Monday, July 21, 2008

Patio Project - Weekend 2

So, I think we are done with the excavation of our patio. Let's break down how shitty it was:

We had to remove about 205,632 cubic inches of soil- that converts to 4.4 cubic yards (the cubic inches sounds so much more impressive). According to a few sites I found referencing industry standards, a cubic yard of soil weighs roughly 1.5 tons, or 3,000 lbs. That means that we relocated somewhere in the neighborhood of 13,200 lbs of dirt- using only shovels and a wheel barrel ... um, damn.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="I think we did 12 of these."]Imagine 12 of these in a row.[/caption]

I started the final weekend of excavation Friday after work. Although it was raining I decided to start digging anyways (I wanted to get a good start on the weekend). I discovered that wet dirt is really heavy dirt (who woulda thunk it). While I was dumping my second load out in phase 3 of our neighborhood a car happened to drive by. I imagined that they were thinking something along the lines of, "WTF is that crazy man doing?" ... which in turn made me think, "WTF are you doing Brian?". Once I determined that my actions were those of a nutty bastard I decided to call it a night. I was pretty muddy myself, but you should have seen our dog. Taigan looked kinda like a chunk of mud ... only breathing (he was having a blast though). I had to wrap him in a blanket and carry him straight to the tub.

Saturday wasn't much better, as it was humid and a bazillion degrees outside. Courtney and I managed to get two more loads hauled off before we were too tired (and sunburned) to continue. When we returned from dropping off our final load of dirt we were surprised with a visit from our neighbors Nusty and Diki. They were preparing/drinking for the Foo Fighters concert, so we hung out on the deck for a few hours and drank some beer. Eventually we proceeded to Longboards for some grub.

Thankfully we didn't have too much to do on Sunday, due to the fact that Courtney and I got stupid and partied in our basement from Saturday night until 6 AM Sunday morning. I got up around noon and did an hour of digging and measuring (it was once again a gigillion degrees) while Courtney kept the couch warm inside. We finally got some real steam in our engines around 7:30 PM and Courtney mowed the yard while I made a late change of plans and widened the patio\hole by 6 inches.

Here is the final result of our excavation (more pics here):

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="I think the stairs best demonstrate how much soil we removed."]I think the stairs best demonstrate how much soil we removed.[/caption]

Next weekend we are going to fill that hole with 3 cubic yards of crushed stone ... I can't wait!


  1. Hopefully this weekend it won't be as hot (I doubt it), and we won't stay up all night. Getting an early start is key so we can work in the shade (we lose it at noon).

  2. Did you know that a bucket on a bobcat holds approximately one cubic yard? And it has teeth on it that cut right into the dirt and place it neatly inside the bucket for you? Just thought I'd mention it.

  3. "While I was dumping my second load out in phase 3 of our neighborhood ..." This made me laugh out loud.

    I think Tony is correct... rent a Bobcat. It'll probably cost a bundle but what you save in time will be worth it. (Although, WTF do I know?)

  4. It appears that Tony is unimpressed by our feat of strength. :(

  5. Seriously though, we did not want to wreck our yard or take down part of our fence ... and we were being cheap.

  6. We don't need a stinking bobcat. We've got muscles!

  7. Muscles, schmuscles. With that attitude your patio will be done right before the Super Bowl next year. :-)

  8. Don't get me wrong, i'm impressed and turned on visualizing you two out there all sweaty.