Common Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing And Working With An Excavation Contractor


A construction project is always a precious investment. You want only the best contractors to work on it. One of the contractors you will be hiring is an excavation contractor. Their work will start with site clearing and proceed to dig the foundation. Their work is very important – the foundation of your project depends on it. Finding the right excavation contractor is, therefore, crucial. It starts by avoiding the following mistakes.

Waiting until you need the excavation contractor

You do not need to wait until your project site needs clearing to start looking for an excavation contractor. Start looking for the best excavator in your area as soon as you decide you are going to build. Starting the search early gives you ample time to perform a background check on several potential candidates, before choosing the one you are certain will do a good excavation job.

Hiring excavators with little experience

Owning sewing machine does not make you a tailor. Similarly, owning a back hoe does not make anyone an excavating machine operator. You have to be sure whoever you are hiring has experience in the excavation project you have.

Operating those big excavating machines requires education and training. An excavating contractor also needs to be licensed to operate. Ask to see proof of certifications and licensing. Also, ask to see the contractor’s project portfolio. You need to be sure they have handled a wide variety of jobs in the past.

Not checking references

One of the best ways to determine the professionalism of a contractor and the quality of work they can deliver is checking their references. Often, clients fail to ask for references when hiring. Others, ask for the references but forget to call them. Do not make this mistake.

Ask for about five references from the contractor. If they are legitimate and are confident with the service they provide, they will be more than willing to provide you with this information. You are not looking to talk to a customer the contractor served five years ago. The best people to talk to are recent customers. Once you get the contacts call them and ask about their experience working with the contractor, how long the projects took to complete, and other questions you deem relevant.

Being enticed by price alone

The point of getting quotes from different contractors is to get the best price. The best price to most clients is the lowest. However, a low bid from a contractor could mean that their service is poor, they do not have the right equipment, or they are not experienced and are only looking to improve their portfolio. On the other hand, a high bid does not necessarily reflect the quality of service. Such a contractor might just be taking advantage of your ignorance. Or, their schedule is so full that the only reason to take more work would be a huge profit margin. To make an informed decision without falling for the price, request itemized quotes from the contractors.

Failing to check insurance

Accidents and mistakes happen during excavation. But, who is liable for these mistakes? You should check that the contractor has workman’s compensation insurance. If a workman got injured they are covered under this policy. Also, check general liability so that your property is protected if the contractor damages anything.

Paying full project fees before work begins

An excavation work such as digging for a foundation of a house may only take a day or two. Such a small project does not require you to pay anything until work is complete. For works that take longer, the contractor expects you to pay in installments. The bottom line is, you should never pay full project fee before work is complete. And to retain proof of payment, it is always advisable to pay using bank cards or checks.

Not getting a written contract

Any contractor that works on your project should provide a written contract. The contract should detail the project guidelines, the payment options, the billing cycle, and the starting date and estimated date of finish of the project. With a written contract, there is something to refer to should there be disputes later on.

Failing to obtain a waiver of lien

In a construction project, most of the time the excavation contractor works as a sub-contractor under the general contractor. If the subcontractor is not paid by the general contractor, they may file a lien against your property. So, once you pay the contractor, have them sign a waiver of lien which confirms that all payments were made.

Find excavation contractors here

At Contractors Today, we are committed to helping you located excavation contractors near you. Whether you want to dig a hole for a swimming pool, to excavate a foundation, or bore a well in the ground, you will find an excavation contractor in your area here.