Excavating is the first step of any substantial building project, whether you’re putting up a new office building or replacing a parking lot. While digging a hole may seem like a relatively straightforward task, safely excavating a building site is a multi-step process that requires specialized tools and a detailed understanding of the risks. Below is an overview of what to expect during excavation.

The 5 Key Steps of Excavation

1. Rough-Staking

Before excavation begins, the contractor will mark off the footprint of the new structure, often using stakes and tape. This helps identify plants, rocks, and abandoned buildings that will have to be removed, along with any utility lines that may be in the way.

2. Clearing the Land

Clearing away trees, bushes, and other vegetation can be a labor-intensive, time-consuming process. Any old concrete or unused structures on the site will also have to be demolished before excavation begins.

3. Excavating the Soil

excavatingOnce the land has been cleared, the contractor will begin removing soil from the site, using backhoes or earth movers. Deep holes in sandy soils may need to be shored up with planks to prevent cave-ins, and your contractor may need to dig trenches to prevent flooding.

4. Grading the Site

Many construction sites also need to be graded so the slope of the land guides rainwater away from the final structure. Full-service contractors generally use soil from the excavation to reshape the site, preventing future drainage issues and making the property easier for other crews to navigate.

5. Controlling Erosion

Excavating often leaves valuable topsoil vulnerable to erosion, which can wash into streams and onto neighboring properties. Many municipalities require contractors to take erosion control measures until grass and other foliage grow to anchor the soil.


A successful building project begins with efficient, professional excavating services, which is why Rhinelander, WI, contractors and homeowners rely on Musson Brothers. With their experience and professional, you can rely on their team to help your project get off on the right foot. Visit their website for a closer look at their comprehensive range of services, or call (715) 365-8700 to discuss your excavation needs and request an estimate.