How Excavators Can Transform Your Preconstruction Process

benefits of excavating firm in preconstruction

Would you like fewer change orders and a more accurate schedule on your next construction project?

If you answered yes, you may want to consider getting your excavator or sitework contractor involved in the project planning and preconstruction for your next project.

While sitework is just one of many moving pieces on a construction project, the expertise excavators bring to the early stages is plentiful. They’re among the first contractors on a job site, and the work that they do (quite literally) sets the foundation for the rest of the project.

From budgets and schedules to site orientation and regulations, input from the right excavating team can set your project up for success. Here’s how.

Why Involve An Excavator In the Preconstruction Process

For preconstruction in general, good project planning typically leads to fewer change orders, more accurate schedules, and better budgets. But if this stage doesn’t go smoothly – or your preconstruction team doesn’t have all the necessary information to create an informed plan – issues can build on top of one another.

A collaborative approach to preconstruction is one of the best ways to avoid this. By bringing the right voices to the preconstruction process, you’ll have all the specialized knowledge needed to make a realistic strategy to complete the project.

aerial view of large construction siteAn excavator brings unique sitework expertise to the planning table. Everything from foundation digging to soil compaction to erosion control needs to be analyzed and discussed early on. This helps ensure that the project can move ahead without disruption.

That said, we understand that adding another voice to the conversation can sometimes work against the team. But with the right group, that shouldn’t be an issue. The right excavator can be a true collaborator, offering assistance and expertise in the budgeting, scheduling, and regulatory process.

Specific Areas of Expertise

At Horst Excavating, we do more than just move dirt. We’re a full-service sitework firm with the expertise, equipment, and team needed for excellent site management. Whenever possible, we like to contribute our expertise to the preconstruction process. Here are a few ways we can do that.

Experienced-Based Conceptualization

Excavating and sitework management varies a great deal from one area to another. Working with an excavator who has experience in the specific area you’re looking to build will help during preconstruction. They’ll be able to draw on this local knowledge to get a feel for what lies below ground and can help navigate local regulations and requirements.

Additionally, your excavator should have experience with projects comparable in size and scope. They can draw on their knowledge from similar projects to identify possible issues and work to mitigate them on yours.

In Horst Excavating’s 60+ years of business, we’ve amassed a wide variety of experience. Our built expertise is specialized to the geographic area we work in (Central PA, Delaware, and Maryland), and that can help projects get off on the right start.

With intimate knowledge of what lies below ground after years of working in the area and a wide variety of experience working on diverse types of projects, our team can give you valuable advice during the planning process.

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Budgeting & Value Engineering

A sitework contractor involved in the preconstruction process can also help with value engineering and budgeting. The approach we take is to make your project as efficient and cost-effective as possible. Value engineering is a big part of that.

With a seat at the planning table, we can contribute any ideas we have from the get-go. But we won’t stop there. We’ll keep looking for ways to optimize your budget throughout the project.

Collaborative Approach and Powerful Relationships

horst excavating employee and excavator on jobsiteCollaboration between different disciplines and companies can help set your project up for success. That said, with so many voices, the teams you bring on need to be great communicators and demonstrate a team-oriented approach.

At Horst Excavating, we have great working relationships with AEC firms. From engineers to planners, general contractors, and subs, we can help recommend great firms for your project. If you already have a team selected, we’ll be a true team player, working with them to move your project along.


As one of the first contractors on a job site, the work that excavators do sets the stage for the rest of the project. If sitework falls behind, other contractors may have to push back their schedules, creating a potentially costly ripple effect.

At the scheduling stage, an experienced excavating firm can confirm that the time allotted for their work in the schedule is accurate. This due diligence will help ensure their work fits with the project’s overall schedule. If any changes are needed, it is easier to adjust at this stage than it would once construction begins.

Overall, this will result in a smoother project once boots are on the ground and machines are running.

Choosing the Best Excavator for Your Project

To bring true expertise to the preconstruction process, you need a sitework contractor with the right experience and a collaborative approach.

Look for an excavator eager to contribute to project planning and preconstruction. In addition to all the benefits outlined above, this also suggests that they recognize the impact their work will have on the bigger picture. They’ll measure their success by their impact on the project as a whole, not just their portion of the work.

At Horst Excavating, we’re always interested in contributing to the preconstruction and planning process in whatever way we are needed and most helpful. If you’re looking for a sitework contractor focused on collaboration, reach out to us and tell us about your project.

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