When it comes to building your home, there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes before you can take the first steps to constructing the building itself.

An important step in the process and the very first step in the construction process is the excavation.

If you are building a new home, you have most likely included an expense of this type in your budget. Excavation is not always simple or particularly inexpensive, but it is nonetheless of great importance.

There are a considerable number of existing structures in the provinces that have been subject to damage caused by the expansion of moisture-absorbing soils. In fact, it is estimated that the annual cost of damage caused by soil expansion in the United States is $2.3 billion, according to Benson, Kerrane, Storz & Nelson, P.C. This is more than double the damage caused by floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes put together.

In the case of expanding soils, this underestimated but extremely destructive force can usually be observed in the first few months, and in some cases even years, after the construction of a house. When rainwater or irrigation water seeps under the foundation of a house, it can cause a phenomenon called “edge heaving”. This can cause cracks in the foundation and can also result in cracks in the walls of the house. Over time, ” center lift” can also occur when moisture reaches the center of the house slab, causing even more damage.

Whatever type of foundation you ultimately choose, it will most certainly have to be placed on cement footings. The type of foundation will be the deciding factor as to the final depth of the footings. 

Excavation of the basement is certainly more expensive, but when compared to other options and frost mitigation requirements, the basement is the most cost-effective solution for homeowners. Excavation of a foundation can take 3 to 4 days or even 3 weeks.