Field Construction

Building the Stadium!

Our field is just 40x60 feet in size and is a natural turfgrass field.  That's plenty big for 2v2 or 3v3 games and good skills training for our budding soccer stars.    Future plans for the field include lighting, a scoreboard, and video cameras to live stream games.  But - for now - just a really good field to play on!

The Big Dig

Started out by leveling out the yard.  The yard originally had a 7.5% slope which is about 7 feet from high to low spot.  So we had to level it out - we left a 1.8% slope to maintain proper drainage away from the house - we had to dig down almost 4 feet on the high end and in Austin rocky soil that's not easy!  Here's the beginning of the big dig and leveling process:

Here's the Kubota Backhoe Loader Tractor that we rented from Home Depot - this thing was really really nice - did a great job - was easy to use and ran like a charm the whole week we had it.  

I had not operated a backhoe before this project.  I watched a few YouTube videos and after about 30 minutes of operating it I was pretty decent and by the end of the week I was reasonably proficient - definitely not a pro - but good enough for backyard work!

I was just starting to get the hang of this at this point - but started making better progress as we went.

This picture gives an idea of how sloped the yard was before we started (and like an idiot I didn't take any good "before" pictures so this is the best I've got!

You can start to see how far down we had to dig here - we ended up down about 3 feet 8 inches from the high point at the corner just to the right of the orange flag. 

Pulling up one of 2 tree stumps - and look at all that rock in the dirt - It was a real pain to dig through!

Here you can see down the sideline as we dug down the high side of the field. 

We ran into a bolder here and were trying to figure out how big it is to dig around it.  My dad helped a TON on this project - would not have gotten this done without his help!  Thanks DAD!  More about that bolder down a little in this thread!

Made good progress the first day.  Our internet cable ran across this area of the yard so we had to dig that up and hang it over the workarea - had just enough clearance to get the backhoe under it.

After digging up the high side we had ALOT of dirt piled up around the field.  We needed to move it and dump it on the low side of the field.

Here's my dad moving the dirt from the high side down to the other end of the field. 

Here you can start to get a good idea of how we dug out the low side (on the right) and how we started piling the dirt we dug up on the low corner of the field (in back left of the photo)

Rock Hammer Time

After a couple days we had made good progress but we had a HUGE problem - that bolder we found early on was actually a HUGE rock face just below the surface.  We needed to cut down about 8 inches into about 100 square feet of rock face.  You can see in the above picture the white area in front of where I'm standing is the rock we needed to get rid of. 

So - we rented an air hammer and I went to work!

This is BRUTAL work.  I hammered away for 12 hours while my dad was leveling out a few areas and moving dirt around.  The hammer plus chisel weighs about 90 pounds and you're constantly repositioning it.  I was exhausted after this!  And I swore I'd never do this again! 

Rented an air hammer from Home Depot.  This thing was a beast! I ran it all day long and by the end it was hot to the touch but it did the job! 

You can see alot of the rock I had chissled up around this picture.  Plus my dad had already moved a couple of loader fulls away as well.  It was ALOT more rock than I realized we needed to move.

Taking a break - this is really tiring work.  Trying to say hydrated but by the end I was getting calf cramps and was totally exhausted.  I can't believe there's people do this for a living!  The videos on the left show how I had to work on a spot for a couple minutes to get a tiny little chip picked off the top.

When I was finally done with the air hammer this is what it looked like.  The picture on the left was after we took a little dirt and filled in over the top of most of the rock.  - And that's my son - Hunter - learning to drive a tractor!