Every construction rests on a foundation, which is constructed into the soil and supports the structure that stands on top of it. The support system for a whole structure is formed by foundation walls, which are commonly built of concrete, brick, or cinder blocks. When a building has a basement, it is located at the foundation’s lowest point.

Whether your home has a complete basement or just a crawl space beneath the flooring, constructing the foundation may be one of the most costly aspects of home construction. It’s also an important procedure to get right the first time. A structure will lack structural integrity and be dangerous to occupy if it lacks a suitable foundation that is built to code.

What is basement excavation?

Foundation excavation is a necessary part of any home building or renovation project. The foundation is the foundation of a home, and excavating it is the first step toward building out the rest of the house.

As the excavation of a home is a crucial step, you want it to be done correctly and to code. This means that you need to be careful not to disturb your gas or water system. The right contractor will know how to excavate a basement foundation in a way that still leaves the gas and water in their proper places.

What are the Common Methods for Basement Excavation?

Depending upon the nature of a project, there are four notable construction methods for excavating a basement.

Open-cut method 

There are two methods for carrying out open-cut basement excavation. The slope approach, for example, offers some of the lowest digging costs of any of the methods. It excavates a space and builds walls with a downhill slope. (Excess soil is piled on top of this slope later.) The open-cut slope approach does not require any retaining walls to keep the ground from eroding onto the foundation of your structure.

The cantilever open-cut approach is a more sophisticated and expensive alternative that does require retaining walls to protect the surrounding topography from collapsing your foundation. A cantilever approach can allow you to excavate considerably deeper basements.

Top-down method 

The use of the permanent internal structure as temporary propping to the retaining wall, cast in a top-down process, is described as top-down. As the excavation advances, the higher-level slabs are cast first, followed by the lower-level slabs, to serve as horizontal frameworks for wall support.

The top-down approach is most commonly employed for two types of urban constructions: towering buildings with deep basements and underground structures such as parking garages, underpasses, and subway stations. The technology has been employed in deep excavation operations when tieback or anchor placement was not possible, and soil movements were to be kept to a minimum. There is a chance that the entire building time can be reduced.

Bracing method

This approach requires installing straight, horizontal struts in front of the retaining wall. The struts will keep material pressure off your retaining wall. Bracing systems necessitate the use of the center, end, and corner posts and struts and wales. The excavated earth’s weight will be transmitted to the ruts via the wale. The end and corner braces aim to shorten the wale span without increasing the number of struts. The center posts help in the prevention of strut failure.

Island method

The island approach is one of the most secure methods of constructing a basement foundation. If you intend to employ the island approach, you must first excavate the excavation center. The excavated debris will next be placed near the retaining walls, creating a slope. The majority of your excavated structure will be built in the middle of the site. Between the main structure and the retaining walls, struts will be necessary.


Underground construction projects are more complex than building on the surface. If you don’t want to risk the integrity of your home, you should consider hiring an experienced and knowledgeable excavating contractor to ensure that the process is done correctly.

 If you’re looking for the utmost professionalism in an excavation company, DL Nagel excavating, the leading excavating services contractor in southwest Saskatchewan, is the right choice for your next project, providing you with reliable excavation services from start to finish.