Removing deck from backyard, how to refill the holes in the ground?

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Elana

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I hope it's okay to post about this here - not sure what counts as a remodel, but I find this forum way more helpful than other forums, like Reddit!

We are removing a large deck from our backyard. We will be replacing it with a paver brick patio. Once the deck is completely removed there will be ~23 large holes where the concrete footers were. I expect each of these holes to be about 40" deep. I am wondering how we ought to fill those, to avoid erosion... Can we just dump a bag (or bags) of regular dirt into them? Anything we ought to be aware of? The rest of the soil in the yard is clay and drains poorly, so these 23 holes filled with dirt may also drain differently than the surrounding dirt, if that affects your recommendations. Thanks in advance for your help and advice!
 

Reach4

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I would leave the concrete footers in place if practical. Save digging and lifting. Just rent an electric jackhammer unless you are skilled with a sledgehammer. If the concrete sticks above the ground, how about breaking off the top 4 inches, or whatever, and leave the rest in the ground. Much better than a filled hole, because the hole might not be all that well compacted. I am not a pro.
 

jadnashua

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One of the hassles with clay in the soil is that it expands and contracts quite a bit between being wet versus dry. This could make keeping your pavers nice and flat an issue, especially over the holes.

To get a good idea, this might be worth contacting a local soil expert that is more familiar with your local conditions.

FWIW, it's not all that easy to compact the fill in a hole like you have. If you do end up doing it, compact it in lifts (stages) as you fill it in, not once you reach the top.
 

Elana

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Just wanted to provide an update. We removed one of the concrete footers completely, but decided it would be overkill to have to fill 23 holes that were each 3 feet deep. For the rest we just broke off about 6" inches from the top and buried them.

We only did the deck removal on our own. We're going to have a professional hardscaping company install the patio, so hopefully they will be skilled and knowledgeable in creating a solid base to withstand our soil and our seasons. :)
 

FaithMillsM2V

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Are there any updates? I'm interested to know what you did. You also have a small courtyard that I love to look after. But I have not done such big alterations yet. Usually this is planting various trees or cleaning. The most ambitious thing I have changed is the installation of the pool. Since there is a lot of grass and trees, I try not to change anything too much, although this all needs to be constantly monitored ... (I think that if I had concreted this entire area, it would be much easier, but this way I will lose all atmosphere). In order to maintain trees and lawns quickly and efficiently, I often have to purchase new tools. For example, I recently bought a new electric saw to clean trees.
 
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