Sarah using the digger

Sarah using the digger

I’ll be honest; I’m not sure how many “parts” to the dig out there are, but this is Part 3. It kind of feels like it’ll go on forever. We filled our fifth heavy debris dumpster in a row and took back the mini-excavator. I’d like to say that means we’re done, but instead I’m saying that “principle excavation” is complete, which is just another way of saying that we’re not done. What remains to do is finish clearing the dirt from the footings, remove a few piles of loose dirt including the dirt ramp we used to get the digger out the back door, and level everything, probably by renting one of those heavy rollers you fill with water. The bottom line is there’s more than a few wheelbarrows of dirt yet to haul out, and a lot more work to do.

Digging for new back steps

Digging for new back steps

The last thing we used the digger for was to excavate a pit behind the house. This is where the new outside basement steps will go. Having the steps go up to the left makes more sense since it’s toward the sidewalk that runs along the side of the house and to the currently nonexistent garage, but it requires some reconfiguration, by which I mean busting out the existing concrete retaining walls and stairs and then putting in a new one. With the steps going to the left, we can eventually put a deck on the right side of the house.

In addition to the final clearing and leveling, we also need to clean up the inside edge of the footings so that it’s even enough to finish the walls down the road. Exactly how we do that “clean up” remains to be seen, but it’s stone, so probably hammer and chisel, concrete saw, and angle grinder. Of course after everything is nice  and clean and level we have to dig trenches for the plumbing and weeping system, so we’ll be busy for a while yet.

Because we have to take out the concrete walls and there’s undoubtedly more dirt to clear for the stairs, there’s a strong likelihood we’ll need yet another dumpster in the not-too-distant future. Also, just a heads up to anyone planning an extended rental from Home Depot: a “month” is four weeks, so if you bring it back in thirty days it costs extra.

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