You may have your construction plans laid out, and you may be ready to hire an excavation contractor to get your project started—but it’s always good to take a step back to reassess. Before you pick up the phone and call, it pays to be aware that there are different types of excavation. Brushing up on different terminologies and phrases to help you best describe your project will help you find the right contractor for the job.

Knowing the common types of excavations, as well as knowing when to call a professional for help, will help you map out the overall plan for your construction project. This blog post will help you know when to call an excavation specialist and how to explain what you need when you talk to them.

What You Need to Know When Speaking to Excavation Contractors

Describing your need for an excavation specialist in detail to your chosen contractor will help them assign the right type of excavation professional for the job. Here are a few of the most common types of excavation projects to better explain what you need to the excavation specialist:

Some Common Types of Excavation

1 – Drainage Excavation

As its name implies, drainage excavation is done for the installation of drains, pipes, and trenches. Excavation will need to be done to make way for these components of a structure.

2 – Muck Excavation

If you need to have some unstable soil or muddy pieces of land removed from your property, you will need to mention that you need muck excavation.

3 – Footing Excavation

Footing excavation is the removal of land to make way for the foundations of a structure. Often, these excavations will need to be extremely precise to ensure that the digging will stay within the forms that will be used for the foundations.

4 – Roadway Excavation

If you are planning to place a driveway in your residential or commercial building, roadway excavation will need to be done in preparation for this. You will need to explain if you will have a slope or straight road to the excavation expert for them to be able to plan accordingly.

5 – Underground Excavation

This is another type of excavation that will need to be performed to the exact specifications. It is usually done to make way for the installation of sewage pipes under a structure. The excavator will need to be careful so as not to disturb the topsoil of the property while they do this excavation.

Can You Tackle the Task on Your Own?

Many people wonder if it is possible to undertake this task on their own. After all, there are rental backhoes and excavation machines—so shouldn’t one be able to perform these excavation tasks on their own?

The short answer is that while you may be able to rent these heavy machines on a contract, it is inadvisable for you to do the excavation without the watchful eye and supervision of a licensed contractor.


If you have experience handling these machines and know-how to precisely carry out your building plans, then you can do the excavation yourself. If not, it is best to leave the work to the professionals!

Should you need the help of an excavation professional, contact DL Nagel Excavating! We are a full-service excavating company with 30 years of extensive experience in the industry. If you need excavating services in Southeast Alberta, contact us today!