One of the best investments you can make is to include a concrete basement in your new home or to finish an existing one. Basements provide inexpensive space for various purposes, from a family room or entertainment center to an office or extra bedroom. With the right building material, you can make it fit any function that fits your imagination.

Concrete is the most commonly used material for basement construction. Because of its moisture resistance and other features, it is becoming the preferred option for finished basement flooring. However, the material can be difficult to manage without the right tools.

How do you know what heavy machinery you need to build your basement when installing concrete? Read further to learn more.

Basic Structural Concept of Basements

Basements are constructed using thick concrete footings that equally distribute the weight of the home’s structure across the subfloor, wall and foundation. The footings have a tall and wide shape because they need to support the beams and columns of your home.

Before pouring your basement’s concrete, you need to dig up an area larger than the footprint of your basement. Make sure you have done a proper excavation before the pouring process. This will protect the basement structure from excessive soil settlement.

There are two types of basement walls:

  1. Exterior walls – These walls go up vertically and support the home’s structure. They are usually made of concrete and are embedded with steel or lumber for extra support.
  2. Interior walls – These walls are perpendicular to the floor and are used for creating rooms and spaces inside your basement.

What Heavy Machinery Do You Need for Construction?

To make your basement, you need heavy machinery and the proper equipment. Below is a list of the standard machines used for most basement construction projects.

1. Excavators

Excavators are a must-have for excavating soil and concrete. They can pull out the entire basement foundation, including the concrete footings, walls, and floor.

After digging out the concrete, the excavator can use breaker bars to break up the concrete for easy removal. Unlike regular tools, breaker bars are specifically designed for breaking up concrete. They are very effective in breaking up concrete to pour the walls, floor or footings.

Excavators are also used to haul dirt and other waste materials during construction to a temporary or permanent landfill.

2. Backhoe

The backhoe is similar to an excavator, except it has a backhoe bucket instead of a front-end loader. Backhoe buckets are used for digging and moving soil and concrete.

Backhoes can be used for excavating the underground footings, foundation walls and floor, just like an excavator. The bucket of a backhoe also can be used for breaking up concrete.

A backhoe can be a great alternative to an excavator for smaller jobs.

3. Dump Truck

A dump truck is used to haul away excavated soil and concrete. Operating a dump truck is an easy and efficient way to move away from waste without the hassles of renting a trailer or a wheelbarrow.

Dump trucks can also transport soil and concrete to the job site. This is, however, not a common practice for basement construction.


Knowing the heavy machinery you need to build a basement is essential so you can manage your budget when planning your renovation. Doing so keeps your expenses low while optimizing the right tools for specific tasks.

As mentioned, you can also rent this machinery instead of buying them for yourself. Thankfully, several companies offer heavy machinery rental services that best suit your needs.

In need of professional help with your basement construction? Consult DL Nagel Excavating! We will be delighted to assist you with this project. If you want to work with the premier contractor for excavating services in Southeast Alberta, contact us today!