May 9, 2011

Fun fact: Dirt is not cheap

I have sunburn on my back, bug bites on my neck, blisters on my palms, several broken fingernails and a bruised forearm. All that adds up to one really long weekend working outside on the Wee house. It really felt good to get back to business on the house, and busting out these long weekends of hard work. There is much to talk about, including the story of how Pete killed snake with a shovel. But that and other stories will come at a later time.

Despite the fact that the house is half gutted and the garage isn't completed, we decided to spend this weekend focusing on improving the yard a bit. No massive landscape effort to turn it into paradise, but we really needed to clean up the yard like woah. There were pockets of really overgrown jungle vines, random bits of the old garage's cement foundation piled up and cinder blocks scattered about. It just wasn't pretty and if we let everything to continue to grow with wild abandon over the summer it would be much harder to handle in the fall.

A major part of the weekend for us was going to be getting some fill dirt delivered and then working on grading the land around the garage/our driveway and side yard areas. The "natural" flow that our yard had before was disturbed by the new garage, and we really needed to boost the dirt up around the building. At first we started getting quotes on how much a load of topsoil would be, thinking that it better to just use that because of it's ability to grow grass and fill in low spots of land. However, the prices we were getting just put top soil out of our budget- it was about $22- 27$ per yard, we needed 18 yards and every single place was charging extra high delivery fees thanks to the current hefty price of diesel fuel. Then we found the price sheet for Winzingers, our trusty free concrete recycling center, and topsoil there was only $15 a yard, BUT fill dirt was only $5 a yard. Plus the insanely high cost to get it delivered, which was more than the actual dirt.

Our poor neighbors had to deal with this as their wake-up call on Saturday morning. I felt like a jerk for disturbing the neighbor calm with a dump load of dirt at that early hour.

The total still ended up being freakishly high for just dirt, but the final bill was a lot easier on our wallets with the fill option. Although, these prices really help to change the old adage of "cheaper than dirt", cause dirt is not cheap anymore.

We'll get a small load of topsoil in the fall and use that as a thin frosting layer for the grass seed something to grab onto. So what if we had to pick part of a curb and asphalt out of the pile, the fill dirt was going to serve it's purpose of filling in the low spots...

The dirt delivery was just the kick off of our hard working weekend! Anyone else accomplish a ton during this past weekend? Or did you get to enjoy fabulous weather without having cheap dirt stuck to the sweat that was all over your body?


  1. We looked at buying dirt this weekend too. We need to boost the grade on the side of our house to keep water away. Why isn't dirt free? We have half a mind to call up a friend in the country and ask if we can dig up a trunk load of dirt!

  2. We abandoned the indoors in order to get started on our yard this weekend too. I found it quite refreshing, actually, to let everything just lie inside and to actually get some sun. But then, I don't think our work was quite as back breaking as yours... we got started on turning over and leveling our back yard, which also meant we had to rip up the pathway that was buried down the centre of it.