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Educational Consumer Tips

Hiring an Excavating Contractor

Author: Rachel Gelb
Category: Home Improvement

If you’re planning a large project for your home you may need to hire an excavating contractor to prepare the job site and create a foundation. Since these jobs often involve heavy machinery it is crucial to hire an excavating contractor you trust. Refer to these tips when hiring an excavating contractor.  

Tips for Hiring an Excavating Contractor:

Ask for Suggestions.  Ask friends and family members who have recently hired an excavating contractor for a job for recommendations. Check out the contractor's reputation at Be sure to read their reviews and complaints. Look for an excavating contractor who has experience with the job you’re requesting because it is important that they have the proper equipment for the project.

Get Estimates.  Get estimates from at least two excavating contractors. Make sure to thoroughly explain the job to each contractor to get complete and accurate bids. Do not automatically choose the contractor with the lowest bid. Excavating contractors who are more experienced and use high quality equipment or materials may charge more for their services. Be sure each contractor you are considering carries liability insurance, workman’s compensation insurances, and is fully licensed.

Ask for References.  A reliable excavating contractor will be able to provide a list of references who have had a similar job completed. Contact a few of the references to ask about their experience with the contractor and if they would use them for a future project. If possible, visit the locations of the completed projects to check out the finished work.

Discuss Payment.  Beware of excavating contractors who request a large percentage of the cost upfront. Try to correspond payments with the amount of work the excavating contractor has completed. Make sure to only make the final payment once you are completely satisfied with the finished job. Be sure to carefully read the contract and have the contractor clearly explain any areas of confusion. Ask if the cleanup and removal of old materials are included in the price or if there is an extra fee.

About the Author: Rachel Gelb is Communications and Marketing Manager for BBB serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont. Find Rachel on Google +.

Questions and Comments

Comment Submitted 6/10/2014

I choose contractors based on referrals. But I still do my homework double checking whether these contractors deserve to be hired considering their length of experience in the field and their safety adherence practices.

Comment Submitted 8/13/2015

I like what you said about making the final payment when you are completely satisfied with the job. That way you can know for sure you are happy with the end result. Thanks for taking the time to write.

Comment Submitted 5/20/2016

My aunt and uncle are adding onto their house and are trying to find an excavator to dig the new basement extension. Thanks for the advice about asking for references and getting feedback from past customers. I'll have to let my aunt and uncle know so that they can find a good company.
Views expressed on this page are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Better Business Bureau.

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