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  • Writer's pictureRylee Parsons

The Difference Between Excavating and Grading

Before planning for a new property project, it is helpful to understand the difference between excavation and grading. Contractors use these two techniques for very different purposes. Learning the details of these processes can help you to figure out which services you need to get your project done on time and within budget.

What Is Excavating

Excavating involves digging and debris removal on a job site to get it ready for projects such as new construction. During excavation, contractors will dig according to the specifications of the job site, such as digging a hole for concrete pouring around foundations or trenches, called footings.

Excavation can also require the removal of debris such as stumps and boulders. Once the excavators have gathered all the debris, it is hauled away by dump trucks. Then, heavy machinery is used to dig holes and create dirt piles to prepare the area for construction.

What Is Grading?

Grading involves smoothing the ground by pushing topsoil around the area. This process is necessary to level the area, reducing holes and bumps on the ground. Grading provides an even, flat surface for construction or post-construction landscaping.

The Differences Between Excavating and Grading

Excavators typically do their work during the beginning stages of the construction process. They facilitate the construction of foundations, sidewalks, swimming pools, and utilities. Heavy machinery used in this process includes an excavator, a backhoe, a bulldozer or a blade.

Grading contractors usually step in during the later stages of construction. They smooth and level the surface of the area to enable the planting of grass and other landscaping. Grading also ensures the area looks aesthetically pleasing. Grading uses other types of heavy machinery including a blade, a bobcat or a tractor with a landscape rake.

Finding an Excavation and Grading Contractor

Excavation and grading are complex processes that involve a lot more work than just moving dirt around. You must ensure you choose a reputable excavation and grading contractor who can get the job done. Check that your contractor has the correct equipment including a fleet of heavy machinery that can take care of a project of the requisite size.

You’ll want your contractor to perform high-quality work and provide a professional service. Ask your contractor how many years of experience they have. Do your homework to make sure the excavating and grading company you choose is the best fit for your commercial or residential project.

Now you know the difference between excavating and grading, you know more specifically what you need on your property. But do you still have questions? Check out our Grading Page for more information on the types of services we offer!

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