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Old 10-09-2014, 12:05 AM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
2,025 posts, read 4,998,296 times
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Don't use construction dirt, at least on the top 3 inches of the final grade. I have a yard that IS filled with very poor soil in the front - I know that from how poorly the grass looks and when I dig into the soil, there are more rocks than dirt under the top inch. It's impossible to have good grass when the soil has no nutrients in it. In contrast, the soil in the backyard has a much richer color and more loose and the grass needs nothing and still looks great.
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:09 AM
 
3,339 posts, read 7,180,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkarch View Post
Generally you want to get something sandy that drains well for the fill, then put a sufficient layer of topsoil (6"-18" depending on what you're growing) over it for lawn and landscaping.

I got some from construction sites on Craigslist for the base and bought yards of garden mix/compast from the Nursery for landscaping. Unfortunately I was filling near our sewer line so heavy equipment was not an option. Anywhere else I'd try to avoid doing it by hand, it was a LOT of work.
Suppliers don't sell "sandy" soil. They sell the topsoil that is scraped from local lots during construction (a practice Ihate, since people pay for land and then the builders sell off the top layer.) Never add sand to soil that conains a high amount of clay. Sand plus clay equals cement. Organic material (compost) will provide the best drainage properties. All soil contains some sand already, even if it's just a small amount.
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:14 AM
 
3,339 posts, read 7,180,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tango14 View Post
Yes, we are looking at approx 1/2 foot fill. So 1/2 times 1250 = 625 cubic feet. Which is 625/27 = 23 cubic yards. So if a truck load is 6 cubic yards, we need about 4 truckloads? The landscaper mentioned a single truck load without going into the numbers. Also, I guess we have to find out what constitutes his 'dirt'.

Feeling a little diffident since after all this, we have to figure if fescue seeding ( we don't get a lot of light here in the back yard) or zyorgia sod ( expensive) is the way to go. We keep hearing the pros and cons of Both and not sure what will work .

On a different note, is there a better or cheaper way for the kids to play. My 7 year old son loves sports, esp soccer and we want some flat area that he can play on. We have a yard in the front albeit sloping so we don't. Necessarily want grass, just some area where the kids can play soccer and what not. Thanks
The quick rule of thumb for mulch, anyway, is: for a 3" layer, one cubic yard covers 100 square feet. The formulas calculate down to that. Makes it so much easier to estimate what you'll need.

The same can be used to calculate soil. So you have 1200 sq. ft., which would equal 12 cubic yards for a 3" cover, and 24 cu. yards for a 6" layer, before compaction.

I think trucks around here can deliver way more than BDD says. The truckloads we had delivered carried 16 yards. They were huge, and boy, did they ever compact our front yard on their way out to the backyard. It took us several years to undo that.
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:24 AM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,117,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tango14 View Post
Yes, we are looking at approx 1/2 foot fill. So 1/2 times 1250 = 625 cubic feet. Which is 625/27 = 23 cubic yards. So if a truck load is 6 cubic yards, we need about 4 truckloads? The landscaper mentioned a single truck load without going into the numbers. Also, I guess we have to find out what constitutes his 'dirt'.

Feeling a little diffident since after all this, we have to figure if fescue seeding ( we don't get a lot of light here in the back yard) or zyorgia sod ( expensive) is the way to go. We keep hearing the pros and cons of Both and not sure what will work .

On a different note, is there a better or cheaper way for the kids to play. My 7 year old son loves sports, esp soccer and we want some flat area that he can play on. We have a yard in the front albeit sloping so we don't. Necessarily want grass, just some area where the kids can play soccer and what not. Thanks
1. How much dirt did the landscaper estimate?

2. I'm guessing your trying to estimate all the different labor and materials calculations to see if your getting screwed over by the contractors giving you estimates? Understandable but that's going to be a tough job unless you have a lot of estimating experience that you can't get thru this forum.

3. Three to four different landscape contractor bids with references you can go see. Compare contrast and go with whom you feel comfortable.
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:29 AM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,117,065 times
Reputation: 23049
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinaMcG View Post
The quick rule of thumb for mulch, anyway, is: for a 3" layer, one cubic yard covers 100 square feet. The formulas calculate down to that. Makes it so much easier to estimate what you'll need.

The same can be used to calculate soil. So you have 1200 sq. ft., which would equal 12 cubic yards for a 3" cover, and 24 cu. yards for a 6" layer, before compaction.

I think trucks around here can deliver way more than BDD says. The truckloads we had delivered carried 16 yards. They were huge, and boy, did they ever compact our front yard on their way out to the backyard. It took us several years to undo that.
Depends on the materials delivery and the equipment they have. Also depends on the weight of the product not just volume.

I have a Semi dump hauler that can deliver 20yards of dry dirt at a shot. You don't want them driving over your driveway though unless it's an 8inch thick slab.
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
2,966 posts, read 3,762,829 times
Reputation: 3768
Default Thanks, I was wondering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
Yup Tina it is amazing how quickly dirt is swallowd up by a yard especially after it has been graded and compacted.

Cant know how many yards needs until the following below is determined.

A standard truck load of dirt from a materials center is 5-6 cubic yards depending on weight of dirt. The homeowner can workout the number needed.

The OP will have to determine how many average inches of area needs to be filled in. Plenty of calculators on line the figure the cubic yards for the OP.

27cubic feet in a cubic yard.

(inches depth)*length*width=cubic feet

cubic feet/27= cubic yards
I was thrown a bit by the constant reference of a "truckload". Kenworth or F-150??
Residential wise, I'd go for straight composted all-steer manure and sod over top will keep the seeds under control. Almost all mixed compost now has bio waste in it (human waste).

We put a lawn in as a wedding present back in my cattle days; backed a one ton with a dump between the tract homes and ran three full loads in; my buddy's lawn was half a foot higher than all the neighbors, and he had to mow it every week for the first two years. But what a lawn.
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Old 10-09-2014, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Oceania
8,623 posts, read 5,894,991 times
Reputation: 8318
Quote:
Originally Posted by tango14 View Post
Yes, we are looking at approx 1/2 foot fill. So 1/2 times 1250 = 625 cubic feet. Which is 625/27 = 23 cubic yards. So if a truck load is 6 cubic yards, we need about 4 truckloads? The landscaper mentioned a single truck load without going into the numbers. Also, I guess we have to find out what constitutes his 'dirt'.

Feeling a little diffident since after all this, we have to figure if fescue seeding ( we don't get a lot of light here in the back yard) or zyorgia sod ( expensive) is the way to go. We keep hearing the pros and cons of Both and not sure what will work .

On a different note, is there a better or cheaper way for the kids to play. My 7 year old son loves sports, esp soccer and we want some flat area that he can play on. We have a yard in the front albeit sloping so we don't. Necessarily want grass, just some area where the kids can play soccer and what not. Thanks
Are you implying zoysia here??

Zoysia comes in plugs rather than sod. Most of the lawns in my 50s era neighborhood are zoysia, including mine. If you or a neighbor plug your lawn with zoysia, any property that abuts it will have zoysia in time. It grows quickly and chokes out other grasses. Looks good too, even in a drought.

The bad part is it looks like hay from November to May here in MD.
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Old 10-09-2014, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
64,991 posts, read 47,321,826 times
Reputation: 10512
Haven't read through the posts (short on time) but if there were trees there I assume you got rid of the roots too? If not maybe a machine is best to dig down & loosen soil and get rid of all the roots.

Also note the soil might be lacking nutrients from the trees. yes, machine is expensive for a day to dig trenches.

In this area it costs $30 a yard for good pebble free soil.
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