Loading dumpster

Loading dumpster

It’s time to start digging out the basement! We got the first heavy debris dumpster in and last week I took out the concrete back steps leading out of the basement with a sledge and the rotary hammer so we can make a ramp. I used the concrete saw to cut out a section of patio at the top of the stairs to make the ramp more gradual, then put in a section of shingled plywood from the garage roof so we could start bringing wheel barrows up.

We got the leftover concrete that didn’t fit in the previous dumpster loaded, along with the pile of bricks and dirt that I’d pulled up by hand. Just that was enough to fill the dumpster to the point that we had to close the door. Then we started using the ramp and platform I built to dump full wheelbarrows into the dumpster.

Mini excavator

Mini excavator

Saturday I picked up the tool that will help make the dig out just a bit easier: a mini excavator. After a quick review of a Youtube video for a similar model, we got the excavator into the basement (I wound up having to take the door jam off) and started digging. The bottleneck is definitely the wheelbarrows. The excavator can fill a wheelbarrow in two buckets, so it took some practice before we worked out a solid system for working efficiently. About the time we’d worked it out, the first dumpster was full and we had to stop.

While we wait for the next dumpster I’ll start clearing out the footings along the wall and get our depth figured out. Up to this point we’ve been winging it, and we don’t want to go too deep! Using the excavator is fun, but I’m still sore from pushing all the wheel barrows of dirt up the ramp. We’re expecting to have three or four dumpsters all told, so this process will probably eat up the better part of a month.

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