what types of mini excavation projects does back 40 landscaping do?

Offering reliable landscaping services to homeowners in British Columbia since 2013

Picture of Sam Maerz

Sam Maerz


For over a decade Back 40 landscaping has been completing residential landscape projects . These projects range from Lawn and Mulch installation, to full scale excavation projects.

The key element has been good clients hiring us to do the hard work outside of their homes.

This article will showcase some of the work that we have done over the last decade, however it’s not possible to highlight everything we do. Simply put, if you need equipment to do the work and you have at least 39” of access width we can very likely take this project off your mind. That is of course if we are a good fit!

If you are unsure if we can handle your project, please complete the “GET A QUOTE” form, and Natasha my wife will respond asap.

One of our earliest projects was a small building demolition. These projects are as much fun as they look, and are always a highlight for us to take on. From surface protection ,if needed, to full cleanup and remediation, we can make it look like the building was never there.


First building demo

Retaining wall construction

Our most common excavation work comes from the installation of Allan Block retaining walls. In order to build these walls to industry best practises we were forced to buy narrow excavation equipment.

Our smallest excavator is 39” wide, and our two track dumpers are 31” wide. This enables us to get a lot of soil out of a backyard, so we can instal retaining wall blocks, and backfill them with a lot of drainage rock.

Using this narrow and steep access we excavated and removed about 200 cubic yards of soil, and replaced it with Allan Block and gravel.

Over 2000 trips were made through a narrow opening about 3.5’ wide carrying soil, gravel, and retaining wall blocks and caps.

On larger projects with more access, we are able to speed up the efficiency with larger mini excavation equipment. This is another Allan Block retaining wall project where we had almost all of our equipment onsite.

Smaller Allan Blocks require less excavation, but still require the use of almost all of our equipment. Our excavator digs the soil, our track dumpers carry this material to the road, and our track loader loads our dump truck and trailer.

Paver driveway and patios

Mini excavation is critical in building a strong foundation for pavers and concrete. If you have ever seen pavers sinking or separating this is almost entirely because of the excavation.

Often times this is because of the difficulty in moving the soil out, and importing the base material the excavation zone is cheated.

Our equipment makes this step easy so you get the foundation under your patio and driveway that will last indefinitely.

Take a look at some of our paver Patio, Sidewalk, and driveway projects.


Drainage projects in the Fraser Valley are perfect for a mini excavation company. The clay soil that is ultimately the cause of drainage issues should be replaced with either sandier soils, or drain rock. This allows the water to quickly move underground and away from the home’s foundation.

Excavating, hauling, and disposing of the clay soil is what our equipment was made for. We are efficient, and experienced in building high performance drainage systems

Doing an entire lawn soil replacement also helps the water percolate into the ground below.

Wet, soggy yards and basements are not something you have to put up with. Take a look at some of our drainage projects, to see possible solutions for your home.

Gravel parking areas: Driveway, parking pads, and parking lots

Gravel is not only used for gravel parking areas, it’s also the base under every concrete and asphalt parking surface.

Excavating enough soil is both important in terms of depth, but also width. Far too often the excavation zone stops right at the edge of the new paving surface.

Concrete Masonry Hardscape Association (CMHA) is the trade association representing the producers, suppliers, and contractors on concrete pavement. The standard is to excavate at least 6” past the edge or excavate past the same width as the depth of the base.

Being a certified CMHA Segmental paver installer, I have the knowledge to excavate and install strong gravel parking pads, that meet the load bearing and compaction requirements.

Here are some of our Gravel parking areas, and bases

Low maintenance: Flower beds, front lawns

Everyone is busy! Because of this we are seeing a huge spike in low maintenance landscaping. Flower beds and front lawns are being converted into River Rock and mulch areas. Check out some of these photos!

Misc. mini-Excavation services

Mini excavation is a pretty wide topic, and I’m sure it’s hard to imagine all the projects that we are capable of. Here are the last of the photos highlighting what we do!