I have some landscaping work to do around my house.

Am planning to start off with a 1.5' x 4" trench around the house, followed by a ~4' x 12 " plant bed , followed by a 2' x 6" trench for a walkway. Attached is an image describing the scope.

landscape plan Couple of questions :

  • Are the trench depths okay ?

  • How do I go about with trenching out the yard (with different depths for each area) ?

Other details :

  • I've checked with utilities and its all good.

  • There is a positive grade around the house.

Thanks in advance !


If your trench or excavated areas are in widths suitable for a bobcat bucket (48" - 60" depending on the model) then rent one of those for a day. More fun than you can imagine and good for moving any bulk item in quantity.

Otherwise it is hand dig time. A good wheelbarrow and dump bin located close to the work area are time and labour savers.

When calculating volumes add or subtract a factor of one third to account for fluffing up of removed material and compaction of newly added material.

I also highly recommend a laser level and willing accomplice. Nothing says professional more than straight and level where called for.

You don't say what you want to do with the trench. I know I would want to install my good friend 4" drain pipe with sleeve. You may have a positive grade to shed water from your roof away from the house but nothing says peace of mind better during that one in a hundred year storm than drain pipe installed around the perimeter.

By the way, if you are going to do a walkway in any part of the world where it gets cold you will want to provide a good base and dig deeper to do this. Please provide more details.

  • Thanks for your reply ! I was planning on using just gravel for drainage around the foundation. I think your drain pipe suggestion is a better one. I'll include that in the project. Isn't a 6" trench enough for a walkway ? Should I go deeper , say , 8 " ? – anset Jul 21 '16 at 14:51
  • Also , should the drain pipe be beside the footer of the house , or directly on the footer ? – anset Jul 21 '16 at 14:57
  • @anset need to know how cold it gets and the soil type to suggest how deep a walkway base should be. For the drain pipe you want to place it where water sheds from the roof or where the downspouts drain. This is normally several feet out from the footer. – kevinskio Jul 21 '16 at 16:57
  • I live in Ohio.. hope that helps. – anset Jul 21 '16 at 20:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.