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Digging up garden, what to do with the dirt?

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by RichTeaBiscuit, 2 Apr 2015.

  1. RichTeaBiscuit

    RichTeaBiscuit

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    Hello! My first post here, I'm new to the world of DIY.

    Just moved in to a new build with a tiny slab patio (they were going to charge £30 per 45cmx45cm slab extra!) I want to extend my patio. I've read that I need to dig down about 15cm to lay a base before laying the slabs.

    May seem like a silly question, but what do I do with all the dirt I dig up? The area is about 5mx3m so it will be a lot, is there a company that can come and collect it?

    Thanks!
     
  2. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    If it is good top soil you might be able to sell it.

    A garden centre might be interested in taking it for free.

    Earth work companies may take it as they sometimes need earth to landscape sites.
     
  3. footprints

    footprints

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    I usually dig a hole and bury it! :D

    A skip is the best idea frankly, if you start trying to offload it onto someone you need to store it in a big heap somewhere as you are digging it out and then wait till they turn up. Then chances are you have a ruined lawn where you stored it. ;)
     
  4. nickjb

    nickjb

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    If it is good topsoil put it on gumtree or freecycle . it'll go pretty quickly especially in spring. Might even get a hand to dig it out. If it is rubbish soil then skip or grab lorry.
     
  5. JohnD

    JohnD

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    It's a new build so the garden is probably half an inch of topsoil, turfed, on top of brick rubble, concrete, sand, plastic and spilled diesel.
     
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  6. andrewf75

    andrewf75

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    assuming its rubbish soil a skip is your best bet - you can get soil only ones which are a bit cheaper

    Another possible option if your garden is big enough is just dumping it elsewhere in the garden to make a raised bank. I did this but I have a big garden, may not be an option in a new build
     
  7. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    Got any baggy trousers?



    :LOL:
     
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  8. OwainDIYer

    OwainDIYer

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    In which case the neighbours might be grateful for it.
     
  9. Iangardenguy

    Iangardenguy

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    Yea the price was way too high, assuming a 5m x 3m area and £30 per 450 x 450 slab to lay they are charging £150 per m2.

    WAY too high for a paving job involving budget slabs unless you live on the top floor of a skyscraper with a broken lift and a roof garden in need of a patio. ;)

    So OPTIONS.

    Option 1.

    If there are only a few slabs down already have you considered lifting them and doing the whole thing in a nicer kind of slab?

    Generally speaking, you get what you pay for with all of these new build flags as they can have poor dyes that fade in UV light and in some cases low cement content yet you will pay as much for them per m2 as you would a nice natural stone slab.

    Even if you want the same type of slabs its worth lifting the ones you have and relaying them with a proper pointing joint as new builds always butt joint slabs and usually lay them with no fall or a fall that runs the wrong way.

    Gap fast spacers for paving are cheap and will give you a perfect 10mm joint you can fill with a nice looking polymeric jointing sand, get either T's or +'s depending on the pattern you choose.

    Option 2.

    Speak to some of the ground workers to see if they will do a foreigner for cash but hold them to a high standard of workmanship, get a set price for the whole job not a day rate and do not pay them until the work is completed fully and properly to your satisfaction.

    I have accounts with most builders merchants so get credit on stuff i want in most cases but some people want stuff off the internet so it needs paying for when ordering, if this is so buy it yourself after checking around for cheaper prices as builders merchants will over price to non trade customers.

    Option 3.

    Get a landscaping company in to do it for you.

    Check to see if they have good verifiable reviews wherever they advertise, have a list of questions about how they lay the slabs like the depths of the sub base and bedding layers and ask to see pictures of jobs they have done and see if any of their customers allow site visits as many of mine do as long as i make a appointment first.

    This is a great site for information you may need and as you can see by the price guide at the bottom of the page i linked below what they wanted to charge you for budget slabs was half as much again to double the price of top price range slabs.

    http://www.pavingexpert.com/patio01.htm



    But lets assume you go with option 1 and do it yourself.

    The site i linked above has all the info you need to do the job correctly so its worth reading.


    Digging out a 5m x 3m area 150mm deep is going to create between 2.5 to 3 cubic meters of spoil and depending on what it is it will be from 3.5t to 5.2t.

    The price difference between 4, 6 and 8yd skips is not a lot compared to how much more they hold so it maybe worth getting a bigger skip if you have other stuff you want rid of, just check with the skip company if they charge extra for having something other than soil brick etc in it as some charge more if you mix household type waste with it.



    If your new build has a drive or other area the skip is going on make certain that the skip company has boards they can put down so the skip does not damage the ground.

    If you have the time you can save space in the skip by separating any brick, stone or rubble and using it as sub base material, just remember to smash up any large lumps and fill in gaps with MOT type 1.

    You will need to dig some out to see what it consists of before ordering the skip obviously.

    Lay the slabs on a full bed of sand and cement mix and make sure the outer slabs are held in place with a concrete haunch or the like.

    Have you sourced the type of slabs you need to match your existing ones?

    Many new builds have what are called "riven buff" slabs (buff =yellowish and riven = uneven/patterned surface) but many companies make a "riven buff" slab so be sure you get the manufacturers name or they will not match your existing slabs.

    If they are still working on other properties you could even ask the site manager or one of the supervisors if you can buy enough to do your project, they could even sell you the sand, cement and MOT cheap and even remove the spoil for a cheaper price than having a skip if you are lucky.

    Pay on delivery not before.

    The slabs in the images below are "riven buff" with a 10mm pointing gap filled with a polymeric sand called "Jointex" that comes in 3 colours neutral, stone grey and basalt. The one i used on this job was the Stone grey and it frames the slabs well and really sets them off compared to a joint that is the same or similar colour to the slabs.

    If you use jointex follow the instructions and remember to pre-wet the slabs and keep them wet if its a sunny day.

    Oh and 1 tub will be plenty for your project if you have a 10mm pointing gap.




     
  10. EddieM

    EddieM

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    I was gonna suggest that :cry:
     
  11. ladylola

    ladylola

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    On a couple of jobs where I've had to dig out I've taken the soil away , it being basically decent , and riddled it to remove any large bits of rubbish leaving me with some decent topsoil and a relatively small amount of stuff to dispose of. Biggest problem I had was trying to find a 20mm riddle at a decent price. I ended up making my own.
    Funnily enough I've also recycled gravel in small amounts.
     
  12. RichTeaBiscuit

    RichTeaBiscuit

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    Thanks for all the responses!

    I live in a new build, so the soil below is just rubble and clay. The missus decided she wants a veg patch, so will build a raised bed which should be about half full with what I dig up.

    Decided that I'll hire a mini digger instead of doing it by hand! Looking forward to it!
     
  13. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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