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"Benjy had the best solution and he was worth waiting for. I had other services come to the house and wanted to
hammer up my basement! Benjy" concluded that the huge bushes around the foundation was causing an issue along with the gutter spouts not being directed away from the foundation. He was very nice to work with, he even helped a neighbor of mine that is a wounded veteran move a few plants from my house to my neighbors house. Benjy showed up when he said he would and the final cost was the same as his quote. We had some heavy rain last night and no water in the basement. The new extended gutters worked great.


"I was searching for an installer for a drainage system to handle run off from 2 downspouts in my yard. Within 2 hours of my first call,
" . was on site and reviewing the sketches that I had put together showing the layout of drain lines and the location of a dry well. He quickly made the observation that I had clay soil and that my design most likely needed modification. He was very professional throughout the estimating process, from arriving on time to delivery of an estimate. Although I'm going to hold of on this project for now, I would definitely contact him again in the future.

-Matthew G.

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Local Articles in Monon

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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Short answer - yes it is possible. However, generally you are looking at major $, and a lot of workers tracking dirt up and down the basement stairs unless you have (or can easily add) an outside basement door.

You would need a General Contractor as well as a foundation specialist if you use a General, who will handle permits, minor electrical, plumbing, and drywall repair issues even though most of the heavy work may be done by the foundation specialist subcontractor. If you go the lift beam method, then it might be a house mover doing the lifting, then the General and normal trades handling the rest.

When a house is built with a part basement and part crawl space, the footer (the concrete strip support pad the foundation wall is bonded to with rebar and sits on) typically sits a foot or two below the basement slab. Then, to save money, they "step-up" the footer to a shallower depth for the crawl space. This means that to deepen the crawl space to full depth, you also have to deepen the foundation. It is very rare to put in full depth foundation all around, then backfill part of it to crawlspace depth - if you have gone to the trouble of full depth foundation all around, why not pour a slab and sell the additional basement footage too ? See if you can come up with the builder's plans p they will show you what the footer does.

Deepening the crawl space to full depth is commonly done in one of two ways for residential jobs (there are several more sophisticated methods such as pin piles used on large or very tricky commercial jobs, or on historic buildings with weak foundations and walls) -

1) by carefully excavating the crawl space to the new footer depth (say about 5-8 feet below ground level, depending on whether you have a daylight or full basement) bit by bit along the foundation (3-5 feet at a time, typically), usually tearing out the existing foundation for that section while temporarily support the existing wall and joists, then pouring a new concrete footer and foundation wall up to the bottom of the house beams. Occasionally, they will be able to leave the existing wall and pour the new foundation up to and connect to the bottom of it. Then you move on and do another section the same way, so you are incrementally removing dirt, building a new wall section, then moving on. This is quite expensive because of the limited work space and difficulty of getting materials in and waste dirt and old foundation materials out, and the slow progress due to having to wait for concrete to set before you can buid the wall on the footer, and before you can move on to the next section.

2) by cutting slots in the existing crawl space walls and sliding heavy steel beams through  crossways under the floor joists and picking up the weight of the section of the house over the crawl space on jacks, elevating it about 1/2 inch above the existing foundation, all at one time. Then they can remove the existing crawl space foundation and all the dirt all at once, and pour a new footer and pour or lay a new foundation up to the bottom of the walls, then lower the house back onto it and pull out the support beams.

Either way, because of the restricted work space and waitingon concrete setting, the excavation and new foundation will cost about 2-4 times as much as one done outdoors. Therefore, while this type of job is done on occasion, a contractor's or architect's estimate usually shows that you can build a totally new one story extension or Florida room for not an exorbitant amount more, and that new space is worth a lot more to most homeowners, and certainly to a new buyer, than basement space.

As one example, we had two neighbors years ago who had the numbers run by an architect, and for one the estimate was only 30% more to build a large Florida room than to reclaim a crawl space about 1/3 smaller in floor area. For the other they could get the foundation and rough framing (without siding, roof, or interior) for a basement-less new addition the same size for the same price as digging out the crawl space. For this reason, when crawl space expansion is done on a residence, it is usually a do-it-yourself job (and you have to be pretty experienced to do it right).

One other factor of significance if you dig out the crawl space is all the utilities (wiring, pipes, ducts, etc) have to be checked to see that there is freedom of movement at the interface between the area over the crawl space and the rest of the house, as there is bound to be a little bit of movement between them. It is also almost inevitable that there will be minor non-structural cracking and slight separation of plaster or drywall walls and ceilings at the junction area over the first couple of years afer construction. Nailed-down hardwood flooring and vinyl near the interface can also buckle, though "floating" laminate floors are usually OK. Of course, if the contractor is incompetent or inexperienced, serious damage to the house can result, particularly if the foundation collapses while he is digging.

Therefore, I would not recommend this route except for a very expensive house (as in building a wine cellar or safe room), a historic house where additions are prohibited, or one the owners just love and intend to live in for many more decades but do not have land space for an addition. I would put the money into an addition if you need the additional space and have the land.

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 Monon


The work was completed in a timely manner and was of high quality. I was very satisfied with the work and would hire them again.
- Bob P.

I located
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
via a Google
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
and sent an e-mail asking for an estimate late afternoon on Sunday, 9/6. Later that evening I received a phone call from,
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
, the
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
owner. We set up a site visit for Monday, 9/7. My husband spoke with
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
on Monday while I was away. We received an estimate by e-mail that same evening. I e-mailed many questions regarding what the estimate included and what kind of product would be used. Satisfied with all the answers and because the estimate was in our ballpark I gave the owner the go-ahead. I never went for a second estimate. I felt good about the responsiveness and general treatment I received.
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
and his crew showed up right on time on Tuesday morning (9/8) and got right to work. They dug a trench the required depth up our tree and ivy covered hill to our house which was about 50 feet from the street water meter. It was not an easy job. They disturbed the plant life as little as possible an all the digging was finished the first day. Before leaving for the day,
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
, notified us that they would be back just a little later than before due to a prior commitment. On Wednesday morning they returned as promised to
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
in the pipe, attach the pipe to the water main and the house. We were without water for only around an hour. When they finished the attachments the lines inside our house were bled to remove any air. The last step was to fill the trench and replace the ivy that had been pulled aside while the trench was dug. They did exactly what they said they would do for the price I was quoted. They cleaned up the project area as expected. I would highly recommend
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
to anyone who needs this sort of work done. If I had been a single woman I would have felt very happy and confident about hiring
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
and his crew. Never once did they only refer to my husband for questions when both of us were around. My husband and I were treated the same. I liked that I was never treated as the "little woman". This was my project. I found them and hired them and paid for it. I applaud them for the great job then did for us. Finally we have water pressure to our 105 year old house.
- Sylvia P.

Excellent customer service. The job was completed professionally and neatly. We will definitely use
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
's again in the future.
- Susan C.

Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
is extremely responsive and easy to work with. he's a great guy that really knows his stuff. he worked on the final grade on a new construction lot in the middle of a hill. he handled it with ease and the grade turned out perfectly. he also built a huge rock retaining wall that is absolutely beautiful. highlight of our yard. definitely recommend him to anyone.

- Amanda M.

Their team did fantastic work -- they handled the "crowded" number of utilities at our cul-de-sac by switching from backhoe to hand-digging with great care, and when the first plan to pull on the pipe from the outside couldn't work due to blockage by a large rock, discovered when they lengthened the trench to our house, they switched to making a new hole starting from inside the basement and taking advantage of the flexibility of copper to go under the rock and back up again. This took an extra day, and their increase to the original estimated price was reasonable, in our opinion. They were very courteous, and cleaned up well when finished. We happily recommend them.
- Miriam S.

I moved into a house with a pond there. My pump stopped working shortly after I moved in and my pond needed a cleaning badly.
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
returned my call promptly and showed up when he promised and was very professional and friendly. The reason my pump stopped working was because it was clogged with all the sludge form the pond.
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
got the pump working again and only charged me for the pond cleaning and din't try to upsell me a new pump or charge me for fixing it. I was also curious how to do the cleaning, so that next time I can try myself.
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
was very helpful in giving me pointers and tipes for the pond in general.
I also had fish I didn't want to put back in the pond.
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
left me his big tub and bubbler (free of charge), so i had time to give away the fish later in the week.
I would definetly use him agian!
- chaim S.

Everything go fine with the BBC. They are very good people and Responsible. Always be there to answer question and situation during contruction.. I recommend
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
for a future proyect, very profesional .
- Carmen R.

He did do a good job on that. However he was to return the following Monday to replace the lines. He had left the tank open where it connects to
Monon Excavators Provider Name Locked
lines. He has yet to return to finish the work. As a result we have raw sewage going everywhere in our yard and when it rains it comes under carport and goes under our house. Please be aware of how he does. I now have to pay someone else to fix his mess. He will not answer the phone or return my calls.
- Letha B.

Excavators in Monon, IN

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

Affordable Asphalt Maintenance Co. Llc

1015 S. Tremont

Alan Williams

Lafayette, IN


4902 State Road 25 West

Brewer Services


Brewer Services


CP Brothers Painting, LLC

2804 Meadow Drive

D J Crews Group

11225 E 200 N



Edwards Heating & Cooling

7713 W US Hwy 136

Flint Run Inc.

P.O. Box 2226
West Lafayette


2887 STATE ROAD 25 N

Indiana Foundation Service

624 N Front St

KA Contracting LLC

5444 East 450 North

Kaiser Plumbing Heating & Cooling

6250 E 550 N

Knecht Audiology

2606 E County Rd 350 S



Ron Carman Excavating

1005 E 500 S

Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain Services

6809 Hillsdale Ct

S Stanley Paving & Sealcoating

4025 N 400 W

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