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Avoid These Common Mistakes If You're Handling Your Own Excavating

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Homeowners might be able to handle their own excavating with some rented equipment and a bit of planning. However, it's not unusual for homeowners to just start digging up a lot for their new swimming pool or landscaping without really knowing all the details involved in excavating. This can lead to some very common and very costly mistakes. Note a few things you want to avoid when handling your own excavation project.

1. Using the wrong equipment

You might assume a backhoe is the right equipment for any type of excavation, but once you shop a local heavy-duty equipment rental agency, you might notice that they offer trenchers, mini excavators, and other such pieces. There is a reason for this; each type of equipment is needed for a different type of excavation. Using a trencher for a long and narrow pit or a mini excavator for a smaller yard is the right choice, so ask about the various options available and be sure you choose what will make quick work of your dig.

2. Not considering the fill dirt

When you handle your own excavation, you need to manage the fill dirt you remove from your property. Even if you get a truck or other means of removing it, note that dirt often expands once it's removed from a lot. This is because air gets into the dirt so that it's not so compact; you may then wind up with much more dirt than you expect. Remember that most fill dirt removal services charge by the measurement of dirt, not by the weight of it, so if the dirt you remove should expand, you may need more than one truck or more than one trip for removal.

3. Forgetting the slope

Are you digging for a pool? If so, you may not want the deep end on the downside of a slope, as this could put too much pressure and weight on the pool itself. If you're digging a trench for new plumbing pipes, you need to ensure you choose the right slope for the pipes so that they also don't have pressure from dirt or moisture, but are still angled properly for water to flow through. You also need to consider how your excavation will affect the overall slope or grade of your property and if you might need a retaining wall to hold back soil or moisture and protect your home's foundation and reduce the risk of soil erosion.