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KD HIlliard

Expert excavation the key to many incredible projects

No waterfront? No problem. Even properties that aren’t on lakes or rivers can have a water feature, provided you have the right equipment and a skilled operator on the job.

It was with this in mind that Kent Thexton agreed to add a pond to his backyard.

He was looking out over the property with Ken Hilliard, owner of KD Hilliard Excavation. Blasting for a new home foundation had exposed a gorgeous outcrop of pink granite. Water from a nearby stream was creating a lovely little waterfall, and as they looked at it, an idea began to take shape.

Kent loved Ken’s suggestion to dig a pond. And he knew Ken was an excavation master who could execute on the vision. “Ken had done some work for me and my neighbours,” recalls Kent. “He recommended the pond and we’re happy he did.”

Digging out a symmetrical 15-by-20-foot hole for the pond, Ken then also helped create a path to this place of serenity.

The site has become a magnet for wildlife, as well as people. “We’ve set up some Muskoka chairs and it’s a beautiful feature on our property.” Kent says they haven’t added any fish, but there are plenty of frogs and “somehow a few minnows got in there as well.”

Precision counts
Whether it’s digging a pond or the foundation for a new home, precise work is a must for Ken and his team. Even though they are using a 20-ton machine, inches count, particularly if other trades are coming in afterward to pour a foundation or do other work. The more accurate the digging, the better it is for the next step in the process, saving the homeowner time and money.

Ken has more than two decades in the business and operates a couple of different sized excavators. That flexibility allows him to offer a range of services, from giving ponds a little TLC to creating roads, from digging drainage ditches to excavating for a new building, and even clearing lots.

Recent projects have included a variety of shoreline restoration projects along the shores of Lake Simcoe, work that often also involves his wife, Dawn, and daughters Mackenzie and Madison.

“Often shorelines will suffer the impact of ice and wave action, which can eat away at the soil,” says Ken. “We can come in and start by creating a great slope, dig out hidden drainage spots, and help protect the land.”

They can reposition stone that is already on-site or bring in new material to fortify the shoreline. “We also work with the MNR and conservation groups to help protect any trees and vegetation when planning where to start our work,” he says. “That’s very important to us: we consider it all part of doing the job right.”

Arrive by water
Sometimes, the best way to do the job right is to work from the water rather than from land. Which is why Hilliard Excavation invested in its own barge.

Not only does it allow them to access islands and water access-only properties throughout the region, but it can also minimize the impact when working on shorelines – particularly in areas where homes are close together.

“By arriving from the water, we avoid having to travel over your property with the heavy equipment,” says Ken. “The barge allows us to arrive on the lake side of the property and be much less intrusive.”

Above and beyond
Another client, Geoff was particularly impressed with Ken’s work ethic. After a particularly harsh winter with huge ice shoves creating a “disaster” on their shoreline, Geoff enlisted Ken’s help in cleaning up and restoring the area.

With tons of stone, soil and other materials needing to be scooped up – as well as digging a new slope at the shoreline to better protect against future ice damage – Ken brought in his excavator and got to work.

Geoff says it rained for four days that week, but it didn’t stop Ken. “I was very impressed by his strong work ethic and dedication to getting the job done,” says Geoff. “Most guys would have said ‘I’ll be back in a week,’ but Ken was there each day. He had to be very careful working in the rain with heavy equipment, but he was able to take on the challenge safely and get the work done.”

Ken and his team bring that type of dedication and care to each project they’re a part of, making them the right choice for your excavation needs.



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