Build my own cabin - DIY projects

Digging a Basement

After getting the plans and permits in place, it's exciting to be to the point of excavating or digging a basement.  You'll finally get to see some hard evidence of progress on your construction project.  The first of many things to come.

At first we thought we would rent an excavator to save some money digging the basement ourselves.  After investigating our options, the closest place to rent a large trackhoe was a CAT rental place in Logan.  Delivery charges would be $189 each direction and then the rental charge was $380 per day.  On top of that we would have to pay for fuel on the equipment which would be about 8gal/hr of diesel.  We received a bid for $800 to have the entire basement dug for the cabin so we decided to go that route.  Here's some pictures of the excavation.  It took them about one day to do the job.

        Marking for Excavation       

We marked out the corners of the cabin once the surveyor had staked out the corners of the vacant lot.  This would let the excavation crew know where to dig.

     Shooting grade of lot          

Before digging the basement started we used a transit to shoot the grade of the lot to determine how deep we needed them to go to get the garage and basement at the correct height in the front of the cabin.  Since the front of the basement would be a drive in garage, we wanted to ensure we had some slope from the garage floor to the end of the lot so any water would run away from the cabin.

      Excavating for footings        

The front of the cabin had to be excavated an extra 2 feet to make sure the footings were below frost level where the garage door openings would be.

Excavation with transit       

A transit was used during the dig to periodically check the depth of the hole.  I never knew digging a basement could be so much fun!

Back to top - Excavation