Home Building Process Phase 4 - Excavation & Construction

Phase 4 is where the excitement begins.  With the lot staked and cleared, the excavation and construction can begin.

Excavation & Construction Begins

When it comes to building your home, there’s a great deal of work that goes on behind the scenes before you can take the first steps towards constructing the building itself.

One important stage in the process, and the very first step when it comes to the process of building, is excavation.

If you’re building a new house, then you most likely included an expense like this in your budget. Excavation isn’t always easy, nor is it a particularly inexpensive step in the process, but it’s one that’s vitally important nonetheless –especially in Colorado Springs, where there’s an abundance of soil that’s unsuitable for foundations.

Earlier on in Phase Three we covered the process of determining the approximate location for your home site. This was based on things like view, driveway, and drainage.

Now, we’ll take a look at excavation –a measure that’s vital for laying the foundation upon which the home will be built. Read on to see what’s involved in this process, and what you should know about cost, timing, and how it all unfolds.

Excavation: The First Step in Creating a Solid Foundation

As you may already know, Colorado is home to what’s known as ‘expansive soils’ –soils that can change volume when they soak up water. The most common types of expansive soils are clays and silts. These soils will draw water in whenever it’s available.

Naturally, this type of soil can pose a real threat to potential homes, as it can compromise and damage the foundation.

While these soil types can be found throughout the states and Canada, they’re especially prevalent in California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and other western and southern states.

There are a tremendous number of structures across the states that have been subjected to damage that’s caused when moisture-absorbed soils expand. In fact, it’s estimated that the annual cost of expansive soil-caused damage in the U.S. is $2.3 billion, according to Benson, Kerrane, Storz & Nelson, P.C. That’s more than twice the damage caused by floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes combined.

When it comes to expansive soils, this underestimated but tremendously destructive force can usually be seen within the first few months, or in some cases, years, after a home is built. As water from the rain or irrigation systems filters through to below the home’s foundation it can cause a condition known as ‘edge-lift.’ This can cause cracking in the foundation and can also be seen as cracks in the home’s walls. Over time, ‘center-lift’ can also occur; which is when moisture reaches the center of the housing slab, resulting in even more extensive damage.

In most cases, excavation is a vital part of ensuring that the ground beneath the home is suitable for a strong foundation.

What Happens: A Brief Overview