Showing posts with the label excavation

Front Porch Bed - Cardboard to Smother Grass + Top Soil + Biosolids - March 2024

Just a week ago, I spotted some issues in the corner of our front porch bed .  It is a low-spot and because of that was taking on some water from the downspouts.  But, the front part of that bed was also showing some signs of turf coming back.  This was a small extension that I carved out of the lawn last year. turns out...I must not have pulled out/dug out all of the turf.   I decided to kill-two-birds in this project.  (Well...half of a project since I didn't have enough materials to finish it.) First, I laid down some cardboard to smother the grass.  I cut holes for the handful of tulips in the area, then spread out some thick, unpainted cardboard on top of the turf.  I then went back to the pile of topsoil and clay that I excavated from the Pizza Oven foundation and spread that on top of the cardboard.   I started by the property-line edge and went north.  Below are a few photos showing the progress - first with the cardboard and topsoil + clay.   I initially only di

Backyard DIY Pizza Oven Construction - Slab Framing - March 2023

Over the weekend, I went out and picked up four 2x6x8 boards and brought them home to begin to figure out if I've done enough excavation for our wood-fired pizza oven project.  I've been using a tape measure to figure out how much I needed to remove and if my dig was large enough to support the slab framing - along with the necessary bracing.  But, that's an imperfect science, so I decided to just go out and cut the lumber down to the final dimensions and place them in the hole to see - without guessing - if I've excavated enough. As a reminder - mostly to myself - my final dimensions are based on 8x8x16 construction blocks:  Slab: 78" wide, 86" deep. 6.5' wide, 7'2" deep). Stand: 72 wide, 80 deep (4.5 blocks wide, 5 blocks deep) Leaving reveal of 6" total both dimensions. 3" all ways. This allows for 2" face brick and a 1" reveal. I cut the two side pieces of the frame to be 86" and the front/back to be 81" (to acco

Piling Excavated Dirt In Garden Beds For Berm - Smothered by Wood Chips - February 2024

This past week saw the start of the excavation for my backyard wood-fired pizza oven .  After going back-and-forth with various versions of math...I settled on some dimensions.  The hole needs to be 90" wide and 98" deep.  That allows for a slab to be poured that is 78" wide and 86" deep.  12" each way to allow for framing, supports and what I'm calling 'wiggle room'.   I opted for the 'on top of the drywell' location ; which means that the excavation is going to be light in some parts (6 inches) and deeper in others (10-12 inches).   That means that I'm going to be removing A LOT of material.  Soil.  Clay.  Probably some rocks.   What do I do with it? What I'd *LIKE* to do with it is to either build a berm in our front yard .  Or...use it to build a waterfall for a backyard pond.   But, I'm not ready for the pond.  And, I'm too chicken to do the berm in front.   Will it look silly?  Will it look sloppy?  Will it look unfinis

DIY Wood-Fired Pizza Oven Construction - Initial Excavation For Foundation - February 2024

This past weekend, I posted a list of 'early potential priorities' out in the yard and garden for the upcoming 2024 growing season .  That list featured a number of projects/ideas/areas that *could* be something that I'm going to prioritize in 2024.  But, it also featured one item that has certainty when it comes to being a priority:  the backyard wood-fired pizza oven construction. The location/site of the oven has been an open question for me ever since we moved in back in 2017.  I wrote about a couple of final options in the backyard in early January where I narrowed it down to two locations :  built into the berm/closer to the patio vs. down on the drywell, lower-elevation. With the run of warmer temperatures this week, I got out one night after work and just got busy:  digging the foundation.   I went with the drywell location.  Further from the house, but anchoring a secondary, lower-tiered patio.  Below is a look at the site - annotated to show the outline of the fou