A Well-done Earthwork

Before building a house, it is necessary to prepare or dig the ground. The earthwork consists of leveling and shaping the land. To learn more about this technique, read the following article!

The Principle of Earthwork

In general, earthworks are carried out in 7 steps:

Staking or marking out the land: a surveyor carries out this work, lasting about 2 hours.

The staking is a study of the ground allowing to :

– delimit the property;

– match the soil to the project in question;

– identify or foresee the places where the pipes will pass;

– fencing the land.


The average price of demarcation is between 500 euros and 1500 euros, including notary fees.


Extraction: consists of moving the earth manually or mechanically using machines such as loaders and bulldozers, or scrapers and mechanical shovels. This operation must be carried out on dry soil because the humidity makes it fragile.



Depending on the location, nature, and the subsoil’s state, installing maintenance holes or drains is possible. This installation makes it possible to evacuate rainwater quickly. It is primarily carried out during land development with a minimum slope of 5 degrees.

Please note: The depth of burial of pipes is regulated.


Clearing or stripping: This consists of clearing and moving the earth to the desired height with the necessary tools or machinery (pickaxe, shovel, backhoe, trucks, skips, etc.).


Servicing: concerns the construction of a single-family home. It consists of bringing the internet and telephone cables, electricity, gas, water and installing the sewage pipes on the land.

The installation of a geotextile film: used to separate the earth from the layer of crushed fill.

It also allows to:

– protect the construction;

– prevent weeds from growing back.


Backfilling: the last step of the earthwork

Backfilling in flood-prone areas is prohibited without authorization. Some municipalities prohibit this operation in their land-use plan. In this case, it is necessary to get information from the town hall before starting the earthwork.

If 1 m³ of disturbed earth takes up more volume than compacted earth, the backfill thickness is increased by 20% to 30%. This thickness varies from :

– 10 cm for a pedestrian walkway ;

– 20 cm for a driveway;

– 39 cm for a road accessible to trucks.

Entrust the work to an earthmoving or public works company. This will allow you to save considerable time and benefit from their expertise.

The Price of an Earthwork

The price of an earthwork varies according to :

-the nature and the surface of the ground;

-the operations to be carried out;

-the type of soil;

-the difficulties of access to the site;

-the depth to be dug, etc.

In general, the cost of earthwork is calculated per m² or per m³. For traditional earthworks, the price is between 30 euros and 60 euros per m².

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