Any ideas to get LOTS of free dirt?

carsonheimJune 11, 2014

Howdy! Our build site will need a bunch of dirt to level out some VERY large holes in the ground where we dug out the dirt in order to provide the house pad. As such I'm interested in finding some way to get those filled in. It doesn't have to be any specific grade of dirt, just whatever is available and free if possible.

Anyone have ideas of where I can get free dirt? I was thinking of the county, maybe the folks who build roads and such need to dump the stuff they dig up. Any other ideas?

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Check with the guy who did your excavation. Tell him you will take his fill from other excavation projects.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 12:19PM
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Pool builder?

My neighbors just put in a pool and there was a LOT of dirt removed.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 12:28PM
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Lucy -- does the BCS in your username mean Bryan College Station? That's where I'm located!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 1:08PM
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Ditto, the excavator. We got fill from a big job he did and it was free.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 1:16PM
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Fill dirt is a funny thing. We had LOTS of leftover dirt from the basement excavation and the pool excavation. We had people stopping by asking for the dirt. We happily told them that they could have it for free, but they had to remove it themselves.

Not one did so we ended up pushing down the mounds and mounds of dirt and raising areas of our property.

Drive around your area. Perhaps there is another house being built that doesn't need the excavated dirt.

What happened to the dirt that was dug out?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 1:18PM
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Yup! I'm in Bryan.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 1:18PM
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Our builder is using fill from another of his builds in the area for out house. I agree about asking the excavator and builder.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 3:23PM
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Be sure to specify clean fill, and inspect what's being put in the hole. The fill should be, at a minimum, free of wood and other debris. The ideal fill will be subsoil from your area.

A deep hole filled with organics (including topsoil) will continue to settle for many years.

Dirt is what you wash off your hands. You want clean filled covered by topsoil. For a finished flat surface, flood the hole and let the fill settle before adding topsoil.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 3:33PM
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Unless you're willing to move it yourself, I wouldn't expect to get any of it free. Someone still has to account for their labor, fuel costs etc to get the fill to your property. It's not cheap to run those big trucks and loading equipment!

For instance, we needed a large amt of clay to form the pad for our house and a large shop. Target was building a new store in the area and had hundreds of loads of material to dispose of several miles away. My husband worked out a deal that the fill would be free of charge, but we would pay half the cost of delivering it to our property which was closer than the original disposal location.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 4:43PM
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Post it on

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:10PM
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We talked to a homebuilder in a subdivision down the road. He agreed to divert some of his trucks that were hauling off foundation dig fill to our property for free.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 12:44PM
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Lots of great ideas. Thank you! I've already contacted one pool builder and the engineer at a nearby construction site :)

Lucy -- are you building in Bryan? I'm building on the edge of Wellborn, right by the Brazos River :)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 4:13PM
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Glad you have some leads on getting your dirt.

Building? Nope, been there, done that, not doin' it again! You're braver than I, for sure!

One BIG RED FLAG for me was finding out contractors aren't licensed by the State of Texas. Kinda scary . . .

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 5:05PM
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I just got my excavating quote, and more than half of it was the cost of hauling away dirt. I'd love to find someone looking for fill. :/

As it is, I'm thinking of delaying the build of the garage so we can keep it onsite until after the backfill rather than paying to haul it away, and then paying half that again to have more brought in for backfilling the foundation.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 7:47PM
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yeah, you shouldn't have to pay for the dirt, just the cost of getting it to you. We had tons from our excavation that our builder had to find someone to give it too. So I'd call around to all the builders in your area and ask, they'd be happy to give it to you.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 1:43PM
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