How do I calculate the volume of dirt exports required to begin leveling the ground for foundation work?

March 30, 2022
ask an estimator - dirt exports
Welcome to our advice column where our estimators offer thoughtful answers to your questions on estimating. Go here to this form to submit an anonymous question.

The straightforward calculation for a level surface is: L x W x H. For a contoured surface, you need to create level zones on your plans and perform volume takeoffs based on those grids, using the L x W x H formula.

Here are some other things to consider when estimating foundation work.

  1. Study the geotechnical report to understand the current state of the soils, and to determine using core reports at what level the foundations needs to be laid.
  2. Determine the thickness of the foundation in the drawings.
  3. Determine the total thickness of compacted materials necessary for the underlayment of the foundation level.
  4. Excavate down to a level where corrosive materials are not present.
  5. Infill with imported materials, up to the level of the foundation start, when needed and then use backfill and compaction methods to level ground before foundation is poured.

Ask an estimator your question

1build provides an easy-to-use integration with construction supplier catalogs and purchasing systems. Get access to millions of construction materials with our API today