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Question DetailsAsked on 12/25/2017

How much do I have to pay for removal of 350 cu. yard of topsoil?

I have an 2 feet elevation in my yard that has to be removed.;

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1 Answer


Varies of course by topography, how hard the ground is to dig, whether it is just being shoved around or is to be picked up and hauled for disposal offsite, type of soil material if being disposed of offsite, etc. Also, large vegetation (trees and shrubs or heavy brush) removal can add some to a number of hundreds of $ to your cost for your size area.

In your case, unless you have rich and deep topsoil, probably going to be removed in two layers - one for vegetation and topsoil layer, then second layer of general excavation material down to the finish grade you want.

Can run from as little, for that rough quantity of material, as about $5-8/cy plus or minus to just shove it around within a hundred feet or so (like for leveling purposes), commonly more like $10-15/cy ballpark if disposing of on-site but too far to doze it so has to be stockpiled and then hauled onsite with a front end loader, commonly more like $15-30/cy if excavation is deeper (not like yours) so a backhoe is needed, or if the material is suitable for fill material and is being disposed of offsite. For hard to dig material, material which contains organics or includes vegetation stripping material so is not suitable for general construction fill, etc more commonly in the general range of $5-10/cy additional to above. Hardpan, caliche, bedrock and otehr very hard to dig materials can run the cost up to more like $30-50/cy if rippable by a dozer, if blasting is needed (not applicable for your thin depth case) commonly more like $50-150/cy though blasting would be VERY rare for a 350cy job - usually for a small job or very shallow excavation in rock would would just take the additional time in slow ripping or bring in a hydraulic impact hammer on a loader or backhoe to break it up so it can be handled.

If you want or need more accurate control than eyeballing the surface (say for building construction or tennis court or pool or such) then probably around $200-400 additional for a construction surveyor to stake the area for excavation for your size area (about a 70' square).

Note in most areas this will require a construction permit because of the quantity of material being handled.

Also - if you intend replanting lawn or grass or such on the regraded ground, some of the removed material (especially sod and topsoil) may be reusable after multi-pass discing or shredding it - or by removing the sod mechanically and setting it aside for reuse. That sort of thing can add $5-10/cy for that material typically if done onsite, generally not economic to reprocess if not directly suitable for use if has to be hauled offiste for shredding unless a topsoil plant with shredder is available and operating closeby.

You need to define a scope of work (including any option for on-site disposal or reuse of the material), get utility locates to determine if there are utilities (and septic tank/leach filed if you have such) in the work area(s) and if they need to be relocated or deepened, mark out the area you want excavated, then get bids from several contractors.

Excavation - or Landscaping if you want the area prepared and planted to trees or lawn or such afterwards, would be the normal Search the List category.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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