Friday, March 20, 2009

Dealing With Dirt

Since I work with dirt quite a bit in developing commercial land and buildings I have learned a few things about it. Here are the major lessons learned in dealing with dirt, excavation and site work:

1. Try to get your dump, fill or storage sites as close to where the dirt is coming from in the first place. It will save you money on the hauling.
2. Include all the seeding and stabilization work in the originial contract with your site contract.
3. Be sure the RLD (Responsible Land Disturber) is the site contractor and not you.
4. Retain at least 5% until the erosion and sediment permit is closed by the governing body.
5. When dealing with rock, it is always better to blast it than to hammer it since you generally do the hammering at an hourly rate. If you can get the rock removed based upon the cubic yards for a flat price, take that. In my area it is typically $60 for mass rock.
6. Watch how much top soil is put down in the finish grading. I have been ripped off by contractors who put only 1-2" down when the plans called for 6". You need at least 6" to grow grass in all seasons.
7. Finally, sell your excess fill dirt. Don't just give it away. Clean, compactable fill is hard to come by. You should be able to recoup those costs.

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