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"Went well. I really appreciated the service being done the same day that I called, especially because it was the Friday before Labor day and I had company coming" that weekend. The drain is still working fine.

-Andrea V.

"He didn't get a permit to dig up my yard and I had to pay $2,500 extra after I was cited to get the permit. This was after I had paid him $2,500 for the work and the permit.

-Bonnie J. H.

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Local Articles in Kansas City

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 Kansas City


We had an attached garage on our new house that we wanted removed, along with the concrete driveway so that we could make space for a new backyard. They provided excellent service and got everything done in a very timely and efficient manner. They left everything very clean and ready for the next phase of our project and went above and beyond with removing debris we had in the garage from previous constructions projects. I would absolutely recommend them and would use them again for future projects if needed.
- Alison E.

I have used this provider 4 times in the past so I tried very hard to be a loyal customer to them. I called repeatedly over the course of several weeks to schedule a cleaning and never got a response. I either got a busy signal, voicemail, or a message that said their voicemail was full. Fearing that there may have been a major crisis in their family, I would wait a few days and try again. I was extremely disappointed when I saw their 1 and only vehicle out on the road on more than one occasion. No matter what the reason may be for the lack of response, there is no excuse for being so un-professional and disrespectful. I would not waste one moment on them and would tell people to steer clear. I finally moved on and went with
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
Environmental and had an A+ experience.

Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
is friendly and professional. He called ahead of time so I could meet him at the house and bring in our dogs. He explained the process and how it protected our leach lines. He took care not to damage our yard with his truck. Took less than half an hour. Will definitely use them next time, and recommend them to neighbors.
- Sandy K.

Great price and professional service. Job took two days the the crew was nonintrusive and professional. Quality job and much appreciated.
- Zachary H.

I have experienced issues with this company from the beginning. We contracted them March 9, 2015 to remove an in ground pool and install a driveway. They projected an early May start date. Work did not begin until May 19th. Communication was initiated by myself during the time they should have started and the actual start date. By the end of the day on May 19th, we had paid 2/3 of cost of the project. They did not return until the end of June, again with lack of communication.
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
2nd rocks were laid in the spot the driveway was to be. I texted
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
to ask if this was the layout because it did not seem right to me. He advised me it would be "fine tuned" before the blacktop was laid.
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
7th the project was finally finished. I was the one handling the project and was away on business.
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
asked when he could pick up the check. I advised that I did not feel comfortable paying the final installment until I inspected the work. He threatened me with breach of contract and exorbitant late fees. My husband was home, so I asked him to take pictures and send them to me. He did and the work displayed was not satisfactory. I texted
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
and told him that the driveway did not look like a smooth surface in the pictures and I was concerned that when it rains, water would puddle and not run off. He responded, " I ran lots off water on it, it is fine. U.S. 422 is not completely smooth, and they spend millions of dollars on it. I was personally on site. What time can I stop by for a check tonight?" My husband did pay the final payment for fear that we would be in some kind of legal trouble if not. The issue is that the driveway is lumpy with dips and water runs towards my house instead of the ally due to the proper levels not being established. I contacted my township who advised that
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
never called for a final inspection. I advised
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
of this and that I was going to schedule one. He called and set it up himself without communicating with me. I followed up on my own and scheduled an inspection also, the next day. The inspector affirmed my assessment that the work was not done properly and in fact would pose a hazard in the winter when the water froze. He said he told this to
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
too who maintained that his work was done properly. I have not been in communication with the company at all since before the inspection.
- Frank F.

Will not return calls or messages. Left job unfinished and sloppy. Have tons of excuses why they can't come when they say they will. Horrible experience.
- lisa S.

I think the company failed me as a potential consumer n terms of giving me their word that the estimate was coming and that the winter would be a good time to do the work professionalism. Perhaps because of my complaints about the mess that
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
made of my
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
when doing the neighbor's project, or my calling them out on what I perceived to be a derogatory remark they made about my neighbors within my earshot poisoned the well water, so to speak. I don't know. As a former consumer protection attorney in the Attorney General's office I am generally not naïve in the ways of interfacing with commercial interests. But I was in this case. Shame on
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
for treating even one potential consumer the way it treated me. Shame on Mr
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
and the two office administrators who
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
me on believing I was making progress when I believe they were just blowing me off. In my esperience, the company is unprofessional, rude ( or worse) toward customers and potential customers and, in my opinion, plainly does not merit a good rating.

- Edmund S.

Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
was the rep. I dealt with and he was professional and knowledgeable. I have had a serious drainage issue that has gotten worse over the past 5 years.
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
did a thorough assessment and listened to what the problems I was experiencing. He made excellent suggestions based on my needs and budget.
The crew showed up on time and worked non stop for 3 days.
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
was available during the process and called to check on the progress at the end of the day.
Kansas City Excavators Provider Name Locked
and his crew did an excellent job. The work I had done was much needed. Last night we had heavy rains, the streets were flooded but my house was dry for the first time in over 5 years. It was amazing. My backyard looks great and I am so happy with this company. I highly recommend them if you need any drainage work.

- Susan O.

Excavators in Kansas City, KS

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


Kansas City

221 Construction LLC

1050 W Innovation Dr

AA Construction

PO Box 945

Advocate Master Plumbing

707 Northwest 16th Street


Kansas City


13505 S MURLEN

BMI Construciton

1105 s prospect

Bradin & Sons Gen Contractor

19500 Conser St

Breckenridge Builders Inc.

2315 W 104th Terrace

Cut Rate Hauling Co

PO Box 6571
Kansas City

Dirt Tech

1420 Main St.


1017 S COY ST
Kansas City


7668 Norwood St
Prairie Village

Fine Homebuilders, llc

6410 Vista Dr

Foundation 1

5616 Raytown Rd

Foundation Guy Inc

1712 SW New Orleans Avenue

Glenn Marsee & Son Foundation Repair Inc

4460 Cambridge St
Kansas City

Golconda Group LLC

735 Southwest Blvd.
Kansas City

Gordon Energy & Drainage

15735 S Mahaffie St

Gradex Company

20809 S. Coleman Rd


PO BOX 373
Bonner Springs


9127 N. Bellefontaine

Hammer Down

33700 E. Oak Hill School Rd.



Hedlund Concrete Construction llc

12831 Polfer Rd
Kansas City

Honey-Wagon Septic & Grease

7105 Black Bob Dr

Infinity Home Innovations

7905 N Broadway Ave


1645 1600 St

J&A concrete finishers

1118 E Sleepy Hollow Dr

Jake's Fencing & Excavating

23441 W 231st St
Spring Hill


Kansas City

K Grego LLC

9502 Jacob Ln

K.E. Smith construction

8631 N. Kansas Ave.

KC Pro

1616 N Corrington Ave

Larry A. Acton Construction, LLC

2108 Key Lane
Kansas City



Leath & Sons Inc

9301 E 63rd St


Overland Park
Overland Park

National Construction and Renovation Services

848 Village Street

Noble General Contracting llc





Kansas City, MO

Pro Paving & Sealcoating

1217 Nw Scenic Dr Grain Valley

Reddi Services Inc

4011 Bonner Industrial Dr

ReTouch Design-Build-Renovate

6025 Metcalf Lane, Suite 310
Overland Park

Russ Boyce Repair, Construction & Excavation

* Where Precision is Key *

S&S Mechanical Contractors LLC

Po Box 4155
Overland Park

Select Grounds Services Inc

PO Box 244, 30001 E 58 Hwy

Shuler Enterprises

8510 Riley St
Overland Park

Snake 'n' Rooter

3370 NE Port Dr

Supreme Green KC, LLC

12770 Santa Fe Trail Dr.


1426 hwy TT

The Leaky Cellar

3175 Terrace St

The Plumbing Pro

12519 Blue Ridge


516 S 78TH ST
Kansas City

TLC Construction & Dev. Inc.

106 SW. Rosehill Rd.


Kansas City


Kansas City


651 N 65TH ST
Kansas City

Walker Concrete

717 S 11th St
Kansas City

Williams Contracting ,Inc.

7919 Darnell lane

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