Excavation: How Long does it Last for?


Before the actual construction starts, some stuff needs to be done first. One important stage in that phase, which is also the very first stage is excavation.

Excavation of a construction site is not an easy task all the time. It is also sort of expensive process in some cases. At the end, excavation is a criticality important step.

Excavation is essential for setting up the foundations of our building that will support the load coming from the columns. In this post, we are going to outline the excavation process giving an indication on how long it would take to excavate a construction site.

Excavation: what is it?

It is the process of removing stuff like earth, rocks or other materials exist in the ground with equipment or even sometimes explosives.

Excavation implies earthwork, tunneling, trenching, etc. There is not a sole purpose for excavation; in fact, it serves multiple purposes for example, construction, exploration, and mining.

In terms of civil engineering, excavation is the typically applied in the case of construction to create foundations, roads and reservoirs.

Process of excavation

Prior to the actual excavation, you need to carefully examine your worksite to make sure that any surrounding natural habitat is kept safe during the process. After that, as an engineer, you will develop plans indicating the size and depth required to be excavated. Then, the contractor marks the boundaries of the excavation area. Once you’re done, the excavation works can start.

The depth of the digging is controlled by multiple factors including the type of foundation and whether crawlspace or basement will exist.

How deep they dig will depend on several factors, like the type of foundation and if there will be a crawl space or a basement.

Slab foundation

This is the most basic type of foundation. Using a slab foundation gives you a wide range of options and variables.

Of course, you need to make sure that your slab will be able to resist the local environment including for example frost action. Should be noted that such requirements may drive the cost a little bit higher at the beginning. But if the cost increases so much, it may make sense for you to build a basement or crawlspace.

Crawl space 

This option is getting more and more popular recently. A crawlspace will typically need at least 75 cm of excavation to provide adequate protection to the foundation against the frost action. If you are living away of the city and building your home in the mountains, you will need to increase the depth of excavation to 1 m, at least.

An important note here: you may think that crawlspaces will add a significant cost to construction. However, this is not the case because the majority of excavation cost is coming from just getting the equipment to the construction site.


Currently, basements are the most common type of foundation. They provide a very good foundation system add to that the extra benefit of extra storage room. The three basic types of basements are full basements, garden levels, and walkouts. The full basement cost is more than the other two.

Excavation duration

You should bear in mind that many factors will affect how long would it take to excavate your work site and accordingly, times can change significantly.

In general, excavation for foundation system can take from 3 to 4 days up to 21 days. This is based on the hopes you will not get stuck in a clay layer along the way.

Selecting an excavation team

Few points to consider before selecting a team:

  • Experience
  • Size of previous projects
  • Caring about details
  • Safety

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