Mr Dig | Excavator & Tipper Hire

EXCAVATION

Equipment

Bobcat with 4 in 1 bucket
Fork attachment
3.5 tonne excavator with various sized digging buckets as well as a ripper tooth

Other attachments:

  • Skeleton bucket
  • Hydraulic grabs
  • Jackhammer
  • Compactor wheel
  • Auger (auger bits 125, 150, 200, 300 & 400)

Domestic Yard excavation

Landscape excavation is an important first step in creating beautiful new gardens for your home. Mr Dig conducts the ground work, ensuring that your landscaped gardens are set on even and solid ground. Yard excavation can be customised to provide the foundation for pathways, decks, patios and fountains. It can also improve drainage around your home, so that water doesn’t remain stagnant and instead flows away from the house.

Specialising in Small Excavator Services

Minimum of 1.8m Access

Mr Dig conducts detailed excavation work with small machines that can manoeuvre expertly in tight spaces to a minimum of 1.8metres access. Small excavation services are our specialty and we remain committed to delivering customised solutions that meet the needs of our clients.

We can also excavate driveways and we get many questions about driveway construction. Below is a comprehensive overview of the driveway building process. Here you will find everything you need to make informed decisions about building your new driveway.

How Do I Build My Own Driveway?

There can be several reasons behind building your own driveway. It might be that you’re tired of dirt being tracked into the house every day from your existing gravel driveway. There could be safety issues, like warped surfaces posing a tripping hazard. Or you may have decided that the front of your property needs a proper face lift, in which case a new driveway can give immediate results.

Planning Your New Driveway Construction

Whatever the reason, there are several things to consider. Do you want a concrete or gravel driveway? Are you going DIY or professional? What’s your budget? What’s your deadline? Do you have a colour scheme in mind? Keep in mind that colours can fade considerably over time, so if, for example, you’re after a dark grey, you probably want to go several shades darker initially, almost black potentially. In a few years you will probably have the shade you want.

Textured or smooth? Texture is not only about aesthetics, it provides a non-slip surface, which is particularly important if your driveway is on a slope. There are a lot of good driveway ideas out there, so if you’ve got the time look online, or simply go for a drive and be inspired. And finally, you’ll need to find out how to build a driveway.

How Deep Should You Dig For a Driveway?

One of the critical factors is knowing how deep you should dig for your driveway. If you are going for a concrete driveway, the recommended bare minimum of the actual slab is 10cm. However, many home owners choose to go just a bit deeper, typically 12cm, to maximise the life of the concrete. This is especially important if your driveway will be supporting heavy vehicles, for example loaded trucks.

Keep in mind that these measurements only refer to the actual concrete driveway thickness. The ground below the slab also needs to be addressed. Concrete driveway base preparation involves spreading out a layer of gravel or compacting the existing soil, so you’ll need to dig a little deeper than just the 10-12cm. Depending on the size of your driveway and your capacity, there is the option of outsourcing the digging part to a professional excavator contractor, possibly one that specialises in smaller domestic excavation.

Building a Concrete Driveway – Step By Step Guide

  1. Use stakes to outline the shape of your driveway.
  2. Install timber forms around the edges to contain the concrete when it is poured.
  3. Even out the ground so you have a level surface by filling in sunken areas and removing or spreading out excess dirt/gravel.
  4. Use a plate compactor to compress the driveway base.
  5. Lay down a mat of reinforcing steel (if required).
  6. Pour the concrete. (Soak the driveway base with water before you start pouring the concrete to reduce moisture loss.)
  7. Use a wooden float to flatten and texture the concrete, creating a non-slip surface.
  8. For large driveways, put in contraction joints about 2cm deep every 1.5m.
  9. Cure the concrete by spraying the surface gently with water twice a day for seven days.
  10. Remove the timber forms after 24 hours, but don’t walk on your new driveway for at least 3 days, and wait 7 days before you drive any vehicles onto it.

How to Pour a Concrete Driveway in Sections

If your driveway is longer than 6 metres, you will probably need to pour the concrete in sections. This simply means creating multiple smaller forms to cover the area rather than just one big form outlining the whole driveway. If you have plenty of timber you can outline the entire perimeter with forms and then divide the inside into sections. If you are looking to save on timber, you can construct one small form, pour the concrete for that area and move the form to the next section. Continue this process until the whole driveway has been poured.

What is the cheapest way to do a driveway?

If you are looking to build a new driveway without breaking the bank, your best option is probably a gravel driveway. Experts recommend spreading gravel in three layers and compacting each layer before adding the next. Use 10-15cm rocks for the bottom layer, 5-7cm rocks for the middle layer and gravel for the top layer. With careful planning and some regular maintenance, you will be able to enjoy an attractive and functional gravel driveway for many years.

How to Build a Gravel Driveway – Step By Step Guide

  1. Use stakes to outline the shape of your gravel driveway.
  2. Dig out the area to a depth of approximately 10cm per layer of rock you are planning to spread.
  3. Even out the ground so you have a level surface.
  4. Use a plate compactor to compress the driveway base. (At this point there is also the option of laying down a mat to suppress weeds.)
  5. Create an edge for your driveway with bricks, stones or timber. (This step is optional, but it helps prevent gravel from spreading, and creates a neat finish.)
  6. Spread the large rocks in a single layer over your levelled and compacted surface. Pack these into the soil below with a bulldozer. (You could potentially drive your car over the rocks repeatedly for the same results, if you think your tires would not object.)
  7. Spread and compress the middle layer of crushed rock.
  8. Spread the top layer of gravel and compress with a plate compactor. (The midline of the driveway should be slightly higher than the edges to allow rainwater to run off.) Your driveway is now ready to be used.
  9. After a few months you might need to add some more gravel to the middle to restore the elevation.
  10. Every two to three years you might find it necessary to top up your driveway with fresh gravel to fill in any sunken areas or bare patches.

Comparison of a Gravel and Concrete Driveway

Concrete DrivewayGravel Driveway
MaintenanceVery little or no maintenance required if recommendations are followed to begin with
No weeding required
Needs to be maintained every couple of years with extra gravel
Likely that weeds will eventually appear on your driveway
MessVery clean to walk onDust and gravel easily tracked to the front door and into the house

Gravel may need to be raked back onto the driveway every few months
SafetyMinimal safety considerations, so long as the surface is textured when the concrete is poured to create a non-slip surfaceGravel can make its way to the lawn, where it can easily be flicked up by a lawnmower or whipper snipper
WeatherVery weather resistantSusceptible to the weather
LifeConcrete driveways typically last up to 30 yearsWith regular maintenance, gravel driveways can have a very long life. Some even claim they can last up to 100 years
CostAn expensive investmentBy far the cheaper option

Do You Need Planning Permission for a New Driveway?

Building a driveway may come under the Exempt Development category, so you may not need to submit plans and wait for approval to build your driveway. However, it is a good idea to check with your local council if there are any requirements for your new driveway, as these can vary from one Local Government Area to another. This is particularly relevant when it concerns the section between the property boundary and the road.

Where Can I Find the Concrete Driveway Building Code?

Building a concrete driveway is a significant investment and even though there isn’t an actual concrete driveway building code, it could still be a good idea to do some preliminary research on concrete construction before you start. Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia (CCAA) was established in 1928, is a not-for-profit organisation and has produced a detailed publication about concrete driveways and paths. This includes facts about concrete thickness, strength and reinforcement, and recommendations for concrete driveway construction.

Earth work excavation for foundation preparation

Accuracy is essential when excavating the footings, as even a small increase to the width or depth can mean that a lot more concrete will be required. Mr Dig has extensive experience in land excavation for foundation works. We recommend that any dug-out dirt is set aside for backfilling in the later stages of construction and that topsoil is set aside separately. Excavation for a new home construction typically takes from one to three days.

Estimating the total excavation cost

Every land excavation job is different and there are a whole range of factors that can affect the overall excavation cost. The size and complexity of the project will affect the price, as will the geology, for example, whether the ground is made up of soft soil, hardpan, boulders etc. If dirt is to be removed, this will add a considerable amount to the site excavation cost. With years of experience, Mr Dig is able to provide accurate quotes that takes into consideration a myriad of variables and has a reputation of running jobs on time and on budget.

Meeting the Australian Standard for excavation work

There are a range of health and safety risks associated with ground excavation, such as falls, dislodgment of rock and earth, hazardous noise and airborne contaminants. Safe Work Australia sets out strict guidelines on managing these risks and taking the necessary precautions. All work undertaken by Mr Dig complies with Australian safety regulations. Work is only conducted by a licensed operator and is fully insured.

Are there good excavating services near me?

If you live in or around Goulburn, then a premium excavator is just around the corner. Mr Dig conducts excavation work for residential properties in Goulburn, Gunning, Moss Vale and all the localities in between. The company prides itself on getting jobs done properly, on time and within budget and it has an outstanding customer satisfaction record. Contact Steinar for all your earthmoving, land clearing, and excavation enquiries.