut off in front yard and then pulled new water line from inside basement to outside connection to avoid tearing up entire front yard. . Seemed very thorough in their work and knew what they were doing. All work was performed within 1 day.
- Robert B.
A

Rating
Lancaster Excavators Provider Name Locked
and his team take great pride in their work. They are courteous, professional, flexible and
easy to work with. They care about the work they do and show it. They did an excellent
job providing lawn care service to my yard.
The quote was reasonable and their clean-up was excellent. I had a very good experience working with
this company. They are a no nonsense
team—get right to work. I highly
recommend them. I will hire them again.

- gloria R.
C

Rating
It was clear that they did not listen to us as we explained our vision for the renovation. We asked for an estimate for each stage of the project and did not receive this, but instead, received an estimate for the entire project that was pricey and did not include many of the things we wanted in the project. The estimate was also fairly "bare bones" and not detailed enough.
- Jill D A.
N

Rating
Our house is very old (ca. 1875), and so every time a wall was removed something unexpected was discovered. As a result, the job took a very long time, from November to
Lancaster Excavators Provider Name Locked
, through the coldest winter in many years. This was a very extensive renovation project, and we're very pleased with the results.
Lancaster Excavators Provider Name Locked
and his men were easy to work with and responsive to our needs. And when you send him a text, he replies very quickly!
- Jeffrey M.
A

Rating
The owner of
Lancaster Excavators Provider Name Locked
came out the day after we contacted him. He turned the estimate around in a day or two. He explained what his crew would do and began work within a couple of weeks. Brought in equipment, some dirt, etc. It was done in a day. Only thing we may have wanted differently was more dirt brought in for some of yard areas. But the objective was met: Our drainage problem is resolved.
- Rebecca S.

Excavators in Lancaster, PA

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

Access Basement Systems LLC

10 Marticville Rd.
Lancaster

Alpha & Omega Construction

10 Marticville Rd.
Lancaster

ANDREW T. OLSZEWSKI CONTRACTOR

1434 KAYLOR RD
Hummelstown

Austin's Remodeling

10 Shirley Lane
Lititz

B.R. Kreider & Son Inc

63 Kreider Ln
Manheim

Bahret Church Interiors, Inc.

135 North Fairview Ave
Harrisburg

BettterWay Excavating LLC

1926 Willow Street Pike
Lancaster

Bradley's Property Maintenance, Inc

6844 Wertzville Rd
Enola

Brandt's Landscaping Inc

PO Box 364
Palmyra

BRICK POINT CONSTRUCTION

596 Middle Creek Rd
Fairfield

Brubaker Inc.

1284 Rohrerstown Rd
Lancaster

C.A.R.E Property Services

1235 Abbottstown Pike
Hanover

CG's Contracting

32 Sawmill Road
Wernersville

CJ's Excavation

5909 Jacobs Ave
Harrisburg

Clear View Homes & Remodeling

399 N 39 St
Harrisburg

D L HENRY

11 NEWSWANGER RD
Lancaster

DNM Contracting, INC

7389 Paxton St
Harrisburg

EPPINETTE CONSTRUCTION LLC

115 S BLAINSPORT RD
Reinholds

Fahnestock Excavating Inc

1440 N Colebrook Rd
Manheim

FINS ENVIRONMENTAL SVC LLC

691 TRUCE RD
Quarryville

Four Phase Construction

274 Hillcrest Road
Camp Hill

Gary L Templin Jr. Excavating & Trucking, LLC

1829 Mapledale Road
Elizabethtown

GD Landscaping and Carpentry

1678 N. 7th St
Lebanon

Grace Enterprises

1653 Lititz Pike, #201
Lancaster

H L WIKER & SONS INC

709 HARTMAN STATION RD
Lancaster

Haldeman Landscape, LLC

1408 State Rd.
Duncannon

Hershey Surveying

325 Broad Street
East Earl

Home Remedies Inc.

428 N. George Street
York

HORST CONSTRUCTION

320 GRANITE RUN DR
Lancaster

HORST EXCAVATING

320 GRANITE RUN DR
Lancaster

Imes Construction LLC

8980 Carlisle Rd
Wellsville

J E FRITSCH INC

1681 WABANK RD
Lancaster

J Hubler Landscaping

202 Ridgeview Rd. N
Elizabethtown

J Mar Landscaping

2057 Seaks Run Rd
Glen Rock

JnD Construction

438 Barlow Greenmount Rd
Gettysburg

John Parichuk Paving LLC

25 Fox Meadow Dr.
Abbottstown

Kline's Services Inc.

5 Holland St
Landisville

LANCASTER EXCAVATING

1730 COLUMBIA AVE
Lancaster

M. Johnson Excavating & Concrete Services

2133 New Danville Pike
Lancaster

Macfarlane services

3071a east prospect road
York

Madrigale Masonry LLC

602 El Hatco Drive
Temple

MECO EXCAVATING INC

4 E ROSEVILLE RD
Lancaster

morret construction

2 albert lane

Neffsville Plumbing & Heating Services

1208 Harrisburg Pike
Lancaster

Pawling Masonry Inc

1299 Kinderhook Rd
Columbia

PRECISION PAVING

800 TORWAY RD
Gardners

ProLawn

601 Bucks Valley Rd
Newport

R & B LINE OPENING SVC

1852 WATER ST
Washington Boro

R.D. Hyre Hauling & Excavating LLC

6321 Mountain Road
Dover

RDS PAVING & SEALCOATING

22 CHESTNUT RUN
Elizabethtown

Rescue One Restorations

128 W Broad St
Reading

Restuccia Excavating, Inc.

55 Dallas Dr
Dallastown

Rogers & Son Tree Services

4270 NURSERY RD.
Dover

Ruell's Lawn Care, LLC

403 Deerfield Rd
Camp Hill

SE Design & Construction

PO Box 20282
York

SHELLEY BASEMENT SYSTEMS

406 RUDY DAM RD
Lititz

Siegman Forced Air Systems

615 Rear Fredrick St
Hanover

SM Johns & Son Construction

1021 Anderson Ferry Rd
Mount Joy

Sneeringer Excavating & Demolition

2800 PLEASANT HILL RD
Hanover

SQUARE ONE PAVING INC

373 Wheatfield St
York

STEVEN BURKHART EXCAVATING

109 STRASBURG PIKE
Lancaster

Sullivan Nursery & Landscaping

881 Abbottstown Pike
Hanover

T & N Excavating LLC

1380 Cly Rd
York Haven

Taylor Contracting

19 Burns RD
Spring Grove

The Driveway Lady LLC

Downingtown
Downingtown

TW Paving

210 harvest drive
York

Value Dry

16 N Center St
154 Hansen Access Rd King Of Prussia

W F LUTTRELL EXCAVATING

734 SCHWANGER RD
Elizabethtown

Weaver Companies Inc

4873 Division Hwy
East Earl

William Penn Renovation Co

259 Burn Hill Rd
Shermans Dale

Worldwide Concrete

8259 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd.

York County Mobile Homes Inc.

2777 Myers rd.
Spring Grove

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