Excavation is the first step in building a new home, installing a swimming pool, or renovating your outdoor spaces. While digging a hole may seem simple enough, successful excavation is a detailed process requiring specialized equipment and expertise. Below are a few steps your contractor will follow if you’re starting a major construction project.

What Are the Steps of the Excavation Process?

1. Clearing the Site

Before work can begin, the contractor will remove obstructions to create space for the new building. This might include clearing out trees and bushes, pulling out stumps, collecting large rocks, or even demolishing existing structures.

2. Rough Staking

Once the site has been cleared, the contractor will mark off the approximate size and location of the excavation, as indicated on the building plans and property survey. Most use stakes in the ground connected with string to create a visual representation of the excavation site.

3. Removing the Soil


Using backhoes, excavators, and other heavy equipment, the excavator will remove layers of soil until the hole reaches the specified depth. Most sites need to be continuously reinforced as the excavation gets deeper to keep the walls from caving in.

Your contractor may also have to build drainage solutions to keep the pit from filling with water while construction is underway. Depending on the placement and depth of the excavation, drainage measures might include digging ditches to direct water runoff or installing water pumps in the bottom of the pit. 

4. Site Cleanup

Piles of earth, stone, and other debris will get in the way when concrete workers are pouring the foundation and new materials are being delivered. They can also pose a tripping hazard or make it impossible for equipment to maneuver around the site, so excavation debris needs to be promptly removed. Most contractors include site cleanup in their quote and will take extra debris to an off-site location for disposal.


With over 30 years of experience serving clients and builders throughout West Virginia’s Mercer, Bland, and Giles counties, Lambert's Contracting is the premier choice for all your contracting needs. Their highly trained team can handle an extensive array of projects, from large-scale excavations to home renovations. Visit their website for more on their array of services or call (304) 324-7972 to request a quote on your project today.