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St George Landscaping, Masonry and Excavation

7 Excavation Tips For New Home Construction

St George and the surrounding towns are becoming more and more popular as people discover the hidden treasure that Southern Utah represents. This means there are more new home excavations to help meet the population needs. As expert excavation contractors, we wanted to offer 7 insider tips on the excavation of new homes.

Survey The Home’s Construction Site And Surrounding Property

Along with making sure your property lines are correct, it is important to survey the site of the home’s construction for a couple reasons.

  • Correct plans – it may sound far-fetched but if ground is being broken on multiple properties nearby, you may not have the correct excavation plans for your home’s lot.
  • Angle – What land may look flat to the naked eye can be gently sloped enough to cause serious problems when excavating. You don’t want to have to redo work because the excavated land isn’t as level as you thought it would be.

Test The Soil Of Your Home Before You Break Ground

While the land in St George is beautiful, it isn’t always the most stable. There is a variety of minerals in the soil which can cause instability in the foundation of your home in the long run. You will want to have the soil of your potential new home tested to make sure that unstable minerals are not present, or at least, not present in large enough quantities to cause problems down the road for your home. Some minerals to look out for are:

  • Blue clay – One of the most common causes of foundation damage in St George and surrounding towns is the presence of blue clay. As residences water their lawns, plants, or simply receive rain, the blue clay deposits swell up, pressing the foundation unnaturally and potentially damaging not only the foundation but the structural integrity of the house itself.
  • Gypsum – With the tendency to dissolve when enough water is applied, it is not recommended to build on large deposits of gypsum.
  • Other clay minerals – Clay minerals have a tendency to swell, which can crack the foundation of your home. This may also cause sinkage if the clay minerals are compressed as your settles back down after a swelling.

Have All Utilities Marked Before You Break Ground

Not only is it a good practice to have your utilities marked before you excavate so you don’t damage anything, in Utah, it is illegal to not contact Blue Stakes of Utah 811 if you are planning to excavate.

They will come and mark where any utility lines may already exist. While some new home DIY builders think there are no lines to disrupt, this is not always the case and you should be sure to contact the proper authorities to ensure you are compliant with the law.

Check Water Table Height

There are maps which give a general idea of what the water table height and what areas which may be susceptible to shallow groundwater pooling. However, if you find that you are building in an area which has a high enough water table to interfere with your excavation, you will need to install a temporary pump as well as dig a trench to lead the water away from your excavation site. This can be a complicated task for DIY excavators.

Use The Right Tools, Don’t Attempt Substitution

Some unlicensed contractors and DIY excavators may be tempted to cut corners when it comes to supplying the right equipment for a new home excavation job. This is a false economy, as it can lead to the work taking much longer and can be more dangerous. Stonetree’s excavation contractors are fully licensed and insured as well as being supplied with top-of-the-line equipment so every excavation job stays on schedule.

Employ All Safety Precautions When Excavating

Along with equipment, safety precautions are another area where some people cut corners. This can be especially dangerous, as unsafe excavation sites invite disasters such as:

  • Cave-ins
  • Foundation collapse
  • People or pets falling in
  • Equipment damage or destruction

By ensuring that the foundation walls are braced, the foundation is supported as it sets, the excavation area is blocked off from access, and equipment is properly used and stored, you can avoid many of the disasters which plague excavation sites.

Hire Stonetree To Excavate Your New Home’s Foundation

The best advice we can give you when it comes to excavating your new home is to work with Stonetree to have the job done right. Our excavating contractors are experienced, licensed, and insured in case of an accident.

So, if you want your new home set onto a clean slate, contact us and tell us all about your new home excavation project.

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