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Posted by Kari Montoya on May 27, 2021 8:56:40 AM

Dirt moving, as they say in the industry, might sound boring to some—but don’t tell that to any kid who used to love their Tonka Trucks. And, considering how important ‘dirt moving’ is to any construction site—we’d have to say that excavation is one of the most important parts of the entire site development process. Steady, accurate excavation jobs lead to strong foundations, and ultimately, beautiful, well-built homes.



What is Excavation?

Excavation is the process of moving earth, rock or other materials to create a building foundation for your home. Every building site comes with unique characteristics, and will require different tasks to prepare the site for foundation. Here are some of the steps you may go through during the excavation of your home site:

1. Site Clearing: This step will remove any unwanted trees and other plants, along with rocks and boulders from your build site.

2. Home Site Staking: Once the site is cleared, the home site will be staked to show where the foundation will be laid. Markers will be placed in the four corners of the future home's location. A diagonal measurement will be taken, as well as the verification of the length and width. 

3. Site Prep: The staked areas will be dug out to ensure vegetation is removed and proper drainage is added. Footers may be placed around the foundation slab, and trenches may be dug below the frost line.

4. Slab Support Material and Drainage: Gravel will be laid down, and drainage pipes will be placed, while ensuring the site is level prior to pouring foundation.

5. Trenching: Trenches will be dug for the sewer drainage pipes.

6. Driveway Excavation: Trees, boulders, and other plants will be removed, and gravel will be used to level the area so the driveway can be poured. 

Excavation is an essential step in the homebuilding process that can make or break a budget. Knowing what you are dealing with before you purchase property, or if you already own the property, knowing where to place the home best is of utmost importance.

Partner Spotlight

Adair Homes has the pleasure of working with Rick Norwood, of Norwood Excavation. Based out of Oregon City, Norwood Excavation serves many of our Oregon build areas. The Norwood family has built two homes with Adair's North Willamette Valley branch, and our unique process allowed them to handle their own excavation on their projects. Shortly after building their second home, they decided to start their own excavation company, and a partnership was born! Rick shares our commitment to happy customers—and goes the extra mile to make sure that each home he digs out will be sited correctly. 


“My favorite part of the excavation process is seeing the end result of the hard work,” says Rick. “There’s a lot of contractors that are helping to make this happen. And we get to see the excitement of the customer when they get to move into their home.”

Norwood excavation is currently working on about a dozen Adair customer's projects, with another dozen in the pipeline.

Learn more about Norwood Excavation's partnership with Adair in this video!

Selecting an Excavator

Make sure you hire a professional excavator who is licensed and bonded, and ask for multiple references. The excavator should be familiar with the climate, soils, and the building, plumbing, and sanitation codes of your area. Additionally, this person must have the expertise, among other things, to:

1. Establish in advance, all the necessary grades of your site (excavation, backfill, driveway, sewage disposal, rain-drain, natural drainage, etc) to ensure that all code and drainage requirements are met. 

2. Know the depth required of the foundation, its backfill, final grade and other requirements of the building codes. Excavate for a "stepped" foundation if required on your site. 

3. Be capable of excavating your site to within 3" of level.

4. Provide aggregate "all weather" surface layer over excavated area. 

Pro Tip: Confirm the requirements of your site with your superintendent before meeting with your professional excavator. The Building Department will expect that the location of the foundation matches the plot plan provided at the time of permits.

Have more questions about excavation? Reach out to us on Live Chat on our website, or click the Schedule an Appointment button below! We can't wait to build the home of your dreams. 

About Adair Homes

With 51-plus years in the industry, Adair’s long-term commitment to treating each customer with honesty, integrity, and respect has paid off, 22,000 customers strong and counting. 

At Adair Homes, our mission states: it is our privilege to build our customers the home they have always dreamed of. We believe in providing the greatest value for our customer’s dollar and finding innovative ways to value engineer homes. We believe that we can offer an outstanding customer experience that is both enjoyable and rewarding—and offer this one-of-a-kind customer experience as the largest on-your-lot builder in the West. For more info, get in touch with us here or call 1-844-518-7072.


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