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A
"Drains from house were plugged. He was called on a Sunday morning and made accomodations to help us right away. He pumped the septic tank and then relieved an obstruction" just adjacent to the tank. He cleaned up and left the site as he found it. He got us fully functioning. Nice guy, experienced; knew what he was doing.

-SHARON T.

A
"
showed up at our door within a half hour after I called his office, gave me an estimate, and encouraged me to seek out estimates from his" competitors. We did contact some other excavators, but we ended up choosing
partly because his base price for the job was slightly lower than others we were quoted, partly because of his reputation, and partly because he was more confident than some other excavators that he could do the job without tearing up our front walk or front lawn and/or rerouting the plumbing inside our basement. His crew worked hard to make sure it happened, saving us a lot of money and mess. The whole process took three or four hours total. My only quibble is that they did a poor job reconnecting the electrical ground wire to the new pipe. Granted, they're not electricians, but they should know how to do this properly, as I'm sure they have to do it on most water line replacement jobs. No big deal in our case--I went out and bought a $6 ground clamp and did that part of the job myself. All in all, the job went as well as I could have hoped.

-Martha P.

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Local Articles in Woodland

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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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.
?

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 Woodland

A

Rating
They were very prompt and professional. They coordinated the inspection, permit and removal with the town and did a great job.
- Chris A.
N

Rating
Woodland Excavators Provider Name Locked
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
Woodland Excavators Provider Name Locked
again.

.
- cassie L.
A

Rating
After a few months of plumbing problems we finally found out we needed a new sewer line. After a few quotes we found
Woodland 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
Woodland Excavators Provider Name Locked
the tree it was what caused all of the problems. Other than that we had a great experience.
- Jennifer W.
A

Rating
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).
Woodland 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!
- LESLIEANN B.
A

Rating
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.
A

Rating
Woodland Excavators Provider Name Locked
O'
Woodland 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
Woodland 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
Woodland 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,
Woodland Excavators Provider Name Locked
and crew!
- Deborah G.
A

Rating
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.
Woodland 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
Woodland 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.
A

Rating
They did a beautiful job!
Woodland 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.

All Excavators in Woodland, WA

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

A Bobcat Excavating

11348 SW Tonquin Loop

A TO Z EXCAVATION

1410 SE 88TH ST

ABB STOVES LLC

3800 River Road N #180

ACCURATE CONCRETE CUTTING

6816 NE 40th Ave Ste A
Vancouver

Action Paving Inc

PO Box 1575
Brush Prairie

Advanced Timber & Fire Company, LLC.

11048 SW Greenburg RD Unit 140

ALL COUNTY PLUMBING

PO BOX 522
Battle Ground

All Natural Landscape

16796 Se Royer

ALL NATURES CONSTRUCTION, INC

7500 NE 299th St.
Battle Ground

All Things Aquatic

18922 SW Shaw St

BIDDIX EXCAVATION

419 ROBINSON RD
Woodland

Big Boy Waterfalls & Koi Ponds

2292 Southwest 199th Ct.

Breunig Construction Inc.

14360 SE Haze Ct.

Butler Built Custom

5115 NE Mason Ct

Cahaba Scapes

2130 11th avenue north

Cat-Tracks Excavation LLC

PO Box 329
La Center

CEDAR RIDGE HOMES

1905 SW 257TH AVE

Clark County Plumbing & Drain

536 NW 10th Avenue
Camas

Clog Busters LLC

2900 SW Cornelius Pass Rd #549

Clog Pro Plumbing And Drain

2856 NE 65th Ave.
Vancouver

CNW CONSTRUCTION INC.

15140 SE 82nd Dr.

Columbia NW, Inc.

5414 NE 101ST CIR
Vancouver

Constructive Remodeling

5231 SE 111th Ave

COPPER CREEK CONSTRUCTION

317 COPPER CREEK RD
Woodland

Creation Development Inc.

12700 NE 81st St
Vancouver

D&J Remodeling

20672 NW Quail Hollow dr

DAN TAPANI EXCAVATING LLC

PO BOX 2618
Battle Ground

Daybreak Construction

11222 NE 339th St
La Center

DIRTWORX EXCAVATION

215 EMPRESS LN
Woodland

DODSON CONSTRUCTION LLC

2026 SE BEAVER CREEK LN

Drainage Masters LLC

PO Box 533
Ridgefield

E-Z Trucking & Excavating

10008 NW 16th Ave
Vancouver

Earthworks Excavating Services

PO Box 821624
Vancouver

EcoTech

7302 N Richmond Ave

EFFICIENT ARENA INC

7799 S SCONCE RD

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTS

4080 SE INTERNATIONAL

Environmental Works LLC

2634 SE Steele St

Expeditious Earthscapes, Inc.

19450 se Hittay tr. dr.

Exstream Landscaping

11030 SE 92nd Ct

EXTREME EXCAVATING

16121 SE 122nd Ave

First Call Heating & Cooling

13154 Clackamas River Dr

Forest Landscape Inc

3975 NW Susbauer Rd

FOXX CONTRACTORS

29467 Gregory Rd

G2 Associates, Inc.

2705 E Burnside Street

GM Construction Inc Of Washington

12518 SE 24th St
Vancouver

horizons nw excavating & septic llc

2065 N 3rd Way
Ridgefield

Integrity Tree Care

13023 NE Hwy 99 # 7

J & S CONCRETE

13999 S HWY 99 W

JDC ENTERPRISE INC

622 SE 357TH AVE
Washougal

Jones Landscape Inc

PO Box 1268
Ridgefield

JOSE MALDONADO

132 NE PALOMA AVE

JRJ EXCAVATING INC

616 HARVARD CT

K & L Industries

10672 S Macksburg Rd

K Witt Excavating, LLC

32050 Viewcrest Drive

Kaufman Homes Inc

3625 Kashmir Way SE

KYNE LANDSCAPING

12011 NE 99th St
Vancouver

Landcrafters Landscape

40040 NW Murtaugh Rd

Lanphere Construction & Development

13625 SW Farmington Road

Liberty Electric

11774 SE Jennifer Street

Lo's Contracting, Inc.

4110 NE 122nd Ave

LOVETT Inc

PO Box 86280

M C Merrill Construction LLC

2229 NE Burnside Rd

Maximum Construction

18410 S Green View Dr

New Line Construction

6317 Nicklaus Loop N

NORTH CLARK CONSTRUCTION

11600 NE 384TH ST
Amboy

NW Home Services LLC

6941 SE BIXEL WAY

NW Vinyl POOL BUILDERS

9220 SE WOODED HILLS CT

PCR Co

340 Forest Park Road
Woodland

PDX Excavation & Sewer LLC

2050 New Burnside Rd

Permit-It.com

PO Box 998
Washougal

Pete Wilson Stoneworks

143 SE 86th Ave

PGC LLC

P O Box 220179

RAB COM (Directional Drilling)

8416 NE 21st Ave
Vancouver

RAMOS CLEAN UP

6597 SW 192ND AVE

Repipe 1

27281 Las Ramblas Ste 200

ROADRUNNER SEAL COATING & STRIPING

22504 N.W. 67TH AVE.
Ridgefield

Service Group Construction

10411 NE Fourth Plain,
Vancouver

SOIL SOLUTIONS

3540 SE 28TH AVE

Southwest Landscape

8859 SW Commercial St

Stalcup Roofing

27492 S Kinzy Rd

Stolz Construction

25248 SE Sunshine Valley Rd

Stride Construction

9222 SE Woodstock Blvd

Tamlee Construction

9670 SW Hillview Ct.

TCJ Enterprises

5116 NW 179th St
Ridgefield

TCM NORTHWEST INC

4804 NW Bethany Blvd # I2129

Teal Contracting LLC

17335 Sw Ivy Glen Dr

Terry Vandegrift

7820 SE SKY VISTA DR

The Excavators LLC

21975 SW Riggs Rd

The SHIR Corporation

9411 NE HWY 99 Ste. 1
Vancouver

The Wall

6610 SE Stark St

THOMAS BUCK CONSTRUCTION

220 WALLACE RD
Woodland

Tight Access Excavating

11282 SE Causey Cir

Tom Hoffman Construction

3825 SW 90th Ave

Tualatin Valley Concrete

8950 SW Locust St

Valleyview BLDG INC

2595 Molalla RD

Vista Flooring

4336 SW Vesta St

VPE Electrical Services

8317 NE 126th Ave.
Vancouver

VS TILE AND MARBLE

1222 SE 7TH AVE

Will and Sons Excavation LLC

13909 SE Oatfield Rd

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