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Question DetailsAsked on 7/30/2014

How much should it cost to ecavate 1 foot in my 1000 sqft concrete floored basement in Westchester NY?

The ceiling height now in the unfinished basement is ~6 ft, so I just need another 1 foot to have 6.5 feet after finishing.

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1 Answer


Depends on your specific situation of course, but generally removal of concrete slab should run about $4-7/SF depending largely on whether you have a reinforced or unreinforced slab, and whether you have a relatively level access door a wheelbarrow or conveyor can fit through - though sometimes a basement window can be used for a conveyor to move material out through. Soil removal can run about $20-40/cy with easy digging and removal in your type case, on up to $50 range if hard clay, to $200 plus if hard rock that has to be jackhammered out. Of course, if you have some way of access for a bobcat costs will go down by as much as half or so - I was assuming probably wheelbarrow to conveyor or wheelbarrow to a bobcat parked outside for the excavation.

Be aware before you start this that you might have fairly shallow water or sewer pipes (possibly several branches) under the slab - would be a pity to dig it up and find out you have to redo piping (especially sewer because it has to kept at a draining slope) - particularly if lowering the sewer pipe then means you have to lower it all the way to the street, so might pay to have it located then a few test holes done in the concrete first to check how deep they are. Also be alert to possibility of buried electrical conduit if you have an inside service/meter or panel is not on ann outside wall basically backed up to the meter.

Also be aware 6.5' headroom is sub-code in many areas (most require 7 foot minimum) - so if you are looking to meet code consider that, though putting the slab bottom below foundation base level is not a good idea either if it comes to that. So check how deep bottom of slab and footer are - you might be at the limit now. And on headroom don't forget to include not only slab thickness, but required 3-4 inch base material under it, plus thickness of ceiling material - 5/8 drywall or whatever.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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