Copper Leaf Pools

Excavation in Phoenix, AZ

Pool and Spa Excavation

Pool excavation or “dig” is the first major phase of construction and the first time you will see a dramatic difference in your backyard and an exciting part of the pool building process. Multiple pieces of equipment will be used to excavate the pool, haul the dirt, and transport the dirt.

Track hoes, excavators, skid steers, and dump trucks are all common machines that may be present. Occasionally it may be necessary to use a hydraulic hammer or ripper tooth to remove the soil.

Common Types of Excavation

Common Types of Excavation

Pool excavation is generally classified by the access. Usually the easier the access is from the street to the pool, the less expensive the dig. There are 4 levels of pool excavation based on 10’ or greater to 4’ wide. The narrower the access the smaller the equipment must be to dig the pool. The smaller the equipment, the longer it takes and therefore the more the pool excavation will cost.

Standard Track Hoe Dig

Standard Track Hoe Dig

Standard pool excavation requires a minimum 10’ access from the street to the pool. The dump truck must be able to park next to the pool and be loaded with the track hoe.

Bobcat Excavation 7’

If there is not room to get the dump truck next to the pool, then a bobcat will be needed to to shuttle the dirt from the pool to the dump truck.

Bobcat Excavation 5’6”

Bobcat Excavation 5’6”

This type of excavation is commonly called a mini 1. It is one step up from the smallest machine available before getting into a hand dig.

Bobcat Excavation 4’

If access is tight, then a triple mini bobcat may be needed to dig the pool. This is very small equipment and takes longer. The tractors are not as powerful so the dig is slower

What to Expect during Excavation

Excavation equipment takes up a lot of room. It is sometimes difficult to move the equipment in a hurry so we recommend moving any cars needed so the crews can work. It is also a dirty and dusty phase. We do our best to keep dust to a minimum, but it is inevitable the dust will get everywhere you don’t want it. Everything in the path of travel from the dump truck to the pool will be destroyed. We will restore this area prior to pool completion, but the path can have hundreds of trips down it with equipment so even rock will often times just become dirt. Tractors are loud and construction starts early especially in the summer time. Tractor tires and tracks are soft rubber and will leave marks on everything they touch including driveways, streets, and patios. If your dig takes longer than a day, the equipment will be left on site.

How Long does it take to dig a swimming pool in AZ?

Pool excavation can be completed in as little as 1 day for small pools. Large and intricate pools can take several days to more than a week.

Pool Excavation Additions

Complicated pools may require additional steps to ensure the pool is built correctly.

Hard Forming

Any pool that is raised above grade may require hard forming. In many circumstances basic pools can be formed without the additional cost of hard forming. Exotic type pools, negative edge and infinity edge pools may require true hard forming since precision is paramount. Pools built on hillside lots or sloped yards often require hard forming.

Hard Dig

Hard Dig

Any pool excavation that cannot be removed using standard equipment will be deemed a hard dig. A hard dig does not necessarily mean there is rock to get through. There are many areas in Arizona that will have soil that is so compacted it will require a ripper tooth or hydraulic hammer. Paradise Valley and Cave Creek are 2 areas that have these types of soil conditions. Every yard is different so it is difficult to say if you will or will not have a hard dig, but we generally can give you a good idea based on our experience.


If your yard has adverse soil conditions that cannot be dumped at common landfills or recycling plant, it may be necessary to dispose of the material at private properties. These have become limited so there is often an additional cost if this is the case. Most of the time we know this in advance and can price the pool accordingly.

Excavation FAQs

No, as long as we have access to the area, we can work

Category: Excavation FAQs

Excavation costs are generally 5%-10% of the pool cost, but vary for each pool

Category: Excavation FAQs

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