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The Difference Between Excavation And Grading And Why You Need To Know

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Excavation is a very commonly known part of construction that many people think they are familiar with. However, a lot of what people think is excavation is actually grading. While the two do share some common elements, there are pretty stark differences between the two, and it is important you know which one you need when hiring a contractor. Many excavation services will do both excavation and grading, but make sure you are clear about what you need when signing the initial contract. Here is a helpful guide to make you more informed when moving forward with your construction. 


Excavation consists of many things that you will be familiar with, but essentially, it is the process of removing dirt, plants or rocks from a particular area. Sometimes it also involves digging trenches and drains as well. The most common tool in excavation is, of course, the excavator, but other tools can be used, including hand-operated ones. This process is often the very first part of any construction project, but it is not the only thing you need to do before tradesman can begin moving in. The next step after excavation is normally grading, which is perhaps why the two are often confused.


Grading is also known as levelling, and it is the creation of a perfectly flat surface. This is to ensure that any future building or construction has a set base that is not uneven. Excavation services will clear the above area and all the topsoil and then the grading of an area can begin. Bulldozers can be brought in, but excavators are also used here, further leading to the confusion of non-industry people as to the differences between grading and excavating. Sometimes grading is done on a slight angle to accommodate specific building requirements, but that is rare.

Excavation Services

Often, grading and excavating are done by the same contractor to save time. However, this is not universally the case, so make sure when you are hiring your excavation services that they are fully aware of what you expect and are not surprised when they step onto the site for the first time. Excavation services provide all the equipment and manpower, so if you can find one that will do all your preliminary groundwork, that is ideal. When putting feelers out for companies, always advertise that you are looking for a contractor to complete both as this will weed out those companies that simply cannot offer what you need.