Your first gig as an excavation contractor can be overwhelming, to say the least. While you want to do an excellent job and win yourself your first client, the pressure of being a newbie in the industry could hinder your performance. It is particularly the case if the excavation job you have taken is sensitive. One such excavation project is working near a foundation or basement. Such a project requires careful handling otherwise you would end up damaging your client's foundation or basement. The tips provided here will help you to excavate quickly, cleanly and confidently without risking damage to a foundation.
Contact Local Utility Providers -- One of the first things you should do is to ask the client if they have contacted their local utility providers before the excavation begins. Gas, water and drainage supplies have underground pipework; therefore, before you start working on the lawn, you must have a clear understanding of utility positions. The reason for contacting local utility providers is to acquire a recent and accurate utility supply map. If you begin your excavation near a foundation blindly, the chances are that you would damage one of the supply pipes coming out of the house.
Communicate with Client -- Whatever the homeowner has installed in and around the area of the home and foundation should only be excavated or disposed of once you have cleared it with the client. For instance, if your client has grown a medicinal shrub near the foundation, uprooting it would lead to a bitter standoff and maybe even a call from a lawyer. It is for this reason that as an excavation contractor you should have regular communication and briefing sessions with your customer throughout the project. If need be, draw up a contract with a lawyer that includes a disclaimer section to absolve yourself from unnecessary misunderstandings.
Keep Distance -- As you plan to break ground, you are better off starting the excavation from a safe distance. Regardless of whether you are using heavy-duty or light excavation equipment, it is better to start breaking ground a distance of between 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation wall. Once you have reached the required depth with your excavation machine, you can go back and pull the 4 feet of soil against the foundation by hand. Doing so would ensure that you do not hit the foundation and damage it by mistake.