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Excavation can cost a variety of prices. It is very difficult to pin down specific costs for this because it is so area specific. It could cost $85 to $125 per hour for residential excavation work. That is, if you can find someone to do a job by the hour.
It may be difficult to find someone willing to work on an hourly rate. Many companies will want to quote you for an entire project, so, if things go smoothly, they can have some profit for their business. You will probably need to pay by the yard. An excavation company will charge somewhere between $80 and $200 per square yard. It depends a lot on geographic location, the layout of the lot, and challenges that may be present for the particular job.
After hearing speaking to excavation companies you will be hard-pressed to have them quote you an hourly rate. Especially for large jobs, most companies will refuse to do that. For small jobs it may be a possibility.
The quoted price should include everything including grading. This should include machine transportation, costs of running a backhoe, and the time of the operator.
Things to consider
Erosion control is an important piece of excavation. Making it so the earth that you move will stay where you moved it to is an important piece of the project. Make sure to talk about this with your contractor, especially if you are moving earth near a slope. There are a variety of ways to implement erosion control. Planting living rooting plants is a great, natural way to accomplish this task. Also, wooden bracing can be used for extreme sloped areas or areas where you are concerned of major soil runoff.
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