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Any ideas to get LOTS of free dirt?

Posted by carsonheim (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 11, 14 at 11:59

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?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Any ideas to get LOTS of free dirt?

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


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RE: Any ideas to get LOTS of free dirt?

Pool builder?

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


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RE: Any ideas to get LOTS of free dirt?

Lucy -- does the BCS in your username mean Bryan College Station? That's where I'm located!


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RE: Any ideas to get LOTS of free dirt?

Ditto, the excavator. We got fill from a big job he did and it was free.


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RE: Any ideas to get LOTS of free dirt?

Yup! I'm in Bryan.


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RE: Any ideas to get LOTS of free dirt?

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?


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RE: Any ideas to get LOTS of free dirt?

Our builder is using fill from another of his builds in the area for out house. I agree about asking the excavator and builder.


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RE: Any ideas to get LOTS of free dirt?

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.


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RE: Any ideas to get LOTS of free dirt?

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.


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RE: Any ideas to get LOTS of free dirt?

Post it on craigslist.com


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RE: Any ideas to get LOTS of free dirt?

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.


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RE: Any ideas to get LOTS of free dirt?

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 :)


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RE: Any ideas to get LOTS of free dirt?

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 . . .


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RE: Any ideas to get LOTS of free dirt?

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.


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RE: Any ideas to get LOTS of free dirt?

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.


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