DIY Excavation vs. Hiring a Contractor – Some Things to Consider

diy excavation victoria

For many yard and property projects, you just need some heavy equipment on site. Whether you’re running a water line, trenching for hedges, cleaning up brush or taking on other projects, sometimes an excavator or skid steer is just the thing to get it done fast. Who wants to spend an entire weekend running a goon spoon?

If you’re thinking of heading down to the rental shop to pick up a machine, keep reading. There are a lot of things to know when you’re excavating, and this post is intended help you understand the issues you may face, and decide whether DIY excavation is the way to go, or if hiring a contractor makes more sense.

Things to consider before launching into a DIY excavation

Rental machines are expensive

Hiring a contractor can seem like a lot of money, but be sure to understand the full costs of a rental machine such as a mini excavator or skid steer.

Mini excavators commonly rent for around $350/day or more. There are also a lot of other expenses associated with rentals that you need to make sure you understand ahead of time. Common extra charges include transport, fuel, attachments, extra insurance and potential repair costs if you damage the machine.

When you hire a contractor, you’re getting a professional operator

This is no small consideration. Even if you have a bit of experience on heavy equipment, you’re unlikely to be able to keep pace with a seasoned operator who does the work for a living. This often means that you’re going to take longer and spend more in rental fees. Not only that, but a professional operator will have experience in all aspects of excavation from grading and demolition to utilities and driveways.

Most contractors will have all the equipment you need

A dump truck to haul away soil or brush is an extra cost. If you need an additional machine such as a skid steer, that’s going to be an extra cost. The point is, many contractors can reduce costs by coming with everything required right from the beginning of the job. This will save you extra rental fees and trips to the shop.

Contractors carry insurance for excavation

Many people underestimate how quickly things can go pear shaped in the excavation world. If you drop a boulder that rolls into your neighbors living room, or damage your own property, you may be on the hook for repair costs. When you hire a professional contractor, they carry insurance for this sort of thing. you don’t want to be stuck paying for repairs into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Do you know what’s underground?

This may not be such a major consideration if you live on a farm or an acreage, but in the city, there is a lot of infrastructure underground. Gas lines, drain, sewer, water service, internet lines and our personal favorite, natural gas. Breaking one of these can put you on the hook for a serious repair bill. If you do decide to take on your next excavation project DIY style, please at least be sure to phone BC 1 call before you put the ol’ spoon in the ground.

Related: The Dangers Of Not Calling BC 1 Call

Of course there are benefits of DIY excavation as well. It can cost less than a contractor, and operating machinery can be a whole lot of fun. We just want to make sure that you know the risks involved before making a decision either way.

If you are looking for a reliable, experienced excavation contractor in Victoria, we’re here for you. Contact us today to discuss your next excavation project.

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