Before any construction project, even if this means a small shed or garage on your property, you will probably need some excavation work done. This is to ensure the ground is ready for the construction and will provide a proper setting for the foundation of the building or structure. If you're considering a construction project on your property, you might want to note some terms regarding excavation and the work involved; this will help you know what to expect with this work and also help you discuss your needs and the project with an excavation contractor.
1. Site cut or site scrape
A site cut or site scrape is when the ground is level and even but simply needs the top layer removed to make it clean for a concrete slab. This is especially done if there are large amounts of vegetation or brush on the site that would interfere with construction.
As the word implies, excavation would involve a certain amount of digging, usually to create the trenches needed to pour a foundation. This is also done when the ground is so uneven that large amounts of soil need to be removed to give you a level surface for a building. Excavation is more involved than a simple site cut or scrape and may require larger equipment and more time needed to get the job done.
3. Cut and fill
A cut and fill is when an excavator cuts into a hillside or slope and then uses that material to fill the ground around it, creating a level and even surface. You might discuss the possibility of a cut and fill if there are any areas that need filling even if you don't necessarily need to have a hillside leveled, so that you're not bringing in new soil or fill dirt; this can mean less waste of soil and can be a more eco-friendly choice.
Compaction is making soil compact and dense; this is often done after a cut and fill process, so that fresh dirt or soil is not so loose and therefore more likely to hold the weight of a building without shifting and settling. Some compaction may also involve mixing in other materials with the soil itself; this might be clay or lime or something else that makes the soil stronger and even more compact. Along with compaction, soil may need a root barrier, which is designed by an engineer to protect a site from damage due to nearby tree roots. This too prepares the soil properly for construction.