Case Studies

Diamond Excavating Inc.

Full-service excavation meets leading project experience

Based in Arvada, Colorado, Diamond Excavating Inc. (Diamond) has carved a reputation as one of the region’s most trusted and successful excavating contractors with wide-ranging in-house capabilities. With offices just outside of Denver and Granby, Colorado, Diamond delivers; specializing in full-service earth work, site development, demolition, underground utilities, over-lot grading and more.

“Diamond serves the commercial, public, residential and high-end custom home markets,” details Diane Hills, vice president of Diamond. “We’re full-service in everything from earth work to site development, foundation excavation to grading, water, sanitary and storm [wet] utilities; we’re pretty well versed.”

Building on 37 years of experience

But it’s really experience that counts at Diamond. “The vision and the knowledge of our employees set us apart,” measures Diane. “We have a great deal of combined talent and there isn’t a project that we haven’t been able to tackle, even lately, when nothing seems to be cookie cutter. We’re well respected by our customers and we work for a lot of big name GCs in this area.”

From commercial to residential jobs, Diamonds crews ensure the project gets off on the right foot. “From massive retail complexes to beautiful custom homes, it’s always a very technical job, but our guys are just really good at having a vision of how the pieces come together,” considers Diane. “We don’t do design build by any means, but we’ve done this for so long we have a really good idea as to what will work best on our customer’s property.”

The company has been doing business since 1978 when Diane’s husband, Don Hills established Diamond. “It was really a humble beginning with just a couple of guys working together at the time,” tells Diane. “We’ve grown a lot through the following years, especially the 2000s. Through 2006 to 2007 Diamond was up to 88 employees.”

Diamond had certainly reached a peak in its life span, until the recession set in. “We were in a period of major growth when the economy crashed in 2008 to 2009, and just like everyone else, we had to scale back,” says Diane. “After nearly 40 years in business, we’d seen different economic cycles, but this last recession was the worst by far.”

Projects of all shapes and size

Yet, Diamond pushed on, relying on its reputation and in-house versatility. Since inception, the company has grown to house a fleet of more than 130 pieces of equipment, enabling Diamond to handle jobs of all shapes and sizes. “Our scope of work is pretty broad,” details Diane. “Lately, there have been a lot of K-12 school projects, such as the Hi-Plains District in Siebert and specialty schools for science and technology; those seem to be really popular right now.”

At the Colorado School of Mines -Marquez Hall, Diamond performed a 23-foot over excavation and complex tie-in for a new tunnel. On the project, Diamond drove value engineering throughout the tunnel excavations and tie-ins.

In 2011 through 2012, the company landed one of its largest projects since the recession with the BNSF Railroad, including over excavation, manifested soil export and wet utility installation with outfall structures. “We delivered this complex job right on time,” says Diane.

At the RTD Jeffco parking garage, west line light rails top, Diamond completed a scope of excavation along with a 17-foot backfill, all through a harsh Colorado winter. “This project was underway throughout the winter with complex grading tolerances for the parking structure,” details Diane.

Other projects in Diamond’s portfolio include infrastructure for the massive Northfield at Stapleton retail complex and the Landmark high-end condo development. “We’ve also worked on area fire training centers and the Denver Animal Shelter, as well as a great deal of memory care and long-term care facilities in support of the baby boomer population,” adds Diane.

With so many successfully completed jobs, Diane says she can’t pick just one that stands out, because Diamond takes great pride in each and every project. “The best feeling is when you drive by and think, ‘we helped base that building’ —when it’s all said and done and you can say it’s your project; that makes the challenges worthwhile.”

Voted subcontractor of the year by the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) of Colorado numerous times, Diane says Diamond stays abreast with the issues facing its industry with the help of the ASA. “Education is huge component and ASA does a great job educating its members about issues in construction, contracts and health and safety,” she says. “We just had a huge health and safety summit.”

“It’s also a great chance to network because other contractors in our industry share common problems and situations,” adds Diane. “It’s great to be able to network on that level.”

With a pulse on the industry and lessons learned through the downturn, Diane says Diamond Excavating is sharper, better and will remain a viable company for years to come.

Published on: July 9, 2015

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